When you first started your career, you probably felt passionate about your job and hopeful for what the future would bring. Over the years, being immersed in the corporate culture might have since buried any sense of enthusiasm and ambition that you once held on to. Maybe you find yourself sitting in your cubicle, staring past your computer screen and dreaming of what it would be like if you were the boss of your own start-up. Or if you said "f*ck it" and quit your day job so you can finally write your memoir.
As a life coach, I encourage everyone to pursue what they're most passionate about. However, it would be irresponsible of me to support that whim without it being a well thought-out plan with savvy strategy to back it up. In my practice, I come across many clients who are actively pursuing a career change, or at the very least, have considered it at one point. Here are a few pros and cons that we address:
Pros of making a career change:
1.) Ability to grow. Say goodbye to mundane tasks. Both entrepreneurship and switching to a different industry will have you pushing new limits by figuring things out, expanding your knowledge and gaining fresh experience.
2.) Focus on strengths and passion. Imagine how great it would feel to spotlight your best abilities and favorite projects day in and day out.
3.) Always working at your best. When you're fascinated by your field of work, you're more apt to stay on top of your industry and business altogether. Plus, you're more prone to want to please your boss and not let her/him down, when the boss is YOU.
4.) Self-reflection. The realization of spending time at a job that is not fulfilling presents the opportunity for soul-searching and contemplating purpose, happiness and personal values.
5.) Sense of control. Simply taking charge and making the decision to change careers can build up confidence, positivity, excitement and ambition.
Cons of making a career change:
1) Financial insecurity. Starting a new business requires investment and also presents the likeliness of an unstable income. Changing industries in anticipation of working for another company might introduce a period of unemployment, paying for additional education and starting with an entry-level salary.
2) Trial & error. It's important to consider a learning curve and delays when starting something new. Possible setbacks include time, strategy and finances.
3) Doing everything on your own. This one is more geared to those who are starting a small business with a limited budget. Business owners wear many hats and are compelled to learn about all aspects of their business.
4) Stress. Not that you're not stressed at your current job. So think of the pressure of completing day-to-day tasks in combination with the intensity of moving an entire company forward.
5) Higher stakes. There is more emotional investment when following your passion and therefore you might experience more worries both in business and personally.
So what is the verdict? There is the logical approach that if the cons outweigh the pros, then stick with your current job. However, one of the many benefits of working with a life coach, career coach or mentor is that they can help you work through the negative aspects and strategize so you're able to make the changes you want and as smoothly as possible. Keeping the positives and negatives of career change in mind, follow your heart and back it up with a practical plan!