July 6, 2022

(MVP) Signs You’re Ready for a Career Change

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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Looking for a sign? I’ve got a few for you. In this episode, I’m sharing some common signs that you’re ready for a career change.

One of the biggest reasons my clients come to me is because they feel stuck and are unsure what their next career move should be. They are questioning whether the path they are on is right for them or if it is time for a change.

But after years of working toward where they are, pressures from society, family, it can really feel like you don’t really know what you even want.

That is where I come in. I guide my clients through an exploration process called career mapping where we combine positive psychology, career assessments, and coaching to figure out exactly what your next step is, not based on what you think you should do or what is available, but what has been missing and what is perfectly aligned to the authentic you.

You may be questioning if you are ready for a career change, you may be wondering if you’re in the right job, wondering if you’re burnt out, and trying to figure out your next step.

I get it. Let’s take the guess work out. You can get your answer right now.

I’m going to talk about several scenarios. They may all apply to you.

If 2 or more resonate with you, it is a strong indicator you are ready for a job or career change. 

What You’ll Learn

How to know if you’re ready for a career change

The specific scenarios that indicate it’s time for a change

How to make a change without giving up the success you’ve already built

Resources and a free training to help you decide what to do

Featured in This Episode

Apply for 1-1 coaching with Melissa.

The workbook: Figure Out Your Next Career Move is no longer available.

Instead, take the free quiz: Are you in the right career?

Sign up for the new on-demand training: Decide Your Next Career Move happening July 16-17

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Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling stuck and start are feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the podcast Happy Summer. Now today we are going to break out another MVP episode of the podcast from the first three months or so of this show back in 2020. And this is signs that you’re ready for a career change. And it’s so relevant today. So many people are changing jobs right now, are looking at what they want to do next and maybe you’re unsure whether or not a job change is right for you.

If maybe it’s just you, maybe it’s.

A phase, maybe you just stick it out because you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are right now. And so this episode is really going to make it crystal clear for you whether or not it’s time to make a change in your career. I am breaking down 13 reasons or 13 signs that it is time for you to make a change. And if you resonate with some of these, you are going to know for sure by the end of this episode that it’s time to do something. It’s time to make a move. It’s time to prioritize your career and get out of a route that you might be in and really move towards something that is going to allow you to have the impact that you want to have and do the work that you want to do. Now, before we dive into the episode, I want to give you a quick shout out that if you are looking to make a move in your career, if you are wondering what your move should be, if you’re having a hard time deciding, maybe you have a fear of making the wrong choice, I want to invite you to attend the new training that I have coming up called Decide Your Next Career Move.

Now this is a brand new training. It is going to be delivered to your email over two short videos with a workbook because I can tell you all of the how to, I can give you all of the steps, but it’s really about the application. And so I’m going to help you apply what you learn over these two days so that you can make a decision that you feel really confident about. And I’m delivering these videos to you so you can not only watch them at your own pace and work them into your own schedule, but you can rewatch them if you need to because they are very powerful and impactful. And I’m telling you why you don’t know what move to make. I’m telling you why the decision is hard and I’m telling you what steps you need to take in order to get where you want to go. So all you have to do is go to my website, Melissamlawrence.com. I will put a link in the show notes to add your name to let me know that you want me to send to that training to you. It is all happening July 16 and 17th.

All right, let’s go ahead and dive into this episode.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode. I’m so excited to talk to you about this topic, which is how to know it’s time for a career change. This is the biggest reason that my clients come to me is because that they feel stuck and they’re unsure what their next career move should be. I’m sure you can resonate that this is either something that you are going through now or it’s something that you’ve gone through in the past where you’re questioning whether the path you’re on is right for you or if it is time for a change. But after years of working towards where you are and the pressure from society, from family, it can really feel like you don’t even really know what you want. And it’s a really tough decision because it’s something you can only decide for yourself. And we always have all of these influences like our partners and our friends and our co workers to help guide us and give us input and advice. But at the end of the day, it’s your career, it’s where you spend your time, it’s your brain power, it’s your skills. It’s really something that only you can decide for yourself.

