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In a Rut? Ready for a Career Change?

Are you unhappy at work? Tired and lacking energy and drive? Don't worry, you are not alone! Studies in the US show that up to 70 percent of the workforce is unhappy with their job at any given time. We all feel dissatisfied and frustrated with our jobs at times. So, how do you know when the feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration means it is time for a career change? There are a few key signs which point towards a need for change:

* feeling overwhelmed by your workload

* unable to balance your work and life responsibilities

* confused about roles and duties in your job

* easily irritated and ready to explode at the slightest provocation

We choose our career path for many different reasons: because of our parents' encouragement; because it is a successful occupation; or for the financial reward (to name just a few). However, you may be in a career that doesn't support your core values. This could be the root of your discomfort.

Take a personal and professional inventory. Ask yourself some important questions.

1. Look at your current job. How did you get there?

2. What are your personal attributes (artistic, adaptable, creative, leader, etc.)?

3. What are your core values (autonomy, growth, helping others, financial security etc.)?

4. What are your greatest strengths?

5. Identify your accomplishments.

6. Identify your career satisfiers and dissatisfiers: For each position you have had throughout your career what activities or responsibilities did you enjoy (and not enjoy) doing?

7. What is important to you, personally and professionally?

8. What you would like to do or accomplish during your lifetime (personally or professionally) so that you will consider your life to have been well-lived?

9. What are you most excited about now?

Take a look at your answers. Is your present career in line with who you are, what you value, and what you are good at? If not, then it is time to make a change.

Once you have established that you are ready for a career change, start thinking about and noticing what you want. If you could do anything, what would you do? By assessing your accomplishments, skills, strengths and weakness you will be able to see a link between what it is that you value, what you are good at, and where the "juice" is for you - all things that you can turn into a new career. Decide what you want and create your opportunities. MAKE A PLAN. Then, use this plan to switch from resentment in your current job to looking at the positives you can take to your new career. What are your transferable skills? What are you learning in your present position that you can take with you? Once you have a plan, stay focused on your intention, and pay attention to opportunities that present themselves. Despite your present frustration and your excitement at the possibilities ahead of you, it is natural to feel afraid about starting a new career. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Remember, the power to do so is within you.

Copyright 2004-2005, Cecile Peterkin

Cecile Peterkin is a Certified Career Coach, Retirement Coach and Speaker. With over 17 years of managerial, leadership, empowerment counseling and personal development experience, Cecile specializes in helping Middle Managers overcome the "Middle Syndrome" of being stuck in a middle position in mid-life. To learn more about Cecile, visit her website at http://www.cosmiccoachingcentre.com or call 416-782-5001, Toll-free:1-866-486-4112.

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