But before you hand in your notice, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions. You may not be able to answer them right away, but they should at least give you some food for thought.
- Is this a knee-jerk reaction? It might be that you have a new boss or colleague and are struggling with the change, or maybe your role or location is changing. Maybe sales targets are at an all-time low and you’ve come under fire. These may be good enough reasons for a move, but it might be worth waiting for the dust to settle or talking to someone about a possible solution before you do anything drastic.
- Do I really want to change careers? You may have studied for years to get into your line of work or have fallen into it by ‘coincidence’. If it’s the former, you obviously wanted to pursue this career at some point. Have you had a bad experience in your particular workplace that a move elsewhere could fix? Could you sidestep into something similar that will give you a new role in a connected field? Or did you just take the first post you were offered and have been looking to escape ever since?
- Do I just need a holiday? If you’ve had a nasty cough for weeks and are struggling to get out of bed in the mornings, you’re probably suffering from burnout. This might be an ongoing condition, depending on the type of work you do. But it might be that you simply need a break, a change of scenery and a bit of rest and relaxation to get you back on track.
- Is it a God-inspired move? I’m sure most people have been tempted to throw the towel in at some point, but if you felt you a strong call on your life and your chosen career came about as a result, ask yourself (and God) if your work there is done or whether you are simply looking for an escape. Don’t forget what happened to Jonah when he decided to do things his way! Ask God what his plans for you are. He has a purpose for your life and wants to use your skills in and beyond the workplace. Get people you trust to pray with and for you regarding your career path.
- What’s my dream job? Think about what you’d do with your life if money was no object. Would you work with the elderly, come up with quirky marketing campaigns or set up your own business? Would you pursue your love of art, music or literature? Would you go into full-time ministry, either in the UK or overseas? Now, your dream job may not be practical in your current circumstances, but think about what attracts you to this type of role. Do you have what it takes to make it a success? Could you do something similar in a paid role, for example teaching music instead of becoming the next Beyoncé? Or could you afford to cut your hours and do what you really love in your spare time?
Once you’ve given these questions a bit of thought, carry out a quick self-assessment of your skills, experience and core values. It won’t do any harm to update your CV and take a look at what’s out there. Consider what type of work you would like to do, how far you would be prepared to travel and what salary you are looking for, and pray that the right opportunity will open up.
If you’ve definitely decided it’s time for a career change, you’ve come to the right place!