Are you considering a career change – perhaps to a new occupation or industry, or even starting your own business? The risk involved is almost never black and white – and the decision you make will impact choices you encounter down the road, possibly for the rest of your professional life.
It’s a big deal.
It’s exciting. It’s also terrifying and potentially a nail in your career coffin. There simply is no way to accurately predict the outcome. However, an honest evaluation beforehand is a must. In other words, look – hard and long and strategically – before you leap. Then, anything is possible!
Weigh Your Options
If your current situation is not getting you where you need to go, then taking a calculated risk is the best way to move towards achieving your ultimate career goals.
- Know what you’re trying to achieve. Is it a raise, a promotion, or a completely new career direction? Then, determine whether you’re planned action will help you reach that goal. For instance, give it careful consideration and talk it over with trusted colleagues before you suddenly walk into your boss’s office and submit your resignation letter.
- How big is the risk? You may want to consider starting small. Take a night class or do some relevant volunteer work in order to test the waters in a new field.
- Outline a best and worst case scenario. Consider both the ideal outcome of your career change (“I’ll make a million dollars the first year!” or “I’ll be promoted to CFO within six months!”) and the most horrible possible fallout (“I will completely bomb, be a laughingstock among my peers and never work again.”) Most likely, reality will fall somewhere in between. But once you’ve considered both extremes, you can free up your thinking so you can envision the most likely outcome.
A good evaluation is an honest reflection on all the possible consequences and an assessment of what works best for you, both now and in the long term.
- Are you afraid or unmotivated to change? Sometimes, the scariest part of change is that it actually involves action. You may be unhappy or dissatisfied, but your current position is familiar (the old “devil you know” theory). It’s easy to choose comfort over passion, but successful risk takers are those who are ready and willing to put in the effort to get what they truly want.
- Follow your heart and listen to your gut. People often know immediately whether or not something is a good idea – and they’re usually right. The first step toward taking the right risk is to tune into your instincts and learn to trust them. But, balance them with common sense.
- Finding a job you love should be your priority. There’s always some amount of risk, but if you’re truly unhappy where you are, it will be worth it if you make a change. However, mitigate that risk by doing thorough research before you make the leap. Then, you’ll know what to expect after the dust settles.
A professional recruiter can be an invaluable asset as you reflect on your future career plans and how to turn them into reality. Contact the specialized career coaches at PrideStaff Fresno to learn more.