Have you reached the Career Crossroads?
Summary‘To change Career, or to change Company?’ Although these seven words are easy to utter (and utter you will, over and over again), they are actually very deceptive as really what you are asking is, ‘Which direction should my life now take?’
Consider these statements:
1. I enjoy what I’m doing at the moment, but I often wonder if I would be better suited to something else
2. Although I have a good Idea of what I want to achieve, I have no motivation to get there.
3. I’ve worked at this company for a long time, and am very comfortable, but I’m not sure what else there is for me to do here.
If you recognise any of these statements then it is highly likely you have reached the ‘Career Crossroads’. Although it sounds like a kind of Career Mid-life crisis it really isn’t, (Unless your 45, male and longing to own a Harley, in which case – there is no hope…)
However, assuming that you are relatively happy working in the Pharmacy industry, it’s more than likely you just need to make a simple evaluation:
‘To change Career, or to change Company?’
Although these seven words are easy to utter (and utter you will, over and over again), they are actually very deceptive as really what you are asking is, ‘Which direction should my life now take?’
As we all know, moving jobs these days is an arduous process, filled with hours of application forms, covering letters, interviews, assessments, psychometric tests, and generally, well, lots of unpaid, time-consuming effort without any guarantee of success at the end of it! When you look at the process involved in moving from one company to another can you blame people for wanting to make the most out of the position they are in at the moment?
Well, yes you can really, because what people don’t realise is, once you start to think along the lines of the statements listed at the top of this article, you will actually be doing your career more harm than good by staying put.
If you feel that your career is going nowhere, and you are stuck in the proverbial ‘Career Rut’, you need to act now. You first need to consider whether it is the role itself that you are unhappy with, or the company you are working for.
Have a read through the following paragraphs to help yourself evaluate the position you are in at the moment.
Unhappy with your role but like your company?
If you decide that you are unhappy with the role itself, but like where you’re working then look within your own company for a different role that you could do. If the role that interests you requires more experience or training, then talk to your HR department about how you can gain these skills. Ask to be put on a structured programme that will lead to this position, most companies offer such programmes – make sure you’re on one! Be Prepared to study/work in your free time if required, and make sure you can face your boss when you make it clear that you don’t want to do your role any more, as they may try to talk you out of trying for a new position.
Most importantly, have patience, as traditionally internal promotions can be hard to come by, and you may be passed over several times before you are offered a new position. If you have been trying for more than 12-18 months without being successful start looking for a different company.
Unhappy with both your role and the company?
If you find that you are not enjoying your current role, and you also are not happy with the company you are working for, it could be that a complete career change is required. Before you take this step though, I would always recommend moving to a different role and/or a different company within the same industry, as it could just be that you need a fresh approach. This is the time when people make their biggest mistakes – and their greatest successes. When you are feeling disillusioned with both your job and your company, it is easy to move into a completely different but ultimately in-appropriate role. This can make it hard to get back in the industry, so be careful!
Unhappy with your company but love your role?
This is always unfortunate, if you are not happy with the culture of your company, it only be a matter of time before it starts to affect your position. If you find yourself really enjoying your work, but having serious issues with the company you are working for (whatever they may be), I would strongly suggest that you start looking for a similar position within a different company, whilst you are feeling positive about the work you are doing. If you leave it too long, you may become very unhappy and this can make moving to a new company difficult.
So, what’s the moral of the career change story? Think before you act, and always make sure you understand the reason for your current discontent before changing anything about your career – it’s all to easy to leave one unsuitable position for another and end up in a real mess if you are not clear about what it is you are trying to achieve.
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