Career changes are often seen as professional growth. Yet, we get so caught up in the excitement of what could be that we avoid performing an honest assessment of our personal growth. And yes, it takes a lot of courage to step out on faith, especially in an unstable job market, but it is all about the end results we want to achieve. It then becomes necessary to execute three key steps.
Understand The Why: Just how significant of a move are you ready to make. Perhaps you are tired of being someone else’s workhorse and yearn to pursue your own vision. There comes a time when we are done living as spectators of our own lives and are ready to get on the field to make our own plays. What better time to follow your passion and build your own empire now that you realize you have outgrown the status quo. This route takes far more work than just taking on new titles or switching companies, but the rewards far outweigh the alternatives. It may be time for you to invest in a reputable business coach.
Could it be that someone in your department played you way too close? Now you cannot stand another moment in their presence so you decide you need to shift gears and head in another direction? If so, you could be losing far more than what you stand to gain. Running away from office conflict is rarely the solution. You should first exhaust all ways of bringing peace into the relationship. You are a clever person. Use your charm and wit to turn the tables. After all, hostility clutters the mind. You want your focus on maintaining a happy life.
It is also healthy to recognize when people are not ready to be revered, but why should you be the one who has to pull up roots and head towards the unknown. A better way to resolve this issue is to look within your current company for professional growth. Check the job announcements and see if there is a promotion with your name on it. Or do not even wait for permission to advance. Have a sit down with the powers that be and talk about creating a new position that will grow your company as well as yourself. This way you earn more money, acquire a prestigious new title, keep your benefits (perhaps even gaining a few more perks), but more importantly, you have proven the benefits of going high when they go low.
Personal and Professional Preparedness: Take stock into the trade-offs of leaving a stable work environment. Consider the fact that you may be jumping from the pot into the frying pan. Your nemesis at your current job could have a more evil twin at the job you are about to set sail for. Once you have envisioned that nightmare, ask yourself would it be worth it to start all over in a more destitute environment? Then think about how much vacation time you have accumulated over the years at your current company. What about the benefits and/or retirement options you are saying good-bye to. Is your new commute worth it in cost and time?
Speaking of costs …exactly how much money do you have saved up just in case things do not work out? Consider what it would cost if you had to upgrade your wardrobe. Perhaps going back to school would be another requirement. What if your new salary puts you in a different tax bracket that is less beneficial to your current conditions? Trust me, it happens! Which sacrifices can you realistically live with? Each of these scenarios require serious thought.
Mistakes to Avoid: Burning bridges is the biggest mistake people often make when transitioning from one job to another. However, keeping all communications and actions professional will gain you more support than you thought possible. Good people love helping good people as proven by the laws of attraction. Yet, diving into shallow waters is dangerous. Be sure to share your vision with only those you trust. The last thing you will want is for a calculating supervisor or envious colleague to get wind of your intent before you can put it into motion.
Another mistake to avoid is taking the first offer that comes your way. You are already at a point in your career where you know a change is needed. However, being in a stable environment allows you the luxury of waiting until the job you know you deserve is offered to you. Wait until an offer comes along that makes you jump for joy and scream out loud. Otherwise you may just end up right back in the same misery you tried so hard to escape.
There are some who resist change and would consider it super dandy being in the same position with the same company until it is time to receive that gold watch. But for the remainder, they embrace change and dare to live their lives out loud. Regardless of which category you find yourself in, always know that your success and happiness is determined by the quality of the decisions you make for yourself. Never resist that urge to be still because in that quietude lie the answers.