3 Ways to Know it’s Time for a Career Change as a Young Professional

While changing careers as a young professional, or at any age or employment level, can seem scary, what is in your gut and heart is what should guide you in your professional endeavors. You need only please yourself professionally and personally in this life. Be mindful of how your career affects you overall. No profession will ever offer perfection, nor will anything in life. You choose the problems you want to deal with.

What are those problems and how do you know it’s the right time to change your career? Follow this simple guide to determine whether or not a career change might be the right thing for you after all.  

1. You feel a lack of purpose in your industry or current role

Millennials, which, as a reminder encompasses an age group of anyone between the ages of 20-36 in 2017, feel more of a need to have a purpose in their careers than previous generations because of happenings within their lifetimes. As a young professional yourself, you may fall under this category. While it is important to feel purposeful in your career, you must also learn to value normalcy and lull periods.

If, overall, your work feels soul-sucking or disengaging, however, and you have been in your industry and role for a few years, this may be an indication that it is time to move forward and change things up. Patience is a virtue when it comes to figuring things out. You will know when it's time to move on -- you will feel it. 

Constant lack of passion can lead to depression outside of the workplace. Consult a career counselor in your area to better determine your options. A second outside opinion outside of your typical circle (family, friends, spouse, partner, current co-workers, etc.) is inherently valuable.

2. Your talent potential is not being utilized

Again, if you have been within your company and industry for a good sum of years and your talent is still not being utilized, though you have made all efforts on your end to show your ability, it may be time to consider moving forward, whether that means making a career or workplace change. If you feel you are giving without receiving from your employer, this is another clear indication it may be time to move on. Be sure to be open with your employer about your frustrations before you make a decision to switch workplaces or change industries altogether.

Do, don't just try, and when you do, do with all of your passion, integrity, and purpose. Balance is invaluable, of course -- always appreciate lull days when you do find a place of work to thrive, grow, and be happy in.

Let your mentors help guide you through this potentially difficult choice as a young professional. It’s likely they’ve been in a similar place in their own lives. They can help you better identify your feelings about work and a career, and how to act on them appropriately for your emotional and professional well-being. There is a clear difference between reality and feeling entitled as a young professional. It is important to earn everything in your life, whether you are seasoned or young in your career. Earning the things you have will be your greatest intrinsic reward as a professional in the workforce.

Let the people who help keep you in check help you make rational choices instead of emotional ones out of pure frustration or discomfort. Comfort and happiness are important in the workplace, as I've said, but there will always be problems anywhere you go. That's just life! It's all about the problems you want to deal with -- I can't say that enough.

3. There is no opportunity for growth

It may take you a few years and conversations to determine whether or not there is potential for growth within your company. Stick it out through the hard times to know whether or not the place or industry itself is right for you. Make connections in the meantime. Be open about your professional struggles and emotions. There is no time stamp or limit about when you have to make this choice. Care about your well-being first and foremost. Again, it is important to confide in your mentors. Carefully analyze situations to best communicate to the right person at the right time.

If you constantly feel bored and lacking satisfaction or fulfillment, you should definitely assess yourself and your career. Something isn’t right if this is the case. Take this time in this job to carefully consider your options and listen to yourself. You deserve to. This is your life and you should live it according to your passions, not anyone else's agenda or expectations.

Be well and be good to yourself in the process of figuring out what’s best for you. You will get there. Take your time. Appreciate the lessons of opportunities that don’t turn out as expected. Adjust your expectations moving forward, then choose to do so - move forward. Move forward for you.

Best wishes in the New Year. You got this!


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