For many of us, there comes a time in our careers when it feels like a change is required. But, it is important to consider your reasons for wishing to change careers to decide if it is the right move for you. So, to help you choose your direction, Tom Bunkham, recruitment expert from reed.co.uk, shares his tips for what to do if you are at a ‘career crossroads’.
First of all decide if you do need to change careers
Before you embark on a change of career, it is important to first of all understand if you are ready to make a change. Switching careers can be a tough decision, especially if you've already established yourself in your current position. Change can be unpredictable and although starting afresh may seem overwhelming, the long term benefits can often make the change worthwhile.
Do you like your job, but do not feel challenged enough?
Sometimes, the company and environment are right, but your career just needs a little push. Your job can become repetitive if you don’t feel challenged. There’s nothing wrong with knowing a job inside out, but if you’ve lost the passion for your profession, your performance will also start to slip.
One great way to address this is to study for a qualification. Not only can a course help to boost your confidence and interest in your current role, but it can help you advance your career, whether you're just starting out or looking to move up to the next step. And, if the thought of promotion doesn’t motivate you, that may be a sign it’s time to move on.
Do you feel underappreciated?
If you don't feel as though you're being recognised for the work you've been doing, you may feel that it’s time to move on.
Recognition comes in a number of different forms. Sometimes it’s as simple as being given credit for a job well done. It could also come from career progression, promotion or from financial rewards. If you’ve been at the company for a number of years, it might be time to ask for a pay rise.
This can be a tricky topic to bring up with your manager. However, if you approach it in the right way then it needn't be a problem. Ask for the chance to sit down and discuss your concerns and, before the meeting, make sure you've prepared the reasons why you feel you deserve a raise.
You should consider major achievements whilst with the company, the skills you bring to the job and your loyalty to the business. Money isn’t everything, but it’s important to make sure that you’re getting paid for the work you’re doing. If not, it may be time to move on.
Other factors to consider
There are many good reasons for re-evaluating your career. However, you have to make sure you're doing so for the right reasons. If you’re unhappy, it’s vital to consider if this is simply work related.
Ask yourself some tough questions. Are you bored with other aspects of your life? Are you focusing the blame on your work? Can you say for sure if a change of career would make you happier?
Speak to someone else for advice. Is there anyone you know who's made a career transition themselves?
Unfortunately, we’re not all lucky enough to do something we love as a career. However, job satisfaction can be vitally important. If the only reason you’re staying with an employer is because you’re comfortable, this might not be reason enough.
Whatever the reasons for evaluating your career, remember: you always have a choice. There's never only one turning at a crossroads. Consider what you're passionate about, what you’re capable of, and what will be financially viable for you. And, if your current situation still isn't right, then it may be time to make the move. Keep an open mind and remember: there’s nothing wrong with checking what else is available.
For more advice on CVs and cover letters visit www.reed.co.uk/career-advice.
Click here to find out more about Tom Bunkham