And sometimes you need a little bit of help. And this is where I come in. So I guide my clients through an exploration process that I call career mapping. And this is where we combine positive psychology, career assessments and coaching tools to figure out exactly what your next step is, not based on what you think you should do or what is available or what your partner thinks is a good idea, but really looking at what has been missing and what is perfectly aligned to the authentic version of you. And authentic is just I know it’s kind of a buzzword that gets thrown around, but it’s really just the real you. Like the person without the social influences, without what you think you should do or the pressure that you put on yourself or the way you might show up in certain settings. It’s like the core heartbreak and soul of who you are and aligning your career to that version of you so that you can really excel and live up to your potential and feel your best. So you may be questioning if you’re ready for a career change, you may be wondering if you’re in the right job, if you’re burnt out and you’re just trying to figure out what your next step should be.

And I totally get it. So let’s just take the guesswork out, you can get your answer right now, and I’m going to talk about several different scenarios. They may all apply to you, maybe just a handful of them apply to you. But if two or more of what I’m going to talk about resonate with you, it is a strong indicator that you are ready for a job or career change. So let’s dig right in. The first one is you’re often stressed and tired after work. You find yourself frustrated with what happens at work and it’s affecting your home life. For example, you complain about one or more coworkers or situations from work to your partner. On the regular. You find yourself distracted thinking about how frustrated you are, why someone did what they did, why things are the way that they are. And it just kind of consumes you when you’re not even at work. And if you, let’s say, check your email when you’re at home and you get an email from someone or something comes through, it just frustrates you, right? Like you’re not able to compartmentalize them and you’re not able to leave that stress at work.

The second one is when your alarm goes off. You hit snooze at least once, and not because you’re tired, but because you’re just dreading going into work. And you might even be hoping for a snow day in July just so you can stay home. So you know when you’re counting down to your next holiday or vacation. And Mondays are a drag. And it always feels like it’s finally Friday. When is it going to be Friday? This is a good indicator that you’re ready to explore a change. The next scenario is you feel like the work you do doesn’t matter to your boss, your team, or your company in general. If you’re feeling undervalued that you are taking up space sometimes, and it’s an uphill battle to use your skills, to be recognized, to feel valued, like your work matters, it can be time for a change. I felt this way for a while before making a change for myself. I was always trying to convince our leadership team that development of people was important, even more important than status update meetings and Gantt charts. It was like putting the cart before the horse. It was exhausting.

Making a change allowed me to do what I love and what I’m awesome at without the resistance. And that’s possible for you too. That’s why we’re talking about this, because I don’t want you to settle in your misery. Your next career change could be with the same company. This doesn’t mean that you have to totally give up what you’ve worked on or your reputation where you’re at so far. It could just mean that there’s a pivot that you need to make to really make you feel more fulfilled and satisfied in your career. So these signs are just to help you understand that if two or more of these things are something that you struggle with or that resonate with you, that means it’s time to make a change. You’re not crazy. You don’t need to wait it out and see how next year goes. It’s like, let’s take the time now to actually look at what’s going on for you and get you where you want to be. Okay, so let’s keep going. The next one is you’re no longer driven to give your job 100%. So, you know, when you started your job, you were really excited.

There’s like a honeymoon period. You might have felt that for even a longer period of time where you just always wanted to give your all. And when you find yourself feeling complacent, like you’ll just do what you need to, watch out. That is an awful feeling. You probably go back and forth between caring and trying to care, feeling hopeful things will get better. So you really try to give it your all and give the 110% you typically do. But then you swing the other way because you’re so frustrated with the way things are that you just go to this place of just doing what you have to do, the minimal requirements for your position. You don’t put any extra effort anymore because you don’t think it matters. So you aren’t using your skills, and the company suffers because you could be doing so much more. And I know that you know that if this is something that you resonate with, I know you probably get frustrated thinking, there’s so much more I could be giving to this company, to my team, and they don’t even know it. You know that, you know they’re losing out.

But you just try to convince yourself that it’s a positive thing. You don’t have to work so hard. You don’t have to be so challenged. You can have the salary and the reputation and the status that you have, and you don’t even have to work that much, right, because you can do more than what other people can do in the same amount of time. So if what they want is your minimum, because let’s just be real. Your minimum is probably better than the average person’s best, then that’s on them, right? That’s what you think. This mindset is a huge indicator that you’re not engaged and that you need a change. All right, the next one, you find yourself saying yes more. I don’t know if you just heard me clap, giving really worked. You might be hearing a little noise in the background because I’m talking with my hands and I’m really getting okay. So you find yourself saying yes more. Being a yes person, not really fighting for things that you think should change, and you’re just going with the status quo. So you used to really fight for what you thought was right, what was going to yield the best results for the company, but you don’t really care to fight anymore.

