10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 3 of 4 – The Decision)

The Decision

Are you unhappy with your job? Thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it, whatever that is, right is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

Once you have decided that you need to change job for whatever reason next comes the decision. Quitting the job is a difficult decision to make, deciding where to go next is even harder. Maybe you are looking for a simple job change or maybe you have decided to change career and explore a new industry. Either way you first need to understand where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to find out what decision to make after changing jobs:

  1. If you are thinking of changing your profession – what would you like to do? Why? How will it be different?
  2. Have you spoken to head hunters or specialist agencies in your field or in the proposed new field?
  3. Have you spoken to your family? Have they seen you become unhappy at work?
  4. Have you spoken to your friends? Have you changed recently?
  5. Have you cash in the bank and what are your commitments?
  6. How long could you exist before you start visiting friends at meal times?
  7. Have you assessed the job opportunities in your current profession? Availability of jobs, salaries compared to yours, qualifications and experience of the people in those jobs?
  8. How are you doing compared to others? If you are ahead – what’s the real problem – if you are behind what do you think is the reason? (Be honest here – it’s just between you and the piece of paper.)
  9. What do you need to make the change in terms of training, investment? A lawyer I knew chucked his promised career in with a Magic Circle law firm and bought a pub. Same hours – much more fun. It was a big decision with a big investment and he “threw away” a pristine career CV. But he seems happy.
  10. Could you take a sabbatical and test drive a new career? How could you test whether it works for you?

This is part 3 of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Fix)

Coming up next week:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Deed)


Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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