People ask me this question all the time. I think it’s silly but, obviously, there’s a great deal of concern out there. So, I want to address this issue once and for all.
Yes, career change is absolutely possible—regardless of the state of the economy.
There. I said it.
But I know it takes more than that to convince you.
I recently had the honor of interviewing Dick Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” Here’s what he says:
In the best of economic times, there are always millions of people out of work. And, the corollary to that is that, in the worst of times, there are always millions of people that find jobs. I looked at a typical month during the high of the recession, which was April of 2009, and 4 million people found jobs that month and there were 3 million vacancies that didn’t even get filled that month. So there are always a lot of jobs available…
The world’s foremost authority on finding work says there’s plenty of opportunity out there. That should make you feel at least a little better.
But I know it’s still risky. It’s always risky, regardless of the economy. Sure, 4 million people got work. But millions more didn’t.
So it can be tempting to stay put, no matter how unhappy you are. You have a job. It’s a paycheck. Shouldn’t you just focus on the fact that you’re employed? Isn’t that good enough?
Sure. You could live your life like that. You could settle for less than what you want—and rightfully deserve—simply because it’s easy. Or maybe because you don’t believe in yourself. Or perhaps because you don’t believe anything else would be better…
You could let fear drive your decisions. You could sacrifice your hopes and dreams because there’s a chance it just won’t work out.
Hey, it’s cool. There’s no shame in it. That’s your choice.
And yes, it’s always a choice.
But don’t convince yourself that staying put is any less risky. That’s risky in a whole different way.
When you sacrifice the happiness that could be for the unhappiness that is, you risk never knowing what could have been. You risk regret.
Maybe you tell yourself, “Next year…when the economy’s better…when life isn’t so hectic…maybe then I’ll make a change.”
The risk is that such a time will never come.
So it’s really a question of which risk you’re willing to take.
Millions of people have successfully changed careers since the start of the recession. Millions more will do so this year. Perhaps you will be one of them.
It’s not easy. But then, change never is—regardless of the economy.
Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get practical and tactical.
I’ve written a lot about this in the past, so here’s some recommended reading to help ease a career transition (in any economy):
- Managing Risk During a Career Change
- 5 Tips for Planning a Career Change
- 15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Major Career Change
Photo Credit: kern.justin (Flickr)