You just go along with what the bigger voices are saying. Whether it’s Sally, who always has an opinion and gets her way, or Mark, who your boss seems to love, your boss, who thinks he’s collaborative, but we both know really isn’t, or you just let them have their say and you go along with it. That’s being a team player, right? Friend. If you feel that your light is being dimmed and you don’t care to voice your opinion, speak up and contribute. It’s time to explore why that is and how to get you in a mindset, role or company that enables you to bring your best to the table. All right, there are a lot of these, right? You are going to leave it being like, oh my gosh, there’s nobody I resonate with. It might put you into a little bit of a crisis, but don’t worry because there’s a way. This is the next one. You’re on social media frequently throughout the day or watching the clock, waiting for your work day to end. Your days go by slow. You can do your job relatively easily, so it doesn’t require of your attention. So you feel some time by scrolling through social media, doodling, busy work or what you appear to be busy with and just wait for it to be an acceptable time to turn off your computer.

This is another indicator that you are disengaged, that you aren’t being fully utilized, and that you’re ready for a change. All right, the next one. Number seven. Your job doesn’t align with your interests, skill and or capabilities. You may even be under utilized. When you find that your job isn’t challenging you anymore, or maybe you’ve lost interest in it, it’s time to recalibrate. It’s totally normal for this to happen and it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the company or with you. We are human, we grow, we learn. And what you used to like, you may not like anymore. Maybe you discovered a new passion, or maybe your role doesn’t require you to use all of your skills. I run into the latter frequently. Many companies in the Stem world, especially the kind of the pharma biotech world, tend to hire over qualified candidates. They want the best of the best. But then sometimes you end up with tasks that kind of lower level scientists or lower level candidates can perform. So what happens is you get excited for getting into this great company. You’re excited to make a difference, you’re excited to use your skills.

And then over time, there may not be a lot of growth or movement and you find that you actually have more skills and knowledge than what the role requires. And so when that excitement wears off, you end up bored. So it’s possible to use more of your skills and I can show you how to get them used at your current employer or figure out if it’s time to move on because that is an awful feeling. If you have more that you can offer and you know that you can, why would you dim that way? Why would you silence yourself and limit yourself and your own growth and capabilities? Because that is all that the current role that you’re in requires. You can find more ways to utilize your skills. I can show you how within your position or within your greater company. Or look at maybe it’s just time to move on. Number eight, when you take vacation, you don’t feel recharged or that it was enough. There is nothing worse than counting down until your vacation, having time off for several days, a week, two weeks, then going back to work and you dread it.

You expect that this break is going to help you feel recharged and reinvigorate.

You re engage you.

And instead you kind of get a taste of the good life and you realize just how unhappy you are at your job. That time away actually made you realize how much you don’t like your job anymore. Things can be worse, but that’s an awful feeling. It’s like you are worse off than you were before you left on vacation. Because now you know how unhappy you really are and may not know what to do. So you might start scrolling through indeed or LinkedIn, frantically trying to get out. Before you do, it’s important to look at what you really want. So you run towards something and not away. Otherwise you’re likely to end up in the same spot a year later. Number nine, you think about the positive side of your job and the reason you should stay in terms of what is reasonable. Like practical things like how long you’ve been there, your salary, your benefits, the comfort of knowing what to expect, right? Like, you know, there’s a saying what is it? Like, you know, the devil or something like that. You know the kind of pros and cons of where you are. You don’t know what you’d be getting into somewhere else.

So you just kind of convince yourself that whatever you’re unhappy with is fine because you have your salary, your benefits, and the comfort of knowing what to expect. I remember these days, and it’s so common for my clients to feel that they need to express gratitude for their job when they say they don’t like something about it. Something like, I really want to become a people manager, but I keep getting roadblocks. But, you know, I like my job, it’s a good job, I have great benefits, and you never know what you’ll get with another company. So I really want to grow and I really want this other opportunity actually decided I want to be a people manager, but if I don’t get it, it’s okay because I just need to be patient because I have all these other benefits. Or I’m really bored with my work, but I have a flexible schedule and my salary is really good. I don’t have to work that hard for what I get paid, so it’s not that bad. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. You can be fulfilled in your job and have the perks.

