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: Wanting More Than Just a Job

PARADE Update: Wanting More Than Just a Job


Focus your energy on those jobs you really want!

Meaghan had a terrific break-through this week! She was able to identify that even though she met all the requirements in a job posting that her friend had sent to her – it was not a job that she actually wanted. So she made the decision – not to apply. (loud gasp!)

I know what you’re thinking… as a Career Coach, aren’t I supposed to be encouraging Meaghan to apply for jobs? Well, yes, but my role with Meghan (as defined by her) is to help her reinvent her career into a job that she actually enjoys.

I asked her how it made her feel to not apply for a job that she’s highly qualified for, and she said “empowering.” Since she completed Step #1 in my 4-step process, she now has the knowledge and understanding of what she needs in her new career to be fulfilled, challenged and inspired. In other words, Meghan now has her own job requirements! (Sing it, Sister!!)

This is a huge milestone when it comes to reinventing your career because so many times throughout the process we’re faced with a fork in the road. Turn right and you’ll go down the very familiar career path where you’re in a cycle of being in qualified yet unfulfilling and uninspiring jobs. Turn left and you’re faced with unchartered territory of changing industries, job roles or professional goals – which can be new and exciting, yet make even the most experienced professionals feel anxious and afraid.

The fact that Meghan has chosen to reinvent herself in a new career in unchartered territory and feels EMPOWERED is huge!

I remember one of the times I felt most empowered in my own career was when I turned down the opportunity for a 2nd job interview. At the time, I was in between jobs with no other potential offers in sight. I had just come out of a cycle of jobs working for a string of what I considered to be poor managers.

After my 1st job interview with this particular hiring manager, my stomach was in knots, my throat had a big lump in it and I couldn’t sleep. I realized that what was keeping me awake was not the fact that I was out of a job – it was the idea of working for that particular hiring manager. He had the same traits as some of my previous managers and I knew that I’d be frustrated and unhappy working for him. In other words, I didn’t want to leave one sinking ship for another sinking ship – even if that was my only potential offer at the time.

I sent the hiring manager a thank-you but no thank-you note, and then focused all my energy on identifying my own job requirements and finding the right job for me. Two months later, I was in my dream job!

I’m not sure if the universe sends us our right job because we’re clear on what we want, or if the right jobs have always been there and we missed them because our focus was scattered and we didn’t see it. But what I do know for sure is that when me and my clients get a clear focus on defining our job requirements, and then focus all our energy on getting that job – it works!

When you have the commitment and enough money in the bank to be able to explore where your passion is, what your strengths are, what kind of responsibilities excite you, and where all of those intersect with today’s job market – that’s when you’re going to hit gold. Meaghan’s Assignment this Week
The next step for Meaghan is to assess today’s job market and identify which jobs are right for her. She needs to research company websites, on-line job postings, business periodicals, and industry magazines to find job openings that excite her. Now that she’s put a stake in the sand to identify her job requirements, I’m excited to see where that takes her. 🙂

Increase Your Job Satisfaction

See Sherri’s latest interview on NCB Phoenix Channel 12 where she gives tips on increasing your job satisfaction.