Introduction: I have committed myself to create a “journey in 2017” post at the end of each month throughout this year. This collection of content is to share my journey of trying different things that are aimed to contribute to my wellness and lifestyle as a whole. It can be something small or big, I am just challenging myself to be conscious and aware of the new things I am trying out.
At the start of 2017, I was toying with the idea of a career change. At first, all I could think of was the guilt. As you may know, I was working in a digital marketing agency, and we were still building it from the ground, so the team was very small. Hence, we were a tight bunch. Deciding to leave that job always feel like breakup. With the company, with my responsibilities, with my boss (who become a good friend too), and I felt awfully guilty for even thinking of leaving it.
But after putting emotions aside, I finally made the decision to leave the job on the quest to grow and explore, and also work towards my career goals. And I am delighted to say, as of mid-March this year, I am working in a different company with a new position (however, it is still in the same field) and indeed I am very happy with my decision.
Because I was going through a lot of reflection and thoughts while deciding if I should make this career change, I thought of sharing with you the factors to consider when you are deciding on a job transition or career move.
1. Dig deep into your reason of leaving the job.
It is very important to know why you want to leave your current job. Is it the company culture that you do not find yourself fitting in? Is it the job scope that you do not enjoy? Or do you find the hours to be ridiculous? Find the main reason and reflect on it. Is it something that all jobs must endure with? Or is it a reason that will affect your career growth?
You can list down a few of them, and continue to monitor if those problems are still something that bothers you. If it something that might be negotiable like your pay or working hours, perhaps you can discuss it with your boss as well before making the decision. This process will also give you a better idea of what sort of job you are looking for, instead of diving right into the same situation again.
2. Explore your options.
If you are at that point of leaving your job, but worried that this might be the best shot you can get at the moment, there is no harm in exploring your options. Go onto job platforms and see if your skills and experience can help you score a job that is more fitted for your career goals. You can also browse through the positions and job scopes, you might find something that interest you which you can imagine yourself doing.
Take it as a “window shopping” process, no commitments needed. Just look through the options, and if you find any jobs that you are interested in, you can always contact them to find out more about the position, or send in your resume for an interview directly.
If you are into the creative field and is looking for jobs other than the typical corporate ones, WOBB and Jobstore has a wide range of job vacancies for a more casual and fun working environment. (I actually found most inspiration from WOBB, and even found my current job through that platform).
3. Don’t hold back.
I find it very important to put on a thick face and just apply for any jobs that interest you. Do not feel like you are inadequate to join the company because of how prestigious is it, or incapable of the position because you are still young or inexperienced. If it is something you really want to do, and believe that you have the skills for the job and the learning capacity to get the work done, go ahead and send in your resume and write in your application.
You never know, they might just be looking for someone exactly like you. Always remember this, and I love this quote from Marie Forleo, the world needs that special gift that only you have.
4. Your career goals
No matter what, your career goals should be the top priority when you are deciding to make a career change. Ultimately, your job should bring you closer to your career goals, or at least help you develop and grow towards your aspirations.
If you are still unsure where you want to be in your career path, then you should be exploring jobs that fulfils you and make you feel accomplished, or at least make you feel you are learning and improving your skills set. If you are feeling stagnant or dread getting to work everyday, and cannot wait for each work day to end, you might need to consider exploring something that you would at least enjoy 70% of the time.
At this point, it is also important for you to note that there will be no job that makes you happy ALL the time. There will be days when you feel like choosing sleep over going to work, or you feel drained and burnout or frustrated. We are humans after all, not robots. But if you are at least happy 70% of the time, you are already in a great place.
5. Trust your gut feeling.
Despite all the rational decision making, sometimes you just need to trust your gut feelings. If you feel excited and relieved for making this career change, then you should just take the leap and do it. However, if you keep having an uneasy or weighted feeling, maybe you need to reconsider.
But it is also important to note that stepping out of your comfort zone might seem intimidating at first, so you might feel slightly afraid. Take a few days, or weeks if that’s what you need and then decide. No matter how scary it seems, if a little voice tells you to go for it, never hold back. And if you are afraid, ask yourself this, “what is the worse that can happen?” If nothing is as bad as feeling stuck wherever you are, then it is time you make a career change.
I am no expert in career or job seeking, and I am just sharing with you what helped me during my job transition decision. I hope these tips are at least slightly helpful to you and help you gain some insights as you decide on your next career move. Always remember, you can always choose to shine wherever you go and whatever you do. So once you made a decision to be in a position, strive and do your level best at it and you will do great things. I believe in you, and you should to.
If you are going through making decisions for a career change, do share it in the comments below and we can provide each other with support and encouragement.