Career change – when it makes sense!


In our business we talk with a lot of people, all day, all over the world.  One of the recurring things that we hear from those open to change is their need to “take on a new challenge” or “move on” once they’ve been successful for a few years within the same role. Typically, this is the time to look at the next level with your current employer, but what if there are no ladders to climb? Undoubtedly, the option you begin to consider is changing companies, trying to find another role that will keep you motivated and engaged. But, how do you make that choice and is it really the right step to take?

Sometimes we all feel the need for change, to find something new, different etc. – however change can come in many shapes.  It can be a small tweak that makes the current role more fulfilling; it can be sitting on a non-profit board, participating as an expert within your industry body etc… There are many things that can re-ignite your motivation beyond packing up and leaving the company you may actually be happy in!

So before deciding that you want to change companies, in the belief that this will solve all your problems, take the time to do your own career audit and only then evaluate the best direction to take.

The goal of a career audit is to carefully consider each role and company you have previously worked for.  Identify why you actually joined them in the first place, what worked, what didn’t, and why you left. List past career drivers and limitations and ask yourself how that fits in with where you are today. Also, make a list of all what is important for you in terms of personal / corporate values.

While going through this exercise, also try to:

•    Note all your interests that you both enjoy and have knowledge of;

•    Identify social, practical, and creative skills that you want to use in your position;

•    Acknowledge your values so you know if you are pursuing a career path that feels right to you;

•    Identify your personal style of working and know how it influences your career.

This exercise will allow you to start building up an ideal next step in your career – and really, in the end, only you possess the answers to the following questions:

–   What is the ideal next career move in terms of 1) position (scope, level, content),  2)  industry (or type of company),  3) Location (geographically)

–    What do you bring to the table?

–    What do you need to develop in order to get there?

Having gained this deep understanding of your professional self, you will have a clearer view about the direction you need to take. You may discover that in your current position there are still aspects to be improved upon before going further, new skills to be developed / acquired or …. that it is actually just time to move on!  Good luck!