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When to Make a Career Change

Sometimes it is easy to tell when the time for a career change has arrived. If there is a pink slip on your desk and a big box waiting by your cubicle, you have irrefutable proof that it is time to move on. But sometimes the signs of an impending career change are a bit more subtle. If you are no longer excited and enthusiastic about your job, your subconscious might be telling you something. Take the time to listen to that voice inside your head, and start scoping out ways to find a new career you will find more rewarding.

Of course giving up the security of a full time career for the uncertainty of something new is daunting to say the least. If you still have bills to pay, you need to be extremely cautious and make sure a career change will really be in your best interest. If the job market is very tight, you might want to wait until the economy improves and job offers are likely to be more plentiful.

In the meantime, you can start to scope out opportunities in the career field you want to move into. That can include reading up on the career you think is a better fit, including a detailed look at what the job really entails. Some jobs seem glamorous on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper they might not look as great as you thought. The time to find out about those hidden problems is before, not after, you jump ship and abandon your full time job.

You can also take the time to read industry publications and periodicals. You will learn about the job you want, and you will know the right terminology to use in your job interview when you do start your search in earnest.

In the meantime, you can use your time at your current job to look for signs that it is truly time for a career change. If things have begun to stagnate at your current job, you might no longer have the range of opportunities for advancement that you once did. If you find that you are not invited to key meetings, or that important coworkers and managers no longer treat you with respect, your days at your current job could be numbered.

Even if things have not changed markedly at your current job, it might be time for a change if you can no longer muster the energy and enthusiasm to do a superior job every day. If you are just going through the motions, your coworkers, and your boss, will notice eventually. When that happens you could find yourself suddenly forced to make the career change you have been contemplating.

Before that happens, take the time to line things up and make your job transition a smooth and happy one. Reach out to trusted coworkers and ask if you can use them as job references. Even if your job change is not yet imminent, having an update resume with solid references is important. Also take the time to document your recent accomplishments. These accomplishments can be vital to landing a job in the new industry you have chosen. Watch the want ads carefully, and work your network to find the opportunities that interest you. But only walk away once you have a firm job offer in hand. Transitioning to a new career should not leave you short of cash or struggling to make ends meet.

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