Sunday, June 12, 2011

Top 10 Reasons You Need a New Career ...

  1. You use the words "my cubicle" at some point during the day
  2. The only way to pay your bills is if you would draw an extra zero at the end of your
  3. Your ability to up-sell table #4 an extra order of appetizers determines if you'll have
    enough money to go out on Friday night
  4. No one has heard of the products/services you are selling
  5. Having to be stuck at the same desk all-day-long hasn't improved your "beach figure."
  6. You have come to the realization that being unemployed in real life isn't nearly as cool as the characters on Beverly Hills 90210
    made it look on TV
  7. You can see that business is lousy and you are afraid of getting laid off
  8. There is no opportunity for promotion from within
  9. You have been passed over for a promotion
  10. You are at work right now and you are obviously looking for a job!  FYI, trolling for a new job while on the clock isn't just dangerous; it's inappropriate.
The average person can expect to change careers at least a dozen  times in his or her lifetime. One reason for all these career changes is that people often don't make informed choices. While making an informed decision regarding your career is a good way to help insure that the career you choose is right for you, it doesn't guarantee it. Even if you follow all the prescribed steps and choose a career that is right for you, it may not remain your best choice forever. Here are some reasons to consider leaving your current career for a new one.

You Should Consider a Career Change If ...

  • Your Family Circumstances Have Changed
  • The Job Outlook in Your Field Has Worsened
  • You Are Experiencing Job Burnout
  • Your Job is Too Stressful
  • You Find Your Work Boring
  • You Want to Earn More Money
Once you have made the decision to change careers, do the following:
  1. Construct a SMART career change plan.  Despite what most “experts” on goal achievement tell you, S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based) are NOT sufficient.  You must make them S.M.A.R.T.E.R. by including the “E.R.” (exciting reasons) why you want to achieve the goal.  When you can identify what benefits you or others will receive as a result of you achieving your goal, you can achieve anything.  Without this motivation, you are much more likely to quit. 
  2.  Include short-term goals in your overall career change plan.  Don’t just set goals for the year; break down your annual goals into monthly, weekly, and/or daily goals.  For example, if one goal for the year is to exercise at a high-intensity on at least 250 days, that means exercising 20 times a month, i.e. 5 times a week.   By focusing on 1 week at a time, annual goal becomes much more achievable. Plan the work and work the plan!
  3. Consider the financial ramifications of your decision with close attention to your basic living expenses, and your ROI/opportunity costs of re-training, if you are going that route
  4. Identify a team of people who can and will support you emotionally and/or professionally during your transition to your new career.  Make sure you know what is involved in achieving your goal, or it will not matter how hard you work.  Be careful who you take advice from; everyone loves to give advice, and most people have no idea what they are talking about!  Find someone who has already done what you want to do, and ask them how he/she did it.  Supplement their tips by reading, studying, and implementing tips from at least 1 well-respected book or course on how to accomplish the goal you are trying to achieve.
  5. Track your accomplishments. Set up some sort of system to track your effort each day, week, and month.  Many people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January because they have not seen the progress they had unrealistically expected by that time.  By measuring your effort, you will have proof that you are trying your best (or proof that you need to step up your game), you will be more likely to stay focused, and you will build momentum, a key to achieving any goal.
Any kind of change takes effort.  Hint: Focus on effort first, and have faith that progress will show up in time.  Small steps add up very quickly.  Be patient with yourself, and reward yourself along the way based on your effort, not on your progress, not matter what your goal!

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at