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Is it the Right Time for a Career Change?

Aha moment: Be proactive about your career change

Do you assume that when the time is right for a new career you’ll just know it?

Maybe you figure you’ll feel that itch to move on or that it will be crystal clear in some other way.

But right now, you’re comfortable.

Perhaps you’ve had some offers but didn’t take the opportunities too seriously because, hey, you’re content.

If you’re complacent, there is no need to think about a career change, right?

If that’s where you are, you’re not alone.

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Most people don’t choose to find a new position unless there’s a catalyst, such as a new boss, a relocation, or even a firing.

But you can, and should, be proactive about it.

It may be that your time has come and you just don’t know it yet.

How do you know the time is right?

It may be time to stop and assess where you’re at to determine if a career change is the right move.

Here are some clues that it’s time to make a move:

  • Pay attention to the people who are being hired below you. Look at what kinds of skills they have. Are they different than the skills you possess? If the recent hires being brought into the company have a new set of skills or a fresh perspective, this could be an indicator that a shift is happening. Even though you’re a seasoned employee, an influx of people with a different skillset could be a sign that your role could be phased out at some point. The fact may be that the company is going after a new type of worker.
  • You do your job on autopilot. It’s possible to be in a well-paid rut. Going through several business cycles with no jarring change, no opportunities to sharpen your skills, and no problems to resolve are signs that your position may be flatlining. You never want to be in a position where you aren’t being challenged enough to keep your skills honed.
  • Shake-ups at the top. New leadership isn’t always a harbinger of job disaster, but you need to ask yourself some questions. Pay close attention to the culture that is created by the new leader. What skills do they value? Are your skills relevant? Are you still a good fit? If the answer is no, it’s quite possible your best bet is to make a career change.
  • You no longer have a voice. Sometimes shifts like this can happen subtly over time, without notice, until one day you realize that your ideas aren’t being heard and that you’re being overlooked. This is also true for a situation in which you’re doing extra work and not being compensated or recognized for it. If a talk with the leadership doesn’t seem to make a difference, consider it a sign that a change is in order.
  • Your work-life is taking precedence. It isn’t always immediately obvious that you’re spending more and more time at work and less with your family and friends or on a hobby or activities you enjoy. Being unable to stay in your current position and keep a healthy balance may be an indication that it’s time to make a switch.

Being comfortable isn’t always a bad thing, but it may be an indicator that it’s time for a change.

Keep your skills sharp and stay valuable and in a position you love.

If you do think it’s time to look into a new career, consider what expertise you have that you can leverage somewhere else.

How have you stayed relevant in your position?

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