I recently read an article that stated that the new normal for Millennials is to jump jobs four times in their first decade out of college. More than that, today’s college graduates are often switching industries completely during these jumps. Do you realize that means four transitional periods of going through the job-hunting cycle?! In my opinion, job hunting is much more than just the application process. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
First, you have to acknowledge that you’re unfulfilled. Maybe you hate your current job or industry with a passion, or you just have an underlying longing that you’re meant to do something else. Next, you have to come to terms with starting over, which means that you will inevitably go through the process of finding a new position, undergoing new training, informing your current workplace of your departure, and looking for a new fit somewhere else (exhausting, am I right?!). Next, it’s time for the rejection and disappointment of searching, applying, and being let down. Lastly, you have to deal with the fear of the unknown and the never-ending internal debate of “was this worth it?”
Before you start to hyperventilate, let’s take a step back and look at step #2 in the job-hunt: starting over. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional turmoil of feeling unfulfilled. That panic can cause us to make snap decisions that often lead to regret and another job switch later down the road. To make an informed choice, look at the pros and cons of taking this leap of faith. Use these steps to analyze the impact that switching your job (or career) might have on your life.
Is it financially feasible?
We know that the bills and student loans won’t pay themselves. The first and most important point to examine is whether or not you can afford to change jobs. Don’t misunderstand me. It can be the right decision to change your job and take a pay cut in order to increase your quality of life, but there’s a difference between reorganizing your budget and falling into a cesspool of debt. If your job switch will cause serious financial strain, it might not be the right time.
How does it impact my quality of life?
Quality of life is a big way in which I define success. Career fulfillment is not just about financial freedom. It’s also about the ways in which I can use my financial freedom. Does your next job allow you to have any discretionary income, travel when you need to, shorten (or lengthen) your commute, or even cause you to move altogether? Do you desire to have a lifestyle business, be self-employed, or work in a bustling office? These questions are personal preferences that should factor into the equation.
What are the emotional repercussions?
Whereas quality of life may impact the way you spend your time, the emotional impact of changing jobs could mean the difference between living in a state of depression versus contentment. You might have a well-paying job that allows you a lot of freedom, but you are so emotionally drained from the people you work with or the hours you keep that you cannot hang on for one more shift. Or, it might not be as bad as you think, when you consider the financial stress or lifestyle change that switching requires. Only you know where you stand on this one.
We change jobs for a million different reasons. If you’re considering making a transition, make sure that you take the time to be intentional and consider how a new career could impact every aspect of your life, rather than just your short-term goals.