If you’re thinking you need to make a career change, you’re probably right. But don’t do it for the wrong reasons…or in the wrong way. Below, I share three common mistakes people make when considering a career change – and what to do about it.
When it comes to making a career change, understanding why you want a
change – the root of your desire – is essential, because if you aren’t
perfectly clear on your reasons, it is highly likely you will make a
change that is either putting you in the same situation … or making
In making this decision, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions, and really spend the time to think about the answers.
For example, are you burnt out – the job itself has too many tasks or the tasks that you are required to do in the career you’re in make you feel like you’re mentally and emotionally drained on a daily basis? Or is it that the type of people you work with, whether clients or team members, do not share the values that you hold? Are you forced to do things that are personally or morally repugnant? Or, very simply – are you the kind of person that likes change and you’ve been doing the same thing for too long?
If you don’t have clarity on the root cause of your desire for change, that will be your first mistake, because you won’t be able to make a conscious, deliberate, and intentional distinction when you’re looking for something new.
The next mistake that people invariably make, and possibly the biggest one, is failing to understand their own personal combination of value and energy.
Or, to put it on a more personal level, it is when you don’t understand not only what you do best – and what people value you for, but also what gives you energy instead of sucking the life out of you.
Very often, we are good at things, but they aren’t the things that give us energy. We continue to do them – possibly spending an entire career doing them – because we do these things so well, others value us for them. It can be very difficult to move away from doing those things for that very reason.
Yet, spending the time to understand not only your unique value, but where you derive your energy from, is one of the best investments you can make in your career, because it can help you avoid accepting a new chapter that includes things that don’t serve your mental energies and, consequently, your best self.
Think about it: if making a career change doesn’t enable you to show the absolute best of you – is it really worth it?
Too often, people wait around for just the right thing before they are willing to make a change.
In my view, this is definitely a mistake. The best time to start to make a switch is when you realize that you’re suffering in your current situation. Why?
The longer you suffer, the more your work quality will suffer, no matter how motivated, driven, or talented you are. This affects not only how others perceive you, but ultimately erodes your own self-confidence. When you really want to make a change, having the maximum amount of self-confidence possible is necessary to weather the ups and downs that invariably occur with change – and if you allow that to erode away, it is much less likely that any change you try to make will be successful.