Money & Career

Is it time for a career change?

By: Louise Andre

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

Money & Career

Is it time for a career change?

By: Louise Andre

Are you starting to lose motivation for the work you do? If you are, perhaps a career change is in order. Switching career paths in this day and age is not that uncommon. Eileen Dooley, a Calgary-based certified career coach, spoke with us and shared her thoughts on making a career change.

When does motivation at work stop?
According to Dooley, a lot of our careers happen by accident. We go to school, get a job and stay with it for a long time. “A lot of time people become less motivated in their career because they haven’t taken a solid look at what it is that they want to do," she says. "They keep rolling with it and there comes a time when they don’t want to get out of bed and go to work because what they’re doing isn’t thrilling them anymore." Furthermore, she notes that it takes courage to recognize this fact and make the change.

I’ve decided to switch careers. What should I do?

Before switching careers, you have to discover why you’re unhappy with the one you have now. A good place to start may be with switching companies in the same field. “Maybe you work as a project manager in one type of organization, but you’re good at project management at a different type of organization – It’s not really a career change; it’s a job change,” Dooley says, adding that you may want to go from a big company to a small company because it might mean less stress. Or maybe you want to switch from a small company to a big one because you’re eager to challenge yourself.

If you don’t want to do a compete turnaround, ask yourself if there’s an area of the job you have now that you could specialize in. Look close and carefully at where your skills lie in comparison to what you like to do. Dooley says you have to find a good balance between the two.

Can a career change be too extreme?
Dooley admits she has seen people change to various of different careers. She says you may have to get additional training or education, but that you have to do what truly makes you happy. Dooley says she's worked with people who have taken big pay cuts and have never looked back because they love what they're doing.

No job is worth compromising your health

At the end of the day, you have to be aware of any health issues that could be a direct result of your job. If you’re on stress or anxiety medications because of work, it might be time to consider a career or job change. Dooleys says she has seen people get off of their anxiety medication after losing their job – this is definitely a good thing.

Things to remember
You’re supposed to like your job, so it’s very important that you find the right fit. “If an employer sees a three-month gap in your resume and asks you what happened, be able to explain it,” Dooley says. If you’ve been laid off or quit your previous job and are looking for new career opportunities, be open with your employer. There may be a gap in your resume during which you finished school or quit your job and travelled.

• Don't feel like changing careers is a mistake. Some people simply don't grow into their roles.
• Stop looking at job titles when making a career change and instead look at the skills you have.
• Talk to people who have the job or career you want or would like to know more about. They can tell you how they got to where they are and what skills they have.
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Is it time for a career change?

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