External factors — that you have no control over — can also impact your decision to make a job or career change. These can include:
- The company you work for was bought (or they bought another company). Both of these can impact your job as company management assesses redundancies in personnel between the two companies.
- There’s been a change in leadership in your department or the company. One of the top reasons for making a job change is when you get a new boss. Maybe he has his own former employees he brings into your department, or maybe his leadership style just doesn’t feel right to you. In either case, it may lead you to think about making a change.
- You were asked to do the same job for less money. If this hasn’t ever happened to you, you may not believe it’s possible, but some companies ask their employees to take a pay cut but continue to do their full workload. If you can’t afford to make less but work the same amount — or more — this may prompt you to look for a new job.
- Your workload was reduced, along with your opportunity to earn more. If you work in commissioned sales, you may find your sales territory reduced, which may impact your ability to earn even the same amount as before.
- You’re in a dead-end job. For whatever reason, the job you’re in now is “the end of the line” with this company. Folks who make it this far at this company usually don’t advance any farther, and generally, retire from this role.
- The industry you work in is dying or going through significant changes. Consider the mortgage industry in 2008 or the newspaper industry today. Or the feast and famine cycle of the oil and gas industry. If you’re in an industry that is likely to go “bust,” the decision to change careers may not be left up to you.
Remember, you want to assess whether the internal and/or external factors that are prompting you to consider the change are temporary (short-term) or something you would be permanently affected by.
You should also assess the “temperature” of these factors and how they affect you. Some of them may be more of a minor “inconvenience,” while others may feel unbearable. For example, while you may be working in a dying industry, as long as you have a job, you may not be interested in switching jobs or changing careers.
But you’re a frog in a pot of water that is slowly heating up. The question isn’t “if” you will eventually be affected by changes in the industry, but “when.” If you take charge of managing your career, you will be in a better position to handle career change, not just react to it when your boss summons you into his office sometime down the road to let you know your services are no longer needed.
Action Item: Schedule a complimentary career consultation ASAP to learn what to do next if you are being forced to change jobs.