January is often a month when people consider a career change. The start of a new calendar year is frequently the time when many things are re-evaluated, including careers. Personally, the other time I have often pondered career changes is when I am lying in the sun on vacation.
There are many people who have long tenure with the same employer and are very fulfilled in their career. There are many more however who find their current role is less than perfect. So why consider a change when you have a stable job which pays a salary and provides benefits already?
- Your happiness
So many people are miserable in their current job. There are many others are who are just indifferent. They get the same train, at the same time, eat the same lunch, do the same things, and then get the same train home again.
You owe it to yourself and those around you to be happy. Your job plays a big part in that. You can be happy in your job! So, if what you are currently doing isn’t adding to your happiness, consider a change. There are so many choices. Take stock of what you are good at, passionate about, and find fulfilling. You may need to invest in your education, change location, or temporarily lower your compensation. But find a job that leaves you feeling excited on a Sunday evening rather than anxious.
- Your potential
Are you capable of more than your current role provides opportunity for? Do you have skills and drive that are unfulfilled? Many people have the capacity to do more or contribute differently. Sometimes organizations and managers don’t commit the time to develop or recognize potential. So, do it yourself. Take an honest look at what you have achieved and what you would love to achieve in the future. Maybe talk it over with an objective coach or confidant.
One of the keys to a happy career is when your potential is fulfilled. Don’t settle for job that extracts energy, wisdom, and commitment from you, but doesn’t repay you with expanding horizons and fulfilling opportunities.
- Your worth
There are many studies which suggest compensation isn’t a big reason for career change. But if you aren’t being compensated well for your contribution, you need to consider your value. Some employers don’t study the impact of their compensation strategies on employees and let them fall behind in competitiveness. If you are adding considerable value to your company in addition to your core role, maybe you are worth more to someone else. If you find yourself adding strategic innovation, taking on extra projects, or tackling issues that more senior colleagues would find challenging, maybe a change is warranted. Companies who fail to recognize the value of their employees as critical contributors are likely to lose them.
- Your circumstances
Changes in life’s circumstances can often trigger thoughts about career change. Whether those changes are domestic, financial, or geographical, you should seriously consider your career options. It might be the thought of saving more, having more flexibility, or being warmer all year round, that triggers the thought of a change.
Taking stock of how your job fits your lifestyle is a good enough reason to consider if there is a better choice than just sticking with your current role.
- Your future
We spend so many hours at work. And people are increasingly working until they are older. Think about the duration of your working life when you are considering your career. Maybe a change will provide you better options in the future. Don’t get stuck in a rut without having the courage to plan for a great future for yourself. You are the one who needs to take control of this – others don’t care as much about your future as you should.
A career is more than a job. It’s how you spend eight or more hours a day doing something that should mean something significant to you and others. Take the opportunity to reflect on your career and then have the courage to consider a change that you will look back on as a smart choice!