Do you feel like your career has taken the wrong turn somewhere along the line, and you feel stuck and unfulfilled now? Would you like to find a job with more prospects and opportunities for career growth? Do you feel like it’s time for you to move on career-wise? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you’ll benefit from a few helpful tips on how to make the right career move.
#1 Try To Stay Rational
When an employee feels stuck in their current position or company and starting work is a struggle every morning, the risk of making the wrong career move out of sheer desperation is high. So before you update your resume, hire a cover letter writing service, and send out a bunch of job applications, make sure you’re being rational. Purely emotional career decisions rarely end up well.
Feeling stuck and unmotivated is a good reason to switch jobs or even industries. But don’t give in to the temptation to jump at the first job opportunity you see. First, you need to think about your long-term goals, what you expect, and what is the best (if not the shortest) way to bring your professional dreams to life.
#2 Make Sure You Have The Right Motivations
One of the things that can help with staying rational is motivation analysis. For example, it’s surprisingly common for employees to change jobs just because their friends recently have. Sure, no one wants to feel like they’re behind, but that’s certainly not a good motivation. So instead, make decisions that are good for your long-term career growth, no matter what happens in the career lives of people you know.
#3 Ask Yourself All The Important Questions
A good way to understand if you’re being rational and how appropriate your motivations are is to ask yourself the right questions. Dig deep into who you are, what you want, and how well your career aligns with your dreams at the moment. Here are a few important questions to begin with:
- Am I happy with the direction my career is headed in? What about the industry?
- If I stay on the same track, will I get what I hope to get in 5 to 10 years?
- Has my career made me feel fulfilled so far? Am I happy doing what I do?
- What would it be if I had the freedom to do anything career-wise?
- What do I feel about staying within the same line of work for the rest of my career?
- What stops me from leaving the job I hate immediately? What are my main fears and reservations?
But that’s just a warmup. Once you start asking yourself important questions about your career, you’ll realize there are so many answers that matter. Ideally, put them in writing—it helps most people to see the bigger picture and get the clarity they’re looking for.
#4 Research The Job Market
Making the right career move is only possible by researching the job market first. If you’re considering trying yourself in a new role, look at the career development you can expect from a new position. If you’re considering getting into a new industry, look for experts’ prognoses about your prospects for the near and not-so-near future.
Then, research the salaries and opportunities you can hope for in the new role or industry. Make sure you’re not just changing one sinking ship for another. Perhaps, it makes sense to find a job where your salary won’t be as high as you hope from the get-go, yet that has more to offer regarding your further career growth. Think long-term.
#5 Trust Your Intuition
Most people have experienced a “bad feeling” about a job opportunity or company at least once in their career. And more often than not, that gut reaction turns out to be correct. So if you look at the job listing or offer and everything seems good on paper, yet something is o ff, trust yourself. When you have to talk yourself into a job opportunity or close your eyes to red flags, it’s safer to continue your job search.
#6 Don’t Rush To Make A Decision
Being impatient is one of the worst things one can do when trying to boost their career. It may be tempting to take the first half-promising offer you’ve got since deciding to leave your current employer. But that’s a bad idea. You need to give yourself enough time to ask about the things that matter (see #3) and research the market thoroughly (#4). If you skip those steps, the career move you’ll make is almost guaranteed to be a mistake.
#7 If Possible, Hire A Career Advice Expert
Employees who want to boost their career or change direction should consider hiring a career advice expert. Concerns about spending extra money in the middle of career uncertainty are understandable. But professional advice is so worth the investment! A career advice expert can guide you toward what you need (and not just want) and help you get there as efficiently as possible.
#8 Don’t Be Afraid To Change Your Mind
Finally, if you’ve already made a bold career move but did not go according to plan (or something doesn’t feel quite right), remember that it’s okay to change your mind. We all make mistakes, and as long as we’re willing to try again and again, that’s perfectly fine. Never punish yourself for making the wrong decision—instead, see it as proof of your courage and keep going.
Making the right career move is all about digging deep into yourself and doing your research. The worst thing one can do is jump at the first job opportunity just because they’re eager to leave their current job. Instead, give yourself time to think everything through and find a job that matches your interests and ambitions. And if you can afford it, hire a career expert for guidance—they’ll make everything easier.