GNcareers, from Gulf News

Bring subtlety to switching careers midstream

Bring subtlety to switching careers midstreamImage Credit: Supplied

As with anything in life, you may reach a stage in the career where you get a sense of disappointment at how the path has turned out. You may have started with ambitious plans to change the world — or just your life — and your professional dreams have got derailed or crashed by the reality of your skills, competition and the job market.

And, now, you find you're stuck in a job that is less than satisfactory.

The temptation to continue in this path often undermines the urge for a career change. But it is probably a good idea to resist this temptation and look at opportunities that may help you revive professionally. In this process, you will need to consider the following.

Source of frustration

The core question is why you've turned unhappy with the job. If it is a matter of being tired by the routine, lack of innovation or a particular employer's practices, your solution may be to find a new job — not a new career.

If your concern is purely financial — you're not making enough money because of where you're in your career and the type of work to do — a career change could be a solution. But so are finding more ways to climb the professional ladder more quickly or work for an organisation that pays better salaries.

The point is: Career change is not the only solution and definitely isn't easy. Before you embark on what it takes, you must be sure that it will address your concerns.

So be clear about your frustration sources and consider other solutions first. In many cases, you may not have to go overboard and make a complete change. A new job or even a new position within the organisation could bring the change you're looking for while still building on the years of experience and accomplishments.

Your approach

You may change careers, but if you don't change your ways, you may end up in the same position — bored, unfulfilled and looking for a remedy to professional disappointments. Career stagnation isn't necessarily your own fault, but you still need to look closely at how you've been handling advancement opportunities — subtle and explicit.

Many people are left behind because they take their careers for granted. They expect promotions, raises and better prospects to come their way as a reward for their good work. But in reality that is not always the case.

The job market is competitive and so are today's typical workplaces. If you seem content with where you are and what you do with little drive for advancement, the approach may seem as less than ambitious.

Employers want to see you fight — not literally — for advancement. You will need to show your leadership style, bring new ideas to the table, increase productivity, improve on existing processes, etc. Simply don't sell yourself short when there is an opportunity or a job opening.

Regardless to which career path you take, this conscious effort of positioning yourself for advancement is the only way you will be able to get ahead in today's competitive market.

The next stop

Just like you have learnt over the years that jobs and careers may not be the same as they appear, gather as much information as possible about the next planned step. If shifting careers, you probably don't have much time to experiment with wrong moves. So be as realistic as possible with the pros and cons of this new path.

Always keep in mind: A new career probably will set you back to a more junior position and less money — at least for a while. So be prepared to set your ego aside during the learning curve and get ready for some self-imposed austerity measures.

The good news is that once done with this phase — and yes, it is just a phase — you will find yourself in a much happier place. You will have a fulfilling job that meets your professional aspirations.

Changing careers

Think of other solutions first.

Change your attitude if needed.

Consider the pros and cons.

Pursue opportunity actively.

Did you know that you are bigger than your challenges

Source: Rania Oteify, Special for

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor