Monday, October 5, 2009

Five Reasons Not To Change Your Career

I read this article today and thought Graham Hart, had a good perspective on some of the career myths that guide our decisions as we ponder changing careers. He sarcastically titles the piece, "Five Reasons Not to Change Your Career."

Reason 1: I am too old for a career change!
The article reminds us that Ray Kroc didn’t start McDonalds until he was 52 years old and Henry Ford was in his forties when he started Ford Motor Company. The fact is there is still projected a significant global talent shortage over the next few years and so there may still be opportunities.

Reason 2: No time to study!
Changing careers definitely takes additional training - sometimes! In many cases this one is about motivation rather than time. In other words once the decision is made, people find the time - especially since education is increasingly accessible online.

Reason 3: I'd change; but I don't know to what!
As Graham says, this is one of those circular arguments that hold us back. The kind of argument we play over and over in our minds - 'I would change careers, but I don't know what to change to and as soon as I find out, I will make the change." Here is the issue, most people do not take the time, take the steps or use the tools to find out. Tools like career assessments such as the Skills Profiler mentioned, career coaches, mentors and research can help.

Reason 4: I am stuck because there is nothing else I can do!
The tools I suggested before in the previous answer - career assessments, career coaches, mentors and research - are all ways to help you discover where else you could be great.

Reason 5: I can't afford to change!
This is a tough one! Sometimes you have to think about whether or not the stress of being in the wrong job or career is tolerable. In other words - for your next career move, think about how you would feel if you were stuck in that role for a long time in a recession. In other words, can you outlast the recession in your existing role, especially when you don't know how long the recession will last.

Additional career article - Are These Career Myths Holding you Back?

Graham Hart is an Executive Coach and runs