Are You at a Career Crossroads?

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Photo courtesy of crossroads.soceco.uci.edu

by Rey Beltran | www.executivechronicles.com

At some point in your life, you will find yourself at a career crossroads, asking yourself if you have grown tired with your current job. Or are the pressures from the higher-ups worth the trouble. Or maybe, you just need a change of environment. Whatever the case may be, and you find yourself thinking of a career change—a small one or a major shift—here are some pointers to consider before making that big decision.

Know what you want, and be clear about it.

Ask yourself what you need to change. Be specific of what you want in your next career. Make a list of what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable. From proximity of your work to the salary you want, to the benefits that will matter the most. Most of all, make sure that you are happy with the list you’ve made so you will not replicate your current situation on your next job.

Also, by doing the list, you might realize that there might still be something for you to continue in your current work. Maybe you can explore some things that might make you change your mind about going, like flexible working hours or more responsibilities for you to sink your teeth into. Discuss your options with someone else so you can arrive at a decision that’s based on a sound judgment rather than on an emotional response to your current situation.

Fill in the gaps.

When you change careers, chances are there are those who are already working in the roles you’re interested in. Be sure to acquire similar skill sets (if you don’t have them yet) and knowledge prior to making that career move. Be on the lookout for training and development of your skills so that you can still be relevant to the next employer.

Be on the look out for in-house opportunities.

Many HR departments offer in-house opportunities to company employees before posting it publicly in the classified ads. Check the company bulletin board regularly for internal vacancies. Also, you might want to volunteer for projects that have a bearing on your future career. If that’s the case, grab it and add it to your resume.

Think career pathing more than career changing.

Although future employers might flag you for changing careers so often, you can position your career as a logical progression rather than a whimsical change. You can say that you have discovered many things you are good at and those weren’t a fit anymore so you have to find a way to grow. Show your learnings and experiences, focus on your skills that are relevant to the employer, highlighting it as seeds of your logical progression in terms of career pathing. If you can mirror these skills on your CV, the better off you are.

Be in the know.

Have a nose for news on what the current trends that significant to your new work. Join relevant online groups and make note of the buzz words they use. The image of being in the know is far better than an image of not having a clue at all.

And that, in a nutshell, is how you cope when you hit a career crossroads. Godspeed on your new career!