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Five bad reasons to change careers

Choices

Changing jobs isn’t as easy as changing your shirt. Before doing an about face, it’s wise to carefully examine why you want to do it. Is your job really the source of your problems?

1. I want to change careers because… I just do
If you aren’t able to explain why you want to change careers, stop right there. “This is not the kind of decision you want to make impulsively,” advises Cynthia Guay, a manager at the Adecco employment agency in Montreal. If you change professions, it should be for a good reason, like wanting to maximize your abilities or take your career to the next level.

2. I want to change careers because… I’m disappointed in my first job
Some people expect great work conditions and a hefty salary right off the bat. In reality, you have to gain some experience before you can expect recognition. Even architecture or chiropractic graduates have to put in their time before making the big bucks. First they have to make a name for themselves and build up a client base.

3. I want to change careers because… I have problems at work
Changing careers to avoid conflict is not a good tactic, warns Ms. Guay. Especially if there’s a chance you’ll run into similar problems elsewhere. “Talk to your boss about what’s bothering you, whether it’s your salary or interpersonal conflicts that are making your life difficult.”

4. I want to change careers because… I’m unhappy
Hoping to find that same passion for work you had when you just started? Gilles Rouleau, president of SAG Ressources humaines inc., points out that a new career is not the solution. “You shouldn’t think that change in itself is going to make you happy. Happiness comes from within, not from your environment.”

5. I want to change careers because… I don’t know enough about my field
“Sometimes lawyers who aren’t comfortable with litigation leave law altogether,” points out Catherine Morneau, co-president of Consultations Morneau, a career management and counselling agency. They would be better off looking into other areas of the field, like mediation or legal administration.

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