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Is It Time for a Career Change?

Is It Time for a Career Change?

Julie Schneider, Vice President, Director of New FA Training & Acquisition

Change is hard. We say it as often as we hear it. Yet, change is something we also desire and strive for, and it frequently involves one of the most important aspects of our lives: our careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that most people will have 12 jobs during their lives.1 That’s a lot of changing. In fact, since starting their first job after college, 29% of people have completely changed fields. That’s some big changing.

Putting a career change in motion involves taking stock of several important personal facts. Therefore, begin by asking yourself these questions: Are you willing to relocate, and if so, where? Are you wanting or willing to go back to school for a specialized degree or more education? What wage range is workable for your financial obligations? Are you willing to travel?

With these definitions and limitations set, now what? Sometimes it’s hard to crank the engine and get started. Along with fear, inertia is another enemy of change, so start small and think about it often.

When you find yourself thinking about a change, and you’ve determined your personal and factual “non-negotiables,” here are four additional questions and thoughts to ponder that aren’t so black and white, yes or no. By digging deeper and thinking a little more broadly, the positive impact of a career change could reach far beyond just what you do every day at work.

Is it what I do, or is it the industry I am in? Realign your expertise.

Stagnancy occurs when you’re doing the same thing for too many years. Challenge yourself to look outside your current role in the same industry. Industry expertise can be applied in a variety of ways. If you can do your job in your sleep, you’re not growing, if you’re not growing, what are you doing? Ask yourself in what other ways can my expertise, knowledge and experience be applied. Will that challenge me in a way that energizes? Can I bring value to the industry or this company in a different and more meaningful way?

What is it worth to you financially to love what you do? Monetize your happiness.

If you had the opportunity to love your job more and earn less, would you do it? How much would you be willing to give up in wages to bring more joy and increase your quality of life? Can you assign a dollar value to that? Are you able to live with less money to be happier? Conversely, would you like to have your compensation tied more directly to the effort and success you achieve? Perhaps the richness in life be defined by more diverse measures than just the balance of a bank account.

What is your “Why?” Meaning and purpose are huge contributors to job satisfaction.

Most would consider it lucky or luxurious to have or find a career that satisfies your meaning and purpose. However, most have not taken the time to figure out what that is! Start by asking yourself these introspective questions: What inspires you? What are your motivators? What is your passion? The answers or thought process in addressing these questions may bring additional clarity to what is important in your life, both inside and outside of work.

Companies have a soul—does it match yours? A tagline versus the hard line.

Company culture is frequently summed up in a pithy slogan or catchy sound bite. Take a deeper dive. Look at the average tenure of employees, the ownership structure, (employee owned, publicly traded, closely held, etc.), and since culture truly comes from the top, look closely at how top management interacts with employees and how they are compensated. Are the actions and decisions consistent with the stated culture of the firm? Visit with employees and see if the messages match.

Whether you’re 35 or 53 and looking for the next move in your working life, consider leading with both your head and heart in writing the next chapter in your career.

According to Wikijob, Indeed, Joblist and Career Karma, a financial advisor is one of the top careers to consider when making a mid-life career change. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to [email protected].

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey

This material is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. D.A. Davidson & Co. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. Information contained herein has been obtained by sources we consider reliable but is not guaranteed and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. Any opinions expressed are based on our interpretation of the data available to us at the time of the original article. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Copyright D.A. Davidson & Co., 2023. All rights reserved. Member FINRA and SIPC.