Do you need a new career or just a new job? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
The burnout feels very similar and you can be tempted to throw in the towel and long for something completely different. There are times, though, that you might not need a new career – you just need a new job.
It’s key to know the difference because starting a new career is a more difficult process than finding a new job, so you’ll want to be sure that it’s really necessary before you make the change.
How Can I Tell If I Need A New Career Or A New Job?
Often, when you have a bad job, there are things in the environment, culture or about the people that sour you on the rest of the work situation.
So, for example, the fact that you work for an overly-demanding boss who texts you new projects at 9 p.m. makes you quite upset. You start to think about leaving.
You need to ask yourself:
If I left, is it likely that this same work would be better at a different employer, or is my industry just like this?
Whether it’s a demanding boss, difficult co-workers, a bad commute or something else, there may be situations or work conditions that you don’t expect will improve by changing employers because your industry is like that.
For example, business consulting or finance are demanding fields, and if you know you need more work-life balance, you might have to look elsewhere.
If, on the other hand the things that are upsetting you are truly related to this employer, then the career might still be salvaged.
Question Two Do I Need A New Career Assessment
The second question is whether you find any enjoyment in the work.
Do you like what you do? Are there aspects you like? Are there ways to change what you’re doing slightly so that you’d enjoy it more?
If you feel totally uninspired by what you’re doing – maybe you don’t like it anymore or you never did, it might be time to move to a new career.
If you find that you still like aspects of it though, you may be able to make some changes that will improve your current situation or help you find a new situation that suits you better.
Question Three Do I Need A New Career Assessment
Do you have any future plans in your career?
Can you see yourself in your boss or manager’s position? Could you see yourself in another job within your current field that would excite you?
If not, it might be time to move on, even if you don’t know what is next for you.
Just making the decision that you’re going to do something different gives you the freedom to begin taking the steps you need to take to begin the career change process. Otherwise, you stay stuck in your job physically and mentally because you don’t know what else there is.
If you can at least acknowledge that there might be something else for you and a path to find it, you can begin to move on.
New Job, Same Career; New Job, Different Career
You may decide your current job isn’t working, but you want to keep your same career, or you might want a new job in a totally new career field. Or, you could work with your manager to make changes to make your current situation work better for you.
Whatever you decide, there is a path forward. You don’t have to suffer in a job that isn’t working for you, where you feel stuck, stressed, uninspired, and not working to your potential.
There’s a concept that “work is work” and therefore is supposed to be stressful and ugly, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be a positive experience, even if it’s not 100% sunshine and rainbows. Even if you’re not someone who believes in sunshine and rainbows, you don’t have to believe that you don’t deserve joy either.
Do yourself a favor and see what you can create in your work life!
I’d love to hear your comments below!