Career Change or Job Change?

Time For Something New placard with bokeh backgroundThe hit song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by the rock group, The Clash, poses a question that many of us face at key junctures in our careers. Should you stay with what you once believed would be a rewarding career, or change careers in search of greener pastures? How one responds to this dilemma culminates in a high stakes decision affecting your future career success.

Finding your answer to this question can be a difficult and uncertain process. These are some of the issues you may be struggling with at such pivotal times in your career:

  • Have I made the wrong career choice?
  • Is the company where I work the problem?
  • Perhaps I am in the right career, but have I been working too hard?
  • Has this chapter of my professional life simply come to a close?

Whatever the cause, this is not the time to make arbitrary choices or look to someone else to make your decision. The best answers to these questions come from within you.

Demonstrated time and again, career fulfillment is rarely accomplished by guessing what to do next, or grasping for whatever opportunity happens to match your resume. Starting with this kind of “Outside-In” approach offers a low probability of career fulfillment.

The good news is that by starting with a systematic “Inside-Out” approach, you increase the probability of making the best career decision. My approach to helping clients struggling with these questions begins with a guided self-exploration that clarifies the elements of your ideal career. Examples of key elements include parameters such as:

  • Your natural gifts and talents
  • What you feel passionate about
  • What kinds of people you like to work with
  • Whether you want to be your own boss or work with a team
  • How your career fits into your larger life

Once your list of unique key elements is complete, we then compare that list with the elements at play in your current work. Your answer to the question “should I stay or should I go?” becomes clearly based on the outcome of this comparison. By using this systematic process you avoid the guess work, and have the critical information you need to make your best decision.

Are you ready to answer once and for all the nagging question: “should I stay or should I go?”

© 2015 – 2016, Seth Kaufman, Psy.D., Certified Career Coach at
All rights reserved. Reproduction or distribution of this article allowed only when credited to its author.

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