In 2021, we began to hear a lot of talk around the great resignation.
After the coronavirus has kept most people indoors to explore himself and their desires without the impact of the hard traffic to and from the office, pressures to look good for your boss or coworkers and more time… alone, many people had a momen to re-evaluate their life and came to the decision that they were ready for a career shift.
Maybe they wanted to take out the time to learn a different skill or trade to get a higher pay.
The slow down helped others realize that they were working towards goals of climbing a ladder that they didn’t want to reach the top of.
Finally, the demand just got higher in certain industries giving some employees leverage to leave their jobs for greater pay and better work life balance opportunities.
I found myself feeling a little bit of all three of these positions - I was less-than-enamored with my job, realizing that I loved the time spent with family and had enough savings to slow down, and also there was so much demand for my skills that I was confident I could leave anytime and find a new job.
So, yes, I considered joining the great resignation…
… I didn’t ultimately resign, but I knew many who did.
In this article, I want to talk about how I came to that choice and a few ways you can identify if you should make a career change for yourself.
Why Career Change is hard
In my case, I considered my team, my relationship with leadership and the fast growth that I’d seen in my career so far. I built a strong relationship with my boss, who was smart, kind and had become a friend over five years of working closely together.
I’d gotten to know a few key members of the leadership team that rooted for me and helped me along my journey, making connections to help me grow and navigate my career. And… gosh, I adored my team.
But I was itching to explore something new. To shake up my life and add some fun to the mix.
Career change is change… and change itself is difficult to do.
Many people become comfortable where they already are, hiring managers in a new position may not immediately see the value you add to an organization because you’re leaving your track record behind you at the old company, let’s be honest, some of these 10-step interview processes make interviewing for new roles a barrier to making the change.
Is Switching Careers Worth It?
At the end of the day, we’re all here for a short amount of time, if you’re thinking about making a change (especially if you’ve been thinking about making a change for a long time) then it’ll likely be worth it to try something new.
How To Know What Career Change to Make
My favorite way to begin any life change is by creating a vision board. This process will help you to clear your mind, take a step back from the day-to-day annoyances of your current workplace to explore the good, the bad and the true desires.
That’s all we really want at the end of the day, right?
To feel like we’re putting ourselves first and pursuing what feels right.
Brainstorm what you want out of your career
The first thing to explore is your desires. What do you want?
Ask yourself this general question and see what your immediate answers are. The reality is that you know exactly what you want to do with your time and with your life, but we’ve become so accustomed to saying yes to others, climbing the ladder for progress's sake that it can be hard to hear the truth that lives within.
How you want to feel in your career
When considering my career change, I knew there was a challenge, a mountain I was looking for that I just wasn’t getting from my role. I’d been in the same type of role for so long that my job was… too easy.
I'm driven by difficulty. I find joy in doing hard things. And I wasn’t getting that from my role.
How do you want to feel at work?
Answer that question as honestly as possible.
What do you do well (and want to continue doing)
I’ve always felt confident and comfortable speaking in front of a group. Even when I make a mistake or don’t know an answer, I feel good knowing that I always come from a place of calm, kindness and collaboration that we (as a team) can figure out anything.
It feels good for me to make both one-on-one connections and speak in front of a large group. That translates well to leading teams and relationship building.
When you’re thinking about making a career change, answer this question for yourself: What do you do well - and would want to continue doing?
Sometimes you do something well, but HATE it!
For example, I’m really good at execution. It’s one of my core strengths. But I’ve always dreamed of helping other people execute as my career grew. So, while I know that I have those strengths, I no longer want to do that - so I focus on my natural relationship strengths as I lean into the next phase of my career.
A good book to read on this is StrengthsFinder. I review my strengths once every few years to make sure I’m living in alignment with what empowers me and allows me to grow quickly.
What you don’t do well (and want to remove)
Be honest with yourself, here. Nobody is good at everything.
I, personally, could never be a designer because I don’t like to make things pretty. I get excited about the information, the findings, the work…
… and then when it’s time to make things pretty, I’ll take hours because my eyes glaze over and I want to fall asleep.
When you’re preparing your career vision board, it’s important to think about what you don’t do well.
While you won’t be designing your vision board around what you don’t do well. You do want to honestly consider what you have no interest in doing so you can focus your time, energy and attention on what matters most.
When you’re done with the brainstorming and honesty session, here’s a post on how to create your vision board. And if you want some inspiration on your journey, here’s the vision board I created when I was working on my career.
Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t end up leaving my job.
Actually, many of my team members (including my boss that I adored) left the company and my job became 10 times harder. I had to learn to delegate better, to recruit, train and manage my team, to maintain a solid relationship with our client and to deliver - always deliver - no matter what the internal situation was.
… felt so freakin’ good!
I was frustrated, but energized, I was learning and was challenged daily to rise to the occasion. It was everything I wanted.
So the great resignation hit home for me… but it didn’t hit me. And I’m ultimately glad I didn’t leave because I wouldn’t have had that experience that prepared me to be a better leader.
Know that the best thing about creating a vision for your new career is that it will clarify what matters to you for your role and for your life. Making a career change doesn’t always mean leaving your company or finding a whole new career 100% different from the one you had previously.
Sometimes it means finding the joy in your current role and turning the job you have into the career you always wanted.
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About the author
Cyrene is a fun and accomplished workshop facilitator, learning and development guru and Human Resources professional. Being at the helm of Thrive Lounge has been a long-time dream. Through vision board workshops she plans to accomplish two-way learning. Sharing her vast years of knowledge to motivate and encourage others; while simultaneously getting the reward of great energy, ideas and questions to ponder back from each group. A super win-win. Please join our Thrive Lounge community so you too can benefit!