Usually there’s a combination of signs and a set of reflections, challenges and frustrations that signal it’s time for change.
Do any of these resonate for you?
This group is categorised by feeling burnt out and feeling like you can’t keep up with the pace of life anymore. You want to get off the treadmill and catch your breath but you can’t work out what’s next until you figure out a way to slow down.
A Nagging Feeling
The group is categorised by having no idea what to do next but having a real sense that something has to change. You want to leap into something new but are fearful of making the wrong move and giving up a job that pays the bills and is adequate, even though you don’t love it.
A Dream Deferred
This group is categorised by always wanting to do something else - return to school, live in another country, work with animals, tap into your creative side. You’ve hit a time in your life where it begins to feel possible. It’s a second chance.
The End of the Line
This group is categorised by having been laid off, the business has dried up, and the field or technology has changed so significantly that now you can see you could become obsolete. At this point it’s just as hard to keep doing what you’ve always done than it would be to try something new. This is very common as recession and the GFC have decimated entire industries and we are witnessing a shift from manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy.
This group is often categorised by a loss, a death of someone dear, a divorce, or by children leaving home (an empty nest). These kinds of events can be a catalyst for a change.
A Crisis of Conscience
This group is categorised by the feeling that you can’t continue what you’ve been doing any longer. It could come to a head and hit you suddenly or be like a slow burn over an extended period. You know there must be a better way to use your talents and earn a living.
Too Long in the Same Job
This group is categorised by being in the same job for over 20 years, and while you’re okay with the familiarity of being in the same job or one organisation, you are demotivated when your job becomes repetitive and you are not learning or growing.
The Side Benefits are Too Good
This group is categorised by staying in an unsatisfying job by finding excuses for avoiding the real issues and relying on the side benefits to keep you in the job. The side benefits could range from the salary package, to access to a gym, to the nice morning teas.
So how do you know you’re ready?
Do any of these scenarios resonate for you? Acknowledge this and let it help and drive you to the next stage.
- You may find that while any or all of the drivers may be relevant for you, in the end:
- You are just in the wrong place, e.g. the management /culture has changed in your place of employment and you need a new role in the same industry;
- The industry has changed and you need to think about a change out of it but still use the same skill set;
- You want to do something very different using different skills, talents and abilities; You want to reinvent yourself;
- You may want to explore a number of interests simultaneously.
Want more reading?
How do you know when its time to change?
There are also a number of references that you might be interested in following up as additional reading.
- Marci Alboher The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Difference in the Second Half of Life
- Talane Miedaner Coach Yourself to a New Career , 7 Steps to Reinventing Your Professional
- Dr Ken Robinson The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
- and of course... my book Sweet Spot Careers