With the new year, many people start to envision a fresh new start – and for some, that involves chasing a dream, leaving their current job and aiming to make the career they always had in mind a reality. If you're considering a career change, there are a number of questions you need to answer before you make the decision to do so. So ask yourself...
What's keeping me in my current position?
Defining the elements that are keeping you in your current position can be a good indicator of whether you're in the right industry or whether you're straying from your ideal career path. Compile a list of the reasons why you're working in your current position – is it the people, the tasks you're assigned, or just the pay cheque?
Am I in a job, or am I building a career?
What's the difference between a job and a career? A job is something you do for the money – a career is a long term pursuit. If you are simply in a job for the money or because it's something you've always done, it's unlikely that you're going to feel personally fulfilled.
What is convincing me that I need a change?
If you've decided that change is afoot, then congratulations. But before you jump ship, you need to decide what it is that's telling you to make the switch. If you like your work, but the environment is causing you to question it, you may be on the right career path – but in the wrong company. Decide what kind of change you're after – whether it's a complete career change or a change of scenery, your work life needs to keep you stimulated, motivated and happy.
Where do I see myself in five years?
If your current job isn't exactly what or where you pictured, don't despair. Change happens, and, as a result, the plans you originally had for life can take a detour. Revise a basic five year plan – what do you want to achieve in your professional life over the next five years? Where would you like to see yourself positioned?
Am I ready to change?
A lot of people like the idea of a career change, but when push comes to shove, few are willing to go through what it takes to start building a brand new career from scratch. There will be times where you will question whether you've made the right choice, but keep the end goal in mind – life's too short to simply have a job; have a career instead.