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Career or Job Change – How Do You Decide?

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There comes a time in your life when work seems to suck more often than not, and that’s when you start to think about the need for change. Or maybe the job is not so bad, but the promotions and salary increases have just not happened. The decision is straightforward for some people – they know what the problem is and how it needs to be solved; a change of location, a change of jobs, or just a change of schedule does them a world of good and all is well again. For others however, the dilemma persists – they’re unsure if a change of scenery will do them good or if they have to go a step further and find a different career altogether. If you’re sailing in the same boat, here are a few pointers to help you decide between a change of jobs and a change of careers.

  • Ask yourself if it’s the nature of the job you’re unsatisfied with or if it’s your workplace/coworkers/boss you’re unhappy with. If it’s the former, then it’s best to change careers, and if it’s the latter, it’s time to look for a new job.
  • If you are willing to make the effort to learn new skills and pursue an additional degree, and if you can afford the money and the time, then consider changing careers.
  • Career changes work when you choose your new profession based on skills you already have or which can be honed in order to support a career – for example, if your nine-to-five desk job is not your cup of tea and if you have a passion for writing, try looking for a job in the journalism industry or try your hand at writing a book.
  • Job changes must be handled carefully – don’t quit your old job until your position at the new one is confirmed; choose a new job that does not have the problems you faced at your old one; and make an effort to enjoy your new job.

When choosing a new career, remember the following:

  • Go with something that you’re interested in and which is financially viable; you may want to be an artist, but if it’s not going to bring you a steady salary, the pressures of daily life soon make turn your passion into a drudgery. It’s best to find middle ground between doing something you love and something that makes you good money.
  • If you have to spend all the money you’ve saved and a few more years gaining an education or new skills in order to change careers, it may not be worth the trouble. Rather, try to find a job within your current profession that does not involve too much of a change on your part, and which is to your liking. For example, if you’re a doctor or in the medical profession and want to get away from the stress, choose a non-clinical career – the transition is easy, and you’re bound to get a job with regular hours and less tension.

On the surface, it looks like changing jobs is a much easier proposition than changing careers; however, situations and circumstances vary from person to person. The final decision rests with you – if you’re not sure which option is better for you, go with a change of job first. It’s the easier change, and if you’re still unsatisfied, then consider changing careers.

Career Tip of the Day: Ready For a Career Change? Check Out These Interesting Jobs

Suggested Reading: The Job Search Navigator: An Expert’s Guide to Getting Hired, Surviving Layoffs, and Building Your Career

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Good luck in your search,


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