Catalyst of Career Change

Last week I was asked what happens to spur someone to make a career change. As I thought about various examples, there was one consistent theme. Each person was at a point in their life where they had reached a level of self-awareness that they could identify the need for change. We all have our own reasons for wanting change. Usually the catalysts for change are tied to our values, needs, and goals, and sometimes it’s related to a specific event happening. Perhaps something happened at work that made you realize you want more or you just want different; perhaps something happened outside of work that made you realize that your current path no longer meets your values, needs, or goals.

Value What You Learn In Every Role

Every position that we hold in our career offers value. Yes, even those positions that we hated or we thought were irrelevant to the goal. Why? Because we’ve learned something. We have learned a skill or an ability, we have learned what we like or don’t like, or we’ve even learned what we are good at or not good at. As we move forward in our careers, we can use those learnings to our advantage in making decisions on which direction our career path should go.

Evaluate What’s Important to You

Case in point: my friend who asked me this question had been knee deep in workplace stress and anxiety for several years off and on after spending her entire working life in large, corporate organizations. She was prompted by an external event to seek a new opportunity. When this event happened, it triggered something in her that made her realize that the current organization was not a good fit for her culturally or even mentally. The alignment of values was off. While the work itself was in line with her goals, other areas were out of whack. She evaluated what was important to her and pursued opportunities that made better sense. After landing a new position where she now feels better about the work she does and who she does it with, when she reflects back at her previous experiences she can see with much more clarity the impact that the workplace stress and anxiety had on her life. Hindsight is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Change Is The Result of All True Learning

I read a quote this morning that I thought was fitting: Change is the result of all true learning. Dr. Leo Buscaglia said this, and I believe he’s on to something. What spurs career change? Accepting and understanding what we have learned about ourselves enough to know when something needs to change. So, my friend who asked me, now you know.


Are you in need of a career change? Contact Melissa Mac to help you identify just how that change can improve your life at work and at home.

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