Helping individuals reinvent in their careers is an integral part of my professional life. It’s some of the most fascinating, rewarding work of my career. Yet, you would be shocked how many individuals I talk out of signing up for my reinvent boot camp and coaching programs and instead encourage them to focus on a like-kind job change to an environment that better suits them.
Here’s Why You Should Change Jobs, Not Careers
A Bad Boss Isn’t a Reason to Change Careers
A lousy boss might be a good reason to leave a firm, but it’s never a great reason to change careers. If you love your work and hate your boss, change the boss.
Same Goes for a Toxic Culture
If you love your vocation but feel as if you spend most of your time wading through a sea of snakes, find a healthier environment for you. Note: the grass always looks greener, and the excitement of a job offer and a fresh start often masks some of the potential negatives. Do your diligence on the culture before you commit. (Check out my article on culture sensing before you commit to changing firms.)
The Easiest Path to More Money and Responsibility is Via Your Current Vocation
If your primary focus is on either growing your responsibilities or earning more money (or both), the path of least resistance is to find your next opportunity doing what you do. You have experience navigating the ins and outs of your work and some professional equity built from time in the job.
Don’t Let Fatigue Fool You Into a Radical Shift
We all go through ups and downs with our work and jobs. If you’re feeling fatigued or as if you’re going through the motions, there may be other underlying causes. Sometimes a vacation, outside hobby, new workout regimen, or even a side hustle can sate your appetite for something new.
Beware the Lure of Hobbies as Careers
A lot of the fantasy career changes people are interested in stem from hobbies. It turns out; most hobbies are that for a reason—they don’t easily translate to an income.
However, if Doing Something New is Important, Consider This First:
A healthy percentage of my career reinvention clients opt to do something that might seem counter-intuitive: they reinvent in place.
Reinventing in Place is a Great First Choice for Many
If your issue is with how you spend your time every day and you’ve concluded doing something is in order, try reinventing in your current firm. For many individuals, the issue isn’t the boss or the firm; it’s boredom driven by longevity in the job and the lack of fresh challenges.
Consider working with your boss to identify opportunities to fix or add something to the function that solves a vexing problem. Or look at options in different areas of your organization that interest you.
I’ve worked with individuals who have transitioned from technical roles to project management, marketing roles to sales (or vice-versa), and functional roles to training or human resources. A product manager jumped into a business development role, and I’ve had business developers jump into product roles. Go where your interests are and leverage the reputation and network you’ve worked so hard to develop in your current organization.
You might require additional training or certification, but it’s a great bonus when you love your firm and culture and can continue your learning journey by reinventing inside the organization.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Before embarking on your journey to reinvent your career, spend time assessing your motivations. For many, a like-kind job change to a new environment is the right move. If you’re convinced you need to do something new with your time and talent, and you value your firm, look there for new opportunities first.
Information on my Career Reinvent Boot Camp Programs