Before Changing Career, You Must Ask Yourself This Key Question….
A recent survey of Americans aged 35 – 64 suggested that 25% of all workers are considering a career change during 2016. Source: AARP. If you are thinking of changing career, you’re like one of many others going the same process. I know from my own experience how intimating it. However, I can say that the challenges are worth getting through and I would recommend it to anyone.
During my time as a recruiter I became well established in my market and I think I can safely claim to have had a good reputation with clients and candidates. I was seen as confidante, someone impartial outside of their work place they could talk to. Often they would ask for an objective take on their job and whether they should consider a changing career career change. I would go through a series of questions with them, showing them a proven strategy to guide them through the change. I used the same strategy when I took on my career change in 2013.
One candidate I remember clearly who was having a lot of problems with the politics within his organisation. The firm had just gone through a merger and his firm, as the weaker one was having to integrate itself into the larger company.
I had since his predicament before since mergers in the industry were common. With two people doing the same job at previously two different companies, one would have to be reassigned. In the financial markets, where I was there would sometimes be a handful of people in the whole of London doing a particular job their markets were so small.
Quite often these people would have to wait for a position to be vacated at a firm so they could be considered so being reassigned essentially meant they would be out of their market. The head of the department in the stronger firm would often favor those staff from their own company.
Despite reassurances from his HR department and previous line manager this candidate was feeling understandably fearful. He wanted to know whether he should quit and find a seat elsewhere. There were other mergers going on which meant disruption and the possibility of finding something elsewhere,
I asked him the key question which years later I asked myself. I told him to reflect on it over the weekend and suggested bouncing ideas of his family. That question was:
Why Do You Want To Change?
Working as a recruiter, candidates would often give me very similar reasons for wanting to change. Often they would move because they were not paid fairly. Sometimes it was because they were not getting enough thanks or recognition for your work. Can you relate to these complaints?
The conversation with my candidate happened back in early 2008. It was the start of significant volatility in the market and a great deal of uncertainty. I knew his market well and I knew also from other candidates how much uncertainty people were feeling. For him to leave would have meant a move from the frying pan in the fire.
He decided to stay put rather than leave and moved elsewhere within the bank. As a result he was able to weather the storm that was to come. We’ve lost contact now but to the best of my knowledge his back in his chosen market.
My advice was fortuitous, I couldn’t foresee the recession coming but I did state the facts that I saw them. The uncertainty meant the question of why he wanted to change was all the more relevant.
If your job is leaving you frustrated, now is the time to reflect. Can you move internally within the same organization to resolve your problems?
This might seem counter-intuitive considering Career Step Up is about you, the reader changing career or the company you work for but let me explain. Like our candidate, I’ve worked with countless others helping them through the process of a career change. I also have first-hand experience of it myself.
Changing career isn’t without considerable disruption and impacts not just yourself but your family. You have to put food on the table for these people so don’t underestimate the impact of change.
The candidate could have left the firm for another company. However, if he left, he would have to establish himself in the new firm and with the uncertainty in the market . This of course, would have meant significant stress on himself and his family.
Wherever you move to, whether internally or elsewhere to another organisation, obviously you do not want to come across similar challenges or issues to those in your original role. If that happens there are things you can do to manage and mitigate the impact but more on that in another post.