Is it time for that career change?

Current news reports seem to show that in many areas of the country the economy is performing strongly. Housing prices are up, corporate profits are increasing and unemployment rates in most places are at historic lows.

An environment like this can be a good time to evaluate your own employment situation and how satisfied you are with both where you’re working and the kind of work you’re doing. If the answers you find show you aren’t enjoying your career, this might be the time to consider a change.

While making a mid-life career change can seem frightening for most people, if the alternative is staying in your current position where you’re feeling unhappy and unsatisfied, then such a change is at least worth considering.

Start by asking yourself some questions about your current career:

– Do you find you dread going to work each day?

– Does Sunday afternoon leave you depressed because Monday morning and work are approaching?

– Is your current work providing a sense of contentment or accomplishment?

– Are there things you enjoy about your work, or do you find it difficult to be interested and motivated in your job or field of work?

– Do you feel your abilities and experience are being underused?

If you’re answering yes to the majority of such questions, it’s a strong sign you may be ready for a career change. That doesn’t mean you should head for work tomorrow and hand in your resignation, but rather that it’s time to start researching options.

Your library or local bookstore is a good starting place. There are numerous books on career change that can help you identify your abilities, interests and values.

You may also want to consider meeting with a professional counselor specializing in career and employment guidance. Such counselors can provide resources such as interest and personality tests that can help you clarify your goals and identify possible careers. A counselor will work with you to help you narrow your focus and to develop a plan for action.

Making a major career change can seem daunting but staying in a job that leaves you unhappy and dissatisfied can lead to serious problems. Done correctly, a career change can give you a better sense of control over your life, and excitement about the opportunities in your future.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Comments and questions to ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit the ACA website at www.counseling.org.