Are You Ready For A Career Change?

By: Katie Roberts


According to US Career Consultant, Laurence G Boldt, author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living, doing the work you love will be the ‘social movement for the twenty-first century’.

We are no longer looking for a job that ‘just pays the bills’ ­ the average person is looking for fulfillment in their work - something to look forward to each day.

So how do you know if it’s time for a career change?

Here are six signs you’re ready to move on:

  1. You spend your whole week planning what you’re going to do on the weekend.
  2. You check your watch every half an hour, counting down the minutes until the end of the day.
  3. You spend all day on the internet organising your next vacation, looking up new jobs and emailing friends useless jokes, articles and chain letters.
  4. You take regular coffee breaks throughout the day (even though you hate coffee)
  5. You spend every night complaining to your partner/family/flat mate about your boring job, mean boss and nasty colleagues.
  6. You take all your annual leave and sick leave by February.
If this sounds like you, it is time for a career change.

Try this activity:
  1. Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle to form two columns. In one column, write down all the aspects of your job that you enjoy and in the other column, write down all the aspects of your job that you don’t enjoy.
How do the two columns compare?
  1. Draw a picture of your ideal job. (use stick figures if you need to)
How closely does this resemble your current job?

If you are considering starting your own business, and are unsure what type of business to start, ask yourself these questions:
  1. What do you enjoy doing the most?

  2. How can you create value for other people so that they will invest in it?

  3. How can you reach a lot of people?

  4. How can you make it profitable?
Key points to consider before making a career change
  1. Changing careers may require you to return to full time study. It is important to consider the financial implications of this as you may have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle as a full time employee. Consider working part time while you are studying to keep the money coming in. Also, be aware that you may have to accept a lower salary in your new job when you first enter the industry.

  2. Approach companies for work experience in your chosen field before making a career change. This will help you determine whether it is the right career for you and give you a realistic understanding of the work environment and the day-to-day tasks involved in the job.

  3. Ensure you change careers for the right reasons. Don’t change careers purely because of the potential income you might make in that industry. Find something that you are passionate about and then research the industry to determine if it’s the right career for you.

  4. Consider speaking to a professional Career Counselor and taking an online career test before making a career change. This will help you determine whether the career you are considering is suited to your interests, strengths and personality.

© 2006 by Katie Roberts. All Rights Reserved.

Katie Roberts is a professional Career Counselor and member of the Australian Association of Career Counselors. She is President and Founder of www.Groper.com.au, a web-based career test that identifies your ideal career and area of study.