Change Careers or Change Employers

Was there a time in your life when you enjoyed your job and your career? Were you ever happy that you entered your professional field? There must have been some reason that caused you to choose the professional path that you did. You must have been interested and excited about it at some point. But, have you now reached a point where you are frustrated with your career and you want to make a change?

Many people get fed up with their profession and believe that the only way to become passionate about their career is to completely switch professions and start something new. However, the website How-to-Change-Careers.com asks a very important question: “Is it a change of job or career change that you really need?”

Making a career change can be time-consuming, frustrating and difficult. Yet, you might feel like it’s the right thing to do. Before taking the gigantic leap into a new profession, evaluate whether or not you truly dislike your career or if the problem is actually with your current employer.

What is Your Employer Like?

Do you work for a large organization?

  • Does your company make you feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things?

  • Do you feel like your opinions do not matter?

  • Is the bureaucracy in your office overwhelming?

Do you work for a small organization?

  • Do you feel like you are always being micro-managed?

  • Would you rather work in an environment with more people?

  • Do you feel isolated from the rest of the world while you are at work?

Company Culture

The behaviors, attitudes and work ethic of employees can play a large role in developing a company’s culture. According to the website WiseGeek.com, a company’s culture is “the collective beliefs, value systems, and processes that provide a company with its own unique flavor and attitude.” If your personal attitudes and beliefs do not mesh well with your employer’s, you are likely to begin resenting your job and disliking your career. It is important, however, to separate your feelings about your employer from your feeling about your actual profession.

What is Your Office Like?

If you are assigned to a work space that is small, dim, and provides you with absolutely no privacy, you may start to feel as if your employer does not appreciate you as an employee. Feeling undervalued because of the negative environment in which you are expected to work is not uncommon. In fact, the website BusinessKnowHow.com states that “the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping an employee satisfied in today's business world.”

If your employer is unable to provide you with a positive work environment that offers adequate space, ample lighting, brightly colored walls, and circulated air, you may feel as if you cannot be successful in your job. You may end up feeling as if the job itself is the problem when in fact your employer and your working conditions are the items responsible for the dissatisfaction with your career.

Are You Compatible with Your Co-Workers?

If you are expected to work with a team or a group of co-workers who you truly dislike, it is improbable that you are going to feel very positive about your career. Some groups of people work very well together and some do not. The website TeamTechnology.co.uk describes how “team dynamics strongly influence how a team reacts, behaves or performs and the effects of team dynamics are often very complex.” Therefore, if you are part of a team or a group that does not work well together, you are destined for a negative experience.

Do you Like Your Overall Job Duties but Feel Held Back?

One of the most common reasons for career dissatisfaction is related to boredom. Oftentimes people start their careers feeling very happy and excited about their profession. They happily learn all they can about their jobs and their responsibilities. But at some point, they learn all there is to learn about their specific job and then they hit a brick wall.

If you feel bored while you are at work or you feel as if you are not challenged, you may be under the impression that your career itself is boring. 

Making a Job Change Instead of a Career Change

All professional fields have many facets that are not always apparent. For example, if you are an accountant and you work for a large accounting firm, you might not realize that almost all businesses need accountants. If you are feeling like you don’t want to work in accounting any longer because you don’t like your employer’s corporate culture, you can surely find a job as an accountant at a small company that displays values more in line with your own. This is true for all professions – not just those related to accounting.

Moving Forward

If you think that you are ready to make a complete career change, there is no reason you shouldn’t. However, make sure to examine your specific circumstances and determine if it would make you happier to change careers or if you would feel just as satisfied if you simply found a job that is related to your current profession but is a better match for you. The website Jobs.aol.com sums it up very well by stating, “People change careers every day, but it's always advisable to make sure you are changing careers for the right strategic reasons and not making a decision based solely on your emotions.”

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Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.