Making a transition to a new career can be very challenging. Believe me, I know from my career counseling practice that for many executives and professionals who decide to make a career change, it’s often not easy. But when they finally decide that a dead end, toxic or boring job is no longer tolerable, then they find the courage to dig deep and do what it takes to find a new job they love.
So, what are the big payoff’s for people who take the time to pause, figure out what makes them happy at work and who launch their careers in a new direction? From all the feedback and letters I get from career counseling clients who now live a life of passion and purpose, here are the top 10 reasons they love their new careers (in no particular order):
1. Meaningful work. They experience inner satisfaction and a strength that comes from making a difference. They are happy from the inside out.
2. Qualifications are on the cutting edge. They’re driven by an ongoing desire for new knowledge and skills in their career. They take pride in proactively staying current with the latest trends and technology in their field of expertise.
3. High pay. Compensation matches with their efforts. They experience less stress about taking care of the family, mortgage and saving for retirement.
4. Productive teamwork. They surround themselves with people who enjoy their jobs, too so there is more team harmony and goals are met.
5. Contributions are valued. People ask for and listen to their opinions. When they take initiative, it pays off in positive acknowledgement and/or action.
6. Fear of failure is minimized. They work at full throttle, experience more efficiency and meet expectations. Performance reviews are not dreaded.
7. Job security. They take an interest in understanding the labor market and position themselves within industries and companies that are movers and shakers. They feel secure by being in careers that are in demand.
8. Helpful co-workers. They attract mentors willing to offer guidance and encouragement. They have solid relationships with “kindred spirit” colleagues for getting advice and avoiding mistakes.
9. Advancement opportunities. They experience more lateral and vertical career moves. Variety and challenge stimulates them to do their best work.
10. Success is values-based. They define personal career success on their own terms and not what others say. Integrity within themselves is solid and they embrace inner contentment.
According to a Gallup survey, only 29% of workers are “engaged” in their jobs and the highly educated and middle-aged workers are the less likely to be engaged. That means only a small percent of the population wants to get up on Monday morning and go to work. These numbers take the wind of out my sails!
So, why don’t more people do something about improving their career situation? For one thing, research shows that typically humans don’t like change and that’s why so many people get stuck in career ruts. After 25 years as a career counselor and coach, I’ve heard every excuse imaginable why people believe they aren’t able to break free of their career “prison” and life sentence of a ho-hum job. Although I don’t want to minimize these reasons, I can guarantee that no matter how difficult your career situation, there are people who have been in worse situations and found the courage and strength to make the transition.
The real question is this: do you think you deserve a career you love? If the answer is yes, start by taking small, easy, realistic ,”can-do” steps. Make it your mission to be part of the minority of workers who look forward to rewarding job. And never give up – you are worth it.