How Do You Know When It is Time for a Career Change?

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I would like to switch gears a little bit and dive into a question that has been on my mind the last few years. How do you know when it is time to move on? I have worked for the same organization for the last 13 years. Throughout those 13 years I have had several supervisors come and go, some who were excellent at their jobs and some who were not. I have been working towards gaining the qualifications for the supervisor position myself the last 5 years. I am one week away from graduating with my EMBA and today realized that the position I have been working towards the last 5 years may not actually be the position that I truly want. I have been unhappy the last 3 years largely due to the leadership of the newest supervisor. I made the decision to leave last year with no real plan when she offered me an amazing opportunity to stay. A promotion and substantial pay increase. I accepted the position but found that while I very much enjoy the aspects of my new position, it changes nothing regarding why I have been unhappy.

Another opportunity has presented itself to me this year and I have done a lot of reflection about what I truly want for my career. The new opportunity is in the same field but offers more opportunities for growth and the opportunities to expand my coaching skills to other centers in my region. It sounds like an easy choice, it’s more money, better opportunity, and I would be free from the issues I am struggling with at my current job. However, I have a very deep sense of loyalty to my current center. I started my career there and have worked my up from a part time assistant teacher to full time assistant director. I needed to find a way to make the decision that goes beyond a pros and cons list.

I opened up my Twitter feed and found a video clip of a blogger that I respect and follow. She was explaining that supervisor’s often offer two choices “Stay in joy, or leave in peace.” However, sometimes an employee will choose a third option, “Stay in hate.” This is unacceptable and should be taken off the table. This was a pretty eye opening clip for me. While I am not in the “hate” phase, I am unhappy. Being in a supervisory role that includes coaching and mentoring, I can’t be unhappy. How can I effectively lead when I am no longer bought in myself?

I realized that the answer to my question “How do I know when it is time to move on?” could be answered by asking myself these questions.

  1. Does your current job lend itself to your core values?
  2. Do you feel like you still have valuable services to offer?
  3. When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel about getting ready for work?
  4. Is my current job meeting my needs financially, emotionally, and intellectually?

After asking myself these questions I realized it is time to move on. I have an interview for the new position next week so stay tuned!

What questions do you ask yourself when new opportunities present themselves? Have you ever stayed in a position longer than you should have? I would love to hear your thoughts!

One thought on “How Do You Know When It is Time for a Career Change?

  1. Hi. It’s quite a dilemma I guess, in a similar place myself. I guess it’s a matter of prioritizing what’s important – your own happiness versus your family needs with some guidance from God. He gives wisdom to those who ask for it for making good decisions. Hope it helps…


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