It isn’t a trade off and it’s okay if you’re not happy. You can be grateful and unfulfilled at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive and you don’t need to justify it. Number ten you sweat the small stuff at work, increasingly becoming more irritated by policies, coworkers your boss, or all of it when you start dreading emails from certain people, rolling your eyes, thinking things like here we go again. Or I wish they would just do their job for one or another. Waste of time meeting you’re in a dark place, my friend. Those little things add up and our brains validate what we think. So if you think your boss is incompetent, guess what? Everything they do will reinforce that for you. We have to get to the root of that and clean up the thinking so that you can be more fulfilled because it’s hurting you. Your boss or the team isn’t thinking about your sleepless nights or that you spent another night having wine and complaining about work. You’re hurting yourself. But you are totally capable of getting out of this space. Number eleven, you spend your free time thinking about and or learning about different careers, roles, or departments.

If you are regularly wondering how you can get into a new department, if you should just change roles, if the neighboring competition would be the right change of scenery so that you can start building your resume, it’s time to take a look. This can be good. Like, you know you need a change. But again, we want to make sure that you’re running toward the right role for you and not away from your current situation. And sometimes it can feel like you’re grasping at straws, like, I want to do something different. I’m not sure what it is. Oh, these people over here, they went and got this project management certification. Or these people over here got a green belt and lean. So I’m going to do that and hope that this distraction of learning something new is going to help position me to what I really want to do. And it’s going to help me get some momentum and some movement and it’s going to help me figure out what I want to do. But there’s a better way. You can actually learn exactly what you want. You can actually learn what is the right move for you without feeling like you’re just kind of grasping.

Number twelve. You browse job listings just to see what is out there every day or regularly at lunch. You’re looking to see what new roles were posted. You look to see if you’re qualified. Maybe you’ll reach out to one of your network contexts to check in just to see if there’s any scoop on new positions. You are convinced that there must be something better. Or maybe you just want to have something in your back pocket. Maybe you just want to get an offer just to use as leverage, or just to have the option to say screw you to your boss the next time that you get frustrated. A former colleague once told me that once an employee starts scrolling for openings, they are as good as gone. Their engagement is tanked, and it’s only a matter of time. Number 13 you have a nagging feeling there is something more or better out there for you. I love this one. So many of you have that feeling that there is just something more. You have all the things you have the relationship, the career. You’re successful and outside looking in. Why would you want anything more?

But you know that there is something missing, something more that you could offer the world, that you have a purpose you haven’t quite figured out yet. This is my favorite thing to explore with clients. And if you have that feeling, I’m here to tell you it’s for a reason. No one has that feeling and then explores it and we find, nope, must have just been indigestion. Nothing there. It isn’t always a great feeling to know that you’re ready for a change. Change can be scary and difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t know what you’re running towards. If you were listening and more than once you were like, yes, that is me, or Oh my gosh, I totally feel that way sometimes. Then it’s time to explore a change. I suggest figuring out what that changes. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be a new job or company, but you need something to shift. Going towards something is much more rewarding and will leave you more satisfied in the long run than what many do, which is running away from their current situation, moving to the next logical step, or same job, different company.

I encourage you to think about possibilities and not just what is available at your company, hoping that will solve the problem. You could just end up feeling the same way a few months or a year later. If you want to figure out what your next step is, I encourage you to apply for coaching by scheduling a call with me. Once we talk, you’ll have a better idea of what you should change and how to get there. So to do that, you can go to www. Dot Melissa M. Lawrence.com to learn more. I’ll also put a direct link in the show notes. And if you’re thinking this totally resonated with me, but I’m just not ready for a call. If you’re just feeling a little bit hesitant, I do have a free workbook I want to offer you. It’s also on my website. I will put the link out there and it is called figure out Your next career move so you can get access to that. It’s a 14 or 15 page workbook that is going to guide you through figuring out what’s missing and how to take some steps toward change. So that is all for this week’s episode.

I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your week. Bye. Coaching with me is the best way to guarantee you get happy at work and achieve your career and life goals. Getting started is easy. Head over to www.melissamlawrence.com to learn more and apply. It is the first step to get you from feeling stuck to knowing exactly what you want and have the tools to make it a reality. I will be by your side the entire way. I’ll put a link in the show notes.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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