Do You Have the Career Change Blues? Don't be Dismayed!

By: Brian M Murray, MS, IMH

An unsatisfying career can be a real downer leading to wanting to do something different in life. A career change can be a daunting task and taking into account the many factors as to why a change is needed can seem overwhelming at times. Forbes Magazine reported that Right Management conducted a one month survey from April to May in 2012 on job satisfaction. Only 19% of the 411 respondents reported job satisfaction. Wow, 79% do not like their jobs.

Let’s throw in some more factors. A sluggish economy creates a power shift that in some ways can leave a dissatisfied employee feeling stuck in a job they don’t like. Poor cash flow equals no raises or promotions and some companies have resorted to some extreme measures that if a person is so much as 5 minutes late to work they be fired. This begins to create more of a survival mentality of endurance than a real career challenge. The thinking gets changed from “what can I do next to further my career” to “what else is realistically possible that I can do, I hope I don’t lose my job.”

Feeling stuck, tired, beat up, worn out, used and no advancement or feeling like there is any place to go can begin to feel depressing, or like a case of the blues. The truth is there are some things a person can do to change their situation. It does not have to be hopeless, in fact, turning things around and taking control of a career can be empowering. This is about turning things around and taking control of the career and being the one in control as opposed to being controlled.

If you find yourself in a job or career and do not like it then it might be time to make a plan. In the book Stephen Covey’s 7 Principles of Highly Effective People, it’s time to put first things first and begin with the end in mind.  Ask this question, “Where am I going and what is it going to take to get there?” In many ways this is like taking a journey. It requires some brainstorming to find out what resources are required. Some trips take longer than others and this is where the planning becomes useful, it becomes like a personal guide to help stay on track, to not lose the path. Create small goals leading to larger goals and celebrate them along the way. Have some rewards in place as part of the planning as this helps create encouragement instead of trudging forward in what can seem like a daunting task.

One final note, be flexible. Allow for changes as unforeseen conditions can throw plans off track and at times create uncertainty. The advantage of being the one who is driving the career change is the planning can be changed at any time to meet current needs. The idea is to keep moving even at times when it seems impossible. There is a difference between struggle and quitting. Quitting is permanent, struggle means a person is still striving for the goal. Be flexible, allow for change along the path, keep an eye on the prize, and if the final goal changes along the way, that is okay too. Sometimes taking a journey can somehow bring about clarity in life about what is really important. 

About the author- Brian M Murray is a devoted professional helping to empower people and overcoming difficult obstacles in life. He is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern located in Orlando and Winter Park Florida working as a counselor in a private practice setting at The LifeWorks Group.

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