Choosing Change

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Q: Several years ago I accepted an exciting job with a small company. The company has grown tremendously since then. I have a nice salary and my life has definitely taken a good financial turn. I have at least 10 more years before I can stop working a full-time job. My career is definitely not over, [however], I do feel that it is time for a change. Any suggestions you might have regarding seeking a new direction for a career would be most appreciated. Everyone I talk to seems to feel that I should just stay put.
–T. Rivera, Washington, D.C.

A: Impressive. You are one of the rare people with both the self-awareness to recognize a desire for change and the courage to acknowledge and embrace it. Fear of change keeps most folk in the dark and in denial, which is why, too often, we don’t properly value the “pursuit of happiness” as a life-planning strategy.

First, take some time to evaluate your talents and values, both in your professional and personal lives. What do you like or dislike? What’s changed? Ask people who know you well what they see in you.

Then, start exploring career options that might appeal to you. Consider all aspects of the work, not just the obvious or appealing ones. Pay close attention to the financial implications of each option. Be realistic about how much you’ll need to live comfortably. Also, don’t neglect you current job, which has been rewarding to you, if not totally satisfying, as you consider new options.

You’ll find some great advice and resources by doing a search at using the term “changing careers.”