Next Stage To Your Career: How to know when it’s time to change. (Even though you’re scared.)

 In Career Tips

Next Stage To Your Career:  How to know when it’s time to change. (Even though you’re scared.)The idea of changing careers can be daunting.  We invested a lot of our personal time and emotion into the one we currently have.  Does changing, especially now, really make sense?

Yet, it’s hard to deny when these thoughts keep floating into your mind so routinely, as if someone is advertising in your brain.  You inevitably end up asking yourself if it is time to change careers.  Just because you’re thinking about it, does that mean you should make a change? And how would you know for sure?

What you want to pay attention to is your “state of readiness”.  While change takes place around us all the time, when you make big changes, you want to make them when it’s right for you.

Stage 1: Early pondering.  You may have been thinking about changing careers or direction for a few months.  It scares you, because there are so many unknowns.  You don’t know alternatives or even how you would determine what those alternatives are.

  • What to do:  Stay where you are.  You are not ready.  Don’t be deterred by the fear that creeps up; it’s natural when making change.  Use the fear to guide you to the answers you need to have in order to activate change or make a decision.

Stage 2:  Serious, continual thoughts.  You are now finding yourself thinking about this more frequently and weighing your options.  You are asking more questions and thinking through more alternatives.  This may last for a year or so.  You’re also starting to notice less attachment to your current career, despite how good it might be.

  • What to do:  Let yourself spend time looking into ideas you might have.  Gather information from other people who are doing things you think are interesting.  You’re not ready to jump out of the nest, but you are ready to start looking seriously.

Stage 3: Restlessness.  Your brain and your emotions are fully invested in the idea of making a change.  You find yourself barely able to keep going in the career you have right now.  You want something different; and now you are almost impatient.

  • What to do: Figure out your next step in a serious way.  You are ready; and this means that when you find a solution, you will know it.  You will also be ready to fully commit to it, because your emotional attachment to your current career is at an end.  If you have to, seek assistance to help you find your next phase career.  If you still have moments of fear, it is not a sign that you aren’t ready.  It means you have questions you need to answer to help reduce your internal concerns. (Notice I didn’t say your concerns would go away – they probably won’t.)

It is possible for you to be in stage 1 or stage 2 and never move to another stage.  That’s okay.  What’s not okay is not do the work to help you know the difference.  The days of a lifetime career are in the past.  We are creatures that enjoy change in all aspects of our lives; and your career is a big part of your life.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and  And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.


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