Learn the factors that influence career changes, how these might impact your career, and the options for career change based on individual and external factors.
- Once you reach mid-career, your life is full of unexpected changes and challenges that will affect your job choices. You may face the fact that the company overlooked you for a promotion. Or you may have suffered a family tragedy, forcing a change. Or it could be that you just didn't choose a career early on, it picked you. Whatever the situation may be, now is the time to take charge of managing your career and make decisions that will align with your idea of success. People experience career change in one of two ways.
First, it's based on an internal factor, which depends on what your idea of success looks like and how it fits with your current career. The second is external factors that can prompt a change, such as restructuring or downsizing or the changing occupational landscape. When we talk about success, often we equate this with monetary success or someone that has achieved fame. However, progress is different for everyone. And it's common to question the values and ideas regarding success.
If you're not feeling accomplished in your career, you'll want to explore factors of success and see what resonates with you. The goal is to define and focus your attention on gaining meaning and fulfillment in your life. Exploring what makes you feel accomplished is the first step in building your strategy for your career. Understanding how your job aligns with your idea of success determines if a promotion is what you're seeking or if you need to make a more dramatic pivot in your career.
Once you analyze these factors, they should align with your career trajectory. If these factors align, you know you're in the right place. But you can't rely on your company managing your upward mobility. It's up to you to understand the promotion process and how to get there. You'll need to focus on managing resources and types of initiatives you invest in to take the next steps. When seeking a promotion, a powerful motivator is the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for your achievements.
If your idea of success is not aligned with your trajectory or you've experienced an external life occurrence that is forcing a change, then you need to explore a variety of options, including changing your role, industry, and organization. At mid-career, most people know what they're not good at doing, but they often don't know their strengths. Historically, people didn't need to know their strengths. Before 1944 in the U.S., most people were born into a line of work.
But now a career is chosen. And you need to know how to make a change. You not only need to know your strengths, but you also need to know the best work culture and find jobs that meet your needs. To make a change, you'll need to be adept at gaining skills, knowledge, and professional connections. There are three courses of action that you can take, which include directly pivoting your career by leveraging either your current role or industry, developing a parallel career, or creating your own business.
Whatever the situation, now is the time to take charge of managing your career and make decisions that will align with your idea of success.
- Name the norms that are used to define success.
- Cite the importance of exploring new work roles mid-career.
- Define a parallel career.
- Summarize the salary considerations you should take into account when changing careers.
- Identify the factors that can lead to a promotion.
- Explain how to play to your strengths.