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Is it time for a career change?

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Professionally, where do you want to be in the next three years? Five years? Or even ten years? It’s easy to dismiss career planning as a task reserved for young professionals who are eager to blaze their own unique professional trails. But that would not be a wise decision to make.{{more}}

I have secret dreams and aspirations to try a new career path and find myself being scared. Maybe it’s the security of knowing how to operate and succeed in my current career. It really is true, “the older you get, the more set in your ways you become,” but I am determined to break free from that mentality. How about you?

Too many people feel that the only time to change is when you are forced to because you were fired or laid off. Why not consciously plan to make a career move so you can use the gifts and talents you possess. People are living longer these days and working later into their lives. In doing so, many enter into a second, and even third career-not just a different job, but an entirely new career before they finally retire. So, if you feel frustrated in your current professional path, take heart. You can still have the career of your dreams. No, it’s never too late to plan your career path, regardless of how many years you’ve been working. Sit and think about how to accomplish that new dream. Imagine your ideal professional life, then work backwards to design a plan to get there. If you are still not sure you need to plan your career, ask yourself these two questions.

Are you fulfilled in your career?

When you get up to go to work each morning, think about this: does your career provide you with a certain level of personal and professional satisfaction? Do you feel a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond the paycheck you receive? If either answer is “no,” then you are a prime candidate for reevaluating where it is you are headed, and why.

Traditionally, a job is supposed to pay the bills. But, in the Caribbean and many other parts of the world, that sentiment is changing as younger workers seek more than just financial gain. People are now trying to figure out purposes for their lives, and they often create a life and career around that purpose. If you are not fulfilled at work, if your career is not feeding into your purpose, maybe it’s time you begin to ask “why not?” Is it the office environment? If it is, then maybe finding a better employer will solve the problem.

Is it the profession, though? If you think it might be, what will it take to get you on a track toward change? Can you start out with a part-time second job to get some experience? Do you need to go back to school? Do you even know what profession you are best suited for? Who do you know who could help you get some answers?

Do you feel underemployed or underutilized?

Some people have just gotten to be too big for their jobs. They think big, they dream big, and they put in the time and actions to back up their bold, innovative ideas. Unfortunately, many of these people are stuck in jobs that leave little or no room for creativity, or they work with colleagues and supervisors who no longer see things the way they do.

If this is you, it might be time to network your way to a career that takes better advantage of all the skills and talents you have cultivated. Can you find a side project you can become involved in outside your current workplace?

Strategize on how you can play up your accumulated skills. Career planning doesn’t have to be some elaborate plan; it can be as simple as knowing what you want, deciding when you want it, and figuring out how to get it.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to: [email protected]

Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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