Just like Peggy Lee’s song, have you ever wondered “is that all there is” in relationship to your work?
In my work as an executive career coach, I meet many people who think they need a career change. They’ve been successful, however, they are now at a crossroads for a variety of reasons.
For some, their career path was not what they had wanted to do all those years ago. For others, they are not using the skills and talents fully that they enjoy. For many, changes in their environment are causing great angst at this time and some find themselves moving from one position to another to alleviate the pain.
No matter what their reason, they all have the same reaction: they need a career change. Translated: a new occupation in a new industry and organization. They think they need to ditch it all to be satisfied. Yet, during our conversation as I ask layering questions to get to the heart of the problem, it becomes clear that most don’t want or really need to change their occupations. That’s not the real issue that they thought it was.
The real issue is usually not the work performed each day, a bad boss or company culture (even though these outside forces are influencers, of course). The primary reason is usually about you, the executive, and what may have changed, such as getting a new boss that you don’t see eye to eye with, being assigned to a new role you don’t enjoy, a shift in the employer’s direction or an acquisition, an impending restructuring, fear of getting fired, a demotion or slipping performance for any number of reasons, not getting to use your skills and talents fully, etc.
Don’t automatically assume it’s just outside forces such as the corporate culture, economy or your employer without first uncovering what’s behind your career crisis. Changing your line of work to a different occupation may not be what you really need or want to do.
It’s only human to want something different if you’ve been in a career for many years. After all, we change as the years go by. We have a desire to learn and grow over time so that we may feel dissatisfied with the status quo at some point. However, similar to having an unhappy relationship, if you end it without first understanding the cause of your dissatisfaction, you may end up in the same situation in your next job.
Einstein once defined insanity as: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Whenever you want to see a different result, a positive change, an improvement in your performance or realization of your goals… you have to do something different from whatever you are currently doing!
To make sure you are heading in the best direction with a successful outcome, you need a life plan providing you with a roadmap that incorporates both your career and your financial plans.