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Is it time to change your career?

By: Katreena Hayes-Wood

Have you been at the same old job for several years and don’t feel any further along the career happiness highway than when you started? You might even feel further behind than when you began. In my book, Help! I Need A Job I say repeatedly, “If you don’t love what you do, change what you do.” Of course, it’s much easier said than done. Job changing is on the top of the list of the most stressful things to do, and with good reason.

Most people are afraid to change careers due to financial obligations, even when they know they would be happier in a new career, or in a different occupation. It takes a huge leap of faith to make significant job changes and it seems the older we get the harder it is to make those changes. Remember though, it’s never too late to start a new career!

If you’re seriously considering making an all-out profession change, by either staying with your current company, or opting to go with a new company/industry, and don’t know quite where to start, begin by making a list of the things you love to do. What do you do, that when you do that thing you lose track of time? Add that to your list of want-2’s because that’s where your answer starts.

Commit to sitting down and taking an hour or so to really assess your skills and think about your career interests. In chapter five of my book I have a thorough self-assessment, the forms I use can be printed from our website. You might also want to consider the following questions.

Questions to consider:
1. Do you want to continue working for your current employer?
2. If so, in which capacity?
3. If so, which career path/promotional opportunities are available to you?
4. If not, what type of company or industry interests you?
5. What salary do you want (or need) to earn?
6. Do you want an opportunity with more responsibility?
7. If so, how much and at which level?
8. Do you want to have more influence over people with whom you work?
9. What type of boss do you want? What type of boss do you want to be?
10. Do you want more family or leisure time?
11. Do you want a full-time, part-time, consultant, or flextime opportunity?
12. What perks or benefits are important to you?
13. What skills do you possess that will allow you to do what you want to do?
14. What skills do you need to obtain/acquire to do what you want to do?
15. In which type of environment do you prefer working? (i.e., alone, with others, on a team; day-time hours, graveyard shift; standing/moving or sitting at a desk; dressing in a uniform, casual, or professional attire.)

There are other, career assessment tools, such as the DISC® Successful Career Planning or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that explore even further your behavioral style and personality and how they relate to your career interests. I’ve listed two links that I have found very helpful:
1. www.striveforstudents.com
2. www.advisorteam.com
It’s not easy making big career changes, but most people that do are happy once they’ve made the change. As you begin your trek to discovering a new career, trust your instincts, they will always point you in the direction ideally suited for you. Most importantly, remember; if you don’t love what you do, you can change what you do!

Express Network
The Southwest Valley Express Network of the American Business Women’s Association.

To learn more about the American Business Women’s Association you may visit their website at:
"In the big sandbox of life it really boils down to this: It's not the size of your sand castle but the way in which you shovel the sand that determines your success. Build your life on Purpose! A thought has no power over you until you believe it! You are the choice maker in your life and you get to decide which thoughts to believe or not to believe. You get to decide WHO YOU ARE!"

Katreena Hayes-Wood
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