IS IT TIME FOR A CAREER CHANGE?
American attitudes about work have changed considerably over the last 50 years. Baby Boomers and their parents, for example, were more likely to stay in the same job regardless of how they felt about it. For this group, feeling bored, burned out, and unfulfilled was the price of financial survival. For this group, one’s job always took priority over family life and personal ambitions. Today, we know that these workers paid a high price for their unquestioning loyalty and shoulder-to-the-grindstone sacrifices including depression, serious health problems, and alienation from their children.
Today, American workers expect more than a paycheck at work. They want work-life balance. They want a career that delivers fulfillment and enough free time for family and personal pursuits. If they can’t find these qualities in a given job, they are more likely than older generations to change jobs. If one career is a dead end, they’re more willing to consider another.
Knowing the right time to change
So, how do you know when it’s time to change your career? Do you regularly come home from work angry and depressed? Are you losing sleep over your job? Are you becoming more and more of a stranger to your children? Are you clashing with your coworkers or your boss? Are you complaining every day to your spouse and your friends about problems at work? Does the thought of doing this same kind of work, year after year, seem unbearable? If so, you definitely need a change.
Choosing a new career
Unfortunately, many people who want to change careers don’t know what kind of work they would prefer. After all, if you’ve been doing the same kind of job for years, all you know is what you see. It’s hard to imagine any other world than the one you’re in now. Therefore, experts suggest that, before you jump into the first new opportunity you encounter, research your choices. Talk to friends, family, and associates about their jobs. Learn what they do and how they feel about it. Other research ideas include taking short courses, working part-time for a prospective employer, and talking with a like those at Carolina Career College (CCC).
Recognizing your passion
Making fundamental changes in life typically requires a consensus of the head and heart. After you’ve researched the details, experts suggest that you take an intuitive look at your own feelings. For example, many of those who have transitioned into computer-related jobs from other careers report that they’ve always had a “passion” for computers. Discovering your passions, the activities that consistently make you feel happy and inspired, will help you identify what occupation is best for you, even if you don’t know what specific job you might want.
Facing the challenges
Now comes the hard part… actually making the change. For most people, practical and emotional obstacles stand in the way. For example, there are money issues. How are you going to pay the bills if you drop your current career in order to pursue another? But even more constricting are questions of self-doubt that a typical career changer must address.
Does my lack of success in my current career make me a failure? What if I try, and the new thing doesn’t work out either? Does it make sense to waste all the time I’ve already spent in the job I have now? Am I making a mistake by attempting change at this point in my life? Do I really have the strength and brain power to start over?
This kind of internal questioning is natural, since making any type of change can be frightening. Changing something as fundamental and important as a career can be terrifying.
Succeeding despite your fears
The world can, perhaps, be divided into two groups: those who have the courage and determination to make positive changes in their lives and those who do not.
Jeff, a CCC graduate explains his perspective this way:
“’Can’t’ is a word that should be excluded from your entire vocabulary from the time you decide you’re going to do anything until your heart stops beating.”
Uriah, a returning veteran and CCC graduate who struggled with his transition to civilian life and his coursework, saluted the CCC staff for helping him make the change he wanted:
“It definitely changed my life coming here. It gave me a new outlook on life.”
We can help
At CCC, we realize that making a career change can be overwhelming. You’re not alone. We’ve helped many others just like you to evaluate their vocational options and successfully transition into new technology careers. We promise to provide professional, objective information, and personal support, regardless of what change you finally decide to make.
Ready to take the first step toward your new career? Contact us today to get started.