When to take the next career step

The decision to change jobs or careers can be motivated by many factors. Perhaps you have decided it’s time to pursue your passion, or you have been offered a dream role. More often than not, the drive to change is prompted by dissatisfaction with one or more elements of an existing job. Consider the steps below to move your career in the right direction.

Determine Your Reasons

To ensure you are changing jobs or careers for the right reasons, it is essential to reflect on your motivations. It may be time to take that next step if you:

  • Are bored, disengaged and unchallenged
  • Are not making use of your talents
  • Have limited opportunities for growth or variety
  • Are under extreme pressure and feel trapped
  • Have no job security or sense of fulfilment
  • Feel consistently stressed, isolated or unsupported
  • Are unsatisfied with your salary and cannot negotiate an improvement
  • Have a workload that deprives you of a ‘life’ outside work

 

Explore Your Options

Once you understand what is driving your decision, you might find that your issues can be resolved without moving. Perhaps you could ask your manager for more (or less) responsibility, request an internal transfer to learn new skills, or simply take a holiday to get the break you need. If you cannot improve your situation within the company, you should consider:

  • A new position in the same industry
  • The same position in a new industry
  • A new position in a new industry

 

Plan Your Move

Planning your move increases the likelihood of a smooth transition. Moving to a position that is more suited to your talents and interests can be fulfilling, however you must also consider the costs. Will the change involve taking a pay cut? Being out of work for a period of time? Accepting a lesser role to begin with?

Scan job advertisements and talk to people in the industry to find out what opportunities are out there and whether your skills can transfer easily. If you have prepared for the change, made the decision for the right reasons and the benefits clearly outweigh the costs, then it is time to make your next move with confidence.