The circumstances of the economy, over the past several years, has forced a lot of people to take jobs that they would not otherwise have taken. People had to do what they had to do. But the uncertainty of the economy has had a greater impact on American workers; most have had to endure layoffs and reorganizations that were necessary to weather the economic downfall and keep their doors open. Those that were “rewarded” with keeping their job soon learned that they were given more work and job tasks to compensate for those who had left. While this was a hard transition, most soon learned to adapt and adopt their new roles and new-found job skills. But the return of the economy has a lot of these workers seeking new opportunities and wanting to find a new job that will work better for them – they feel they need to make a career transition into a new company or an altogether new position or industry. After all, they can take these new skills and use them anywhere – right?
Well, I for one belive that skills are skills which can be transferable across industries. If you have business skills then why does it matter which industry you choose to use those skills? But I also believe that making a career transition might not be in one’s best interest. I think that some deep insight and reflection needs to occur to determine if the job or the organization is truly not a ‘fit’, or that there are not opportunities to use those skills in other ways that is a win-win for both you and the organization. Without taking time to research these questions, you could set yourself up for failure or miss out on making your mark within your organization. Companies today want loyalty – employees who will stay and grow with them; rewards will come. So staying in your current position and looking at ways to leverage your skills, show your willingness to take on new tasks and successfully completing them, and being assertive with your career management might be the best thing to do as opposed to transitioning into a new career where you have to start over and prove yourself.
I’m all for career transitions – I made one myself several years ago and have found a fulfillment I’ve never known. I won’t lie and say it has not been a tough journey, at times, that is filled with peaks and valleys. But at the end of the day, I know this is the right decision for me. So before you make the leap, take time to explore your reasons for wanting a change, what benefits it will bring, and then identify your motivation and commitment to the process. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve made a career transition and if you feel you made the right decision. What steps might you add?