Having worked with literally thousands of corporate professionals from around the world, coming from a variety of backgrounds including Sales, Marketing, Middle Management, Senior Management, Human Resources, Operations and more, there is one universal truth that we have observed… and that is the importance of timing.
We’re going to skip over the cliché’ sayings of ‘you only live once’ and ‘there’s no time like the present’ because when it comes to making a career change and taking your next step, many of you have time. In fact, you may be wishing your time away as your desire for change is so great, but you are not yet sure what change to make. Don’t worry, we’re getting there.
While there is no perfect time to make a meaningful change in your life and career, you will find that there are optimal times. These are times when you may suddenly find the dynamics of your work, home, family and financial life shifting.
Factors That Indicate It’s A Good Time To Make A Career Change:
- A change of leadership at work.
- Forced or voluntary redundancy.
- Mergers and acquisitions that result in a change of working dynamics.
- Reaching a glass ceiling with little room for progression.
- General boredom having worked in the same role/industry for many years.
- Growing tired of corporate politics.
- Growing tired of extensive travel and being away from home.
In Your Personal Life, Factors That Can Indicate It’s A Good Time To Make A Career Change Include:
- Becoming ‘empty nesters’.
- Children beginning to support themselves financially.
- Children getting married and starting their own families.
- Minimising, if not clearing, your mortgage.
- Arrival of grandchildren.
- Death of a loved one (including family pets).
- Health problems.
- Marital problems that require personal changes.
While many of these changes can be quite disturbing, I want to reassure you that they’re often a blessing in disguise. They cause you to stop, sit up and take notice of the things happening around you. This normally leads to you re-evaluating who you are, what you want and what’s important to you, which ultimately leads to changing some aspect of your life for the better.
These times can be great for making a career change and can really be the catalyst that you need to move those desired changes from a place of thinking to doing.
Just as there are optimal times to make a career change, there are also non-optimal times. These are times when, despite your urge to make an immediate change, it may actually be better for you if you hold off for a period of time. That’s not to say that you can’t make any changes now, it’s simply that your chances of making a successful change may be higher if you wait just a little longer. After all, when making any major change in your life, it’s all about setting yourself up for success.
Factors That Can Indicate It’s Not A Good Time To Make A Career Change Include:
- Leaving mid-way through an important project that you’re leading.
- Having worked hard for a promotion that is on the horizon (which requires a little more patience).
- The possibility of growing in new and rewarding ways by transferring and/or being promoted to other departments within the business.
- Having unvested stock options that are due to vest or working towards a significant bonus that will soon materialise.
- Feeling as though you’re ‘not quite finished’ in your corporate role just yet.
In Your Personal Life, Factors That Can Indicate It’s Not A Good Time To Make A Career Change Include:
- Having kids that are soon to be going to university.
- Having kids in private education that is due to continue for some time.
- Recently moving house and having a larger mortgage to pay.
- Being in a financial position where monthly outgoings are high and you must have your salary to keep everything supported.
- Having little savings or financial leeway.
- An expensive occasion coming up such as a wedding or dream vacation.
- Where an immediate change in career would cause marital problems.
Everyone’s circumstances are unique and therefore you must evaluate your situation to the best of your ability. However, if the timing is truly right then you will instinctively know this. If it’s not, then you will know this too. If it’s not the right or ideal time – do not worry as there are many paths you can explore that won’t require you to leave the security of your full time occupation.