Ways You Can Make a Turning Point in Your Career

Do you feel valued in your current position?  Do you believe you aren’t reaching your full potential?  Does your work life leave you feeling stressed out at the end of the day?  Do you dread facing a new day?  Even though making a change can be risky, you could be much worse off staying in a role that isn’t fulfilling.  Experts cited by Prevention explain that staying in a job you don’t enjoy can even damage your health, potentially causing high blood pressure, heart attacks, digestive disorders, depression, and anxiety.

If you are on the fence about making a change, Psychology Today offers an online assessment.  The initial snapshot of your evaluation is free, and it takes about 15 or 20 minutes to complete.  It asks a series of questions to gauge what motivates you, what your strengths are, and what you might want to focus on developing.

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Ready to take the plunge?  Mull over what changes you want to see in your work life.  Do you want to stick with your company but climb the ladder or maybe change departments?  Is there a skillset you should add to your repertoire that would broaden your opportunities?  Perhaps finding a whole new direction is what you have in mind, which might include starting your own business.  For example, thanks to technology and the internet, creating your own online store has never been easier.  And with the help of online ecommerce guides, you can quickly learn almost everything you need to know to get started in a very short amount of time.

Whatever change you are considering, do some delving into the new realm.  Talk with someone already working in that area to learn what she did to succeed and scrutinize what the job is really like.  You might even take a working vacation to shadow someone, volunteering your time to evaluate whether the position would really be a good fit for you.

Next, take a careful look at what you already can offer toward your goal.  The experts at Forbes note that many people drag their heels about job changes out of fear they will need to start completely from scratch.  You probably already offer a great deal that will help toward your goal. Employers look for the ability to be part of a team, communication skills, leadership, and organizational ability — which are also signs that you’re ready to strike out on your own! Think through your accomplishments and don’t sell yourself short.

Once you know what direction you want to pursue, pick up whatever education you need to make your dream a reality.  If your objective requires adding skills, explore local and online options.  Taking classes at night or via the web can coincide with your current position, allowing you to maintain the security of your income and benefits while preparing for change.

If you are concerned about your age, don’t be.  Experts note that many women, especially as they mature, seek changes in employment that add meaning to their lives.  They want flexibility in their schedules, freedom, and control over their work lives, and opportunities in fields that are growing.  Don’t let being beyond traditional college age keep you from attending school to improve your life — you won’t be alone.  Between the years 1970 and 2001, the number of people over the age of 35 advancing their education tripled to 2.4 million.

Be empowered.  If you are unhappy in your work, do some soul searching and research.  Find out what tools you need in order to change your career and pursue your goal.

  • Gloria Martinez (Guest Writer)

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