When Changing Careers Isn't a Good Idea

When Changing Careers Isn't a Good Idea

When Changing Careers Isn't a Good IdeaWhen Changing Careers Isn't a Good Idea

There are far too many other things that are changing.

Everything seems to happen all at once in life at times. Perhaps you're expecting a child and then receive the opportunity to move to a different place for your ideal career. Or you are given a promotion, but it requires you to return to school and change your work schedule to a different shift.


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A lot of change isn't always a negative thing, but it may pile up.

Psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a stress scale in the 1960s to assess the effect of life experiences. They attributed numerous "life change units" to 43 different events, ranging from the loss of a spouse (the most traumatic at 100 life change units) to a small infraction of the law (least stressful at 11 life change units).

Other top-ranked life events were divorce, jail, marriage, and job termination. Even ostensibly positive events, such as a career move or additional job duties, tipped the scale (at 36 units and 29 units, respectively).

Subjects were asked to tick off recent events in their lives and sum the number of life change units. Those who scored higher than 300 were deemed to be more vulnerable to stress-related illnesses such as a heart attack or stroke.

It's debatable whether this scale is still applicable in today's environment, but the reality remains that the job can be stressful—and only you can tell when it's too much.

If your personal life is in turmoil, it's appropriate to strive for stability in your work life.


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Your judgment may be skewed.

One reason why making large changes at work while you're going through huge changes at home might be a terrible idea is that it can cloud your judgment.

Consider having a kid or adopting a child. You might be suffering from sleep deprivation, adapting to a new family member, or coping with a shift in your perception of your own identity. With everything going on, you may be tempted to switch things up in your work life as well.

That may be the best option, but it's preferable if you can make that decision when you're getting enough sleep and have a greater feeling of stability at home.


You've had a rough day or week

Even if you like your job, you are unlikely to enjoy every day at work. Even the finest jobs have unpleasant days, weeks, and even months. Before you declare that your ideal job has turned into a nightmare, be certain that you are not mistaking a transient glitch for a chronic issue.

For example, you could be working on a difficult project right now, but next month you'll be focused on something more enjoyable. Or, you have a disagreement with a member of your team, but you'll be working with someone different on the following sprint.

Even awful bosses do not endure indefinitely. If your organization has a history of management changes and you like your teammates and tasks, it is best to put up with a less-than-ideal boss.


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You're Preoccupied with Money

A average increase at most firms is 3%, so it's no wonder that many employees choose to depart in order to earn a greater salary. However, if you make a professional shift only for financial reasons, you may end up worse off than if you remained there. 


Money is a good cause to change, but it shouldn't be your sole one.

What are the chances that resigning for greater income may backfire? You might theoretically quit a job you like for one that isn't a good match and not make much more money after taxes. Alternatively, you might jump ship for a greater pay only to discover that the employee benefits are inferior or more expensive out of pocket, putting you in worse financial situation than before.


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You are experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

We live in the Instagram era. It's easy to get caught up in comparing your insides to everyone else's outsides. However, the highly controlled image of people's jobs seen on social media is not reality. You never witness the times of uncertainty and failure, just the promotions, honors, and accolades.

Remember that your career is entirely your responsibility. You do not have to compete with your coworkers, college roommates, friends, or professional competitors. All you have to do is locate the job and career that are the perfect match for you.

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