It’s that time again! Another year is coming to a close (thank goodness, right??), so it’s time to take stock of your personal and professional life, and evaluate your happiness and satisfaction. After the craziness of 2020, are you still being fulfilled? Did you only love going in the office and now work by yourself at home? Are you enjoying your job? Does it challenge you and inspire you? Or do you find yourself increasingly dissatisfied, bored, and unmotivated? Maybe it’s time for a career change!

My friend’s husband, Jason has always loved science. He went to college and got a degree in chemistry. Then found himself with a great paying job using his skills to evaluate specimens sent to him from all over the country. His skills were in high demand.  

The problem? He hated his job. The love of science was sucked away by the tedium of his days. Because of the demand in his field, he worked a lot of hours. And while this meant great overtime pay, he reached a point where even the paycheck was not worth it anymore. 

He would come home most days tired and irritable and no longer seemed to enjoy many of the things he once did. My friend encouraged him to try a different role with the company but there was nothing there that appealed to him.  

Does this sound familiar? Then it’s time to assess whether or not you are ready for a career change. 

  • Is your boredom at work making you unmotivated and sucking away your enthusiasm? 
  • Do you dread going to work each day? 
  • Do you find yourself jealous of the people around you who enjoy their jobs? 
  • Is your mood affecting your relationships outside of work? 

When your job is sucking the life out of you and there is no hope of improvement on the horizon, it’s time for something different! BUT wait! Before you make the leap, make a plan first. The planning process can actually help you get excited for these changes – beyond leaving the humdrum.  

Here is how to pre-plan for a world of possibilities.  

Evaluate. What about your job makes you want to change? Is it the job responsibilities? The people you work with? The field you find yourself in? It is beneficial to break it all down to determine what needs to change. Do you need a different environment or a completely different career focus? Make lists of what you like and what you’d like to change.  

Re-connect to your passions. What do you really enjoy? Think about what is life-giving for you. Go back to that hopeful child question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Allow yourself a chance to dream. What is it that you are truly passionate about? Get creative with ways you can pursue what you love.  

You can find fulfillment outside of your career and reenergize your mind! Jason always had an interest in working with at-risk youth. In college, he had volunteered at an after-school program in aunderprivileged neighborhood, and he always talked about those experiences with great reverence. So, his wife encouraged him to start volunteering at the local Boys and Girls Club a couple of days a week. And he loved it! He started to come alive again with enthusiasm each day. 

You may find that you can have a career in your area of passion, or maybe you just need to re-channel some of your frustrations into a rewarding cause.  

Network. Use your existing contacts! Finding yourself at a career crossroads is a great reminder as to why you should never burn bridges! Some of those previous clients, co-workers or bosses may be the perfect link to a great new opportunity. Talk with your friends. Mention what you would love to do. Maybe they have an excellent option for you to pursue.  

Improve your skillset. Further your education if needed. Spend some time volunteering somewhere you are passionate. Look for ways you can build your resume while still working, bringing in income.  

Before Jason made an unplanned change while volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club he started hearing about some other organizations that worked in the inner city and he started helping there too. After several months, because of the skills he built and the connections he had made volunteering, he was offered a management job with a non-profit group. He now loves getting up for work each day! 

Don’t get stuck being miserable. Know when it’s time to venture down a different career path and pursue your dreams! My friend’s grandma was 60 years old when she decided to go to nursing school. It’s never too late to do what you love!