Career Change Dilemma – Should you stay or should you go?

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Should you stay in your current job or should you make a career change?

If you’re struggling with whether or not to leave your current job and try something new, then I have 3 questions for you to ask yourself to help you make that decision.

First, What do you need in your career to feel motivated and fulfilled?

In other words, which of your strengths do you want to be using? Which skills and areas of expertise do you want to be recognized and appreciated for?

Is there a specific industry you want to be in? Is there a specific job role you want to be in? These are things you need to think about and figure out. This is the first step in transitioning into a career that’s meaningful and inspiring.

The second question I want you to ask yourself is, What are the ‘gives and gets’ in your current situation?

Take inventory of what you are giving to your current manager or organization. You need to look at yourself from your manager’s perspective. Consider the fact that your employer probably had many candidates applying for your job and they gave it to you! Are you meeting their expectations? Are you delivering what you promised you would in the job interview? Define the value that you provide to the company. Those are the “gives” of your job.

For example, do you have the right knowledge, experience and skills to perform the job successfully (and these days you really need to exceed expectations to be successful in a job.) Are you providing some kind of unique expertise and viewed as the “go to” person for that knowledge or skill? Are your senior leaders and customers thrilled with your work? Are you training and mentoring team members and peers?

Those are all the “gives” of what you’re giving to the organization.

Next, identify the ‘gets’, which are all the benefits you’re receiving from your current employer. For example, a paycheck, health benefits, a retirement account, the opportunity to create or launch a new product? Training or advanced education, Developing a new skill? Pride from working for a prestigious company or with prestigious clients? Telecommuting? Flexible hours? Those are all great “gets.”

Now look at the mix of gives and gets. Are they in balance, or out of sync? If your gives outweigh what you’re getting in return, then you may want to take your career in a different direction, and this exercise will help you see that.

Now, before you disconnect completely from your situation, I encourage you to ask yourself one more question – Is there anything else you can glean from your current situation before you leave?

Are there any projects that could give you deeper knowledge or help you build a new skill? Are there projects that you want to complete before you leave that could boost your resume, and boost your personal brand? Could you strengthen your leadership skills by volunteering to lead a project? Is there a project you could create that could help you grow and flex your professional muscles?

Also, is there anyone at your work who could teach you about a product, technology, or the industry before you leave?

It’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll want to move into a different job role or a different company. And when that time comes, remember that before you jump ship, you should ask yourself these three questions. They’ll help you make a smart decision about your career.

If you’re stuck – get professional help! You never want your career to be sitting on shelf longer than it has to – it means thousands of dollars every month in missed income that you should be making! So if you’re not getting results, then invest in some professional advice, like —

  1. A Professional resume writer, or
  2. An interview coach, or
  3. A career coach.

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

PARADE Update: Getting Started: Sherri Thomas and Meghan Olesen

With nearly one in 10 Americans looking for work, the job search is tougher than ever. PARADE chose five unemployed people looking for work and paired each with a career counselor. Below is the first update from Sherri Thomas, Career Coaching 360 for the PARADE series “The Job Hunt“.


Getting Started: Sherri Thomas and Meghan Olesen

Meghan Oleson and I had our initial consultation this week so that I could better understand her career history, goals and vision, as well as share my strengths as a career coach and areas of expertise. I’m impressed with Megan’s young age (she’s 30 years old) and her ability to successfully transition into a variety of job roles and industries including being an executive pastry chef, marketing specialist and entrepreneur.

She has many wonderful strengths and passions, plus a wide range of transferable skills that we can tap to help her reinvent her career!

The first question I asked Meghan (and all my clients) is how best I could help her.
Option A) Help her find a job RIGHT NOW.
Option B) Help her create a career vision, action plan and transition into a meaningful and inspiring career (this approach takes more time, thought and focus – but the result is having a thriving career with more options, more stability and more passion!)

Meghan chose Option B.

This means that over the next several weeks, I’ll be giving her my exclusive steps to create her personal Career Success Blueprint™, as well as helping her create a simple but powerful career action plan that includes a job search strategy, networking techniques and a polished and professional resume to build a powerful personal brand, increase her marketability, and stand out from her competition.

After Meghan determined that this is the direction she wanted to go, then it was time for her first assignment – creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. The first step is for Meghan to define her career vision. This includes three (3) key skills or responsibilities that Meghan wants to be known, recognized and paid for.

Envision yourself one year from now in a career that motivates and inspires you. What are you doing? What kind of responsibilities do you want to have? What kinds of projects and initiatives do you enjoy doing? What kinds of teams do you have a passion to lead? For her first assignment, Meghan is drawing a Venn diagram (three circles that connect to each other) and inside each circle she is writing one key skill or responsibility that she desires in her next career move.

With so many talents and strengths, I’m excited to see what she’ll choose … 🙂