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Is a Career Change Possible in this Economy?

People ask me this question all the time.  I think it’s silly but, obviously, there’s a great deal of concern out there. So, I want to address this issue once and for all.

Yes, career change is absolutely possible—regardless of the state of the economy.

There. I said it.

But I know it takes more than that to convince you.

I recently had the honor of interviewing Dick Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” Here’s what he says:

In the best of economic times, there are always millions of people out of work. And, the corollary to that is that, in the worst of times, there are always millions of people that find jobs. I looked at a typical month during the high of the recession, which was April of 2009, and 4 million people found jobs that month and there were 3 million vacancies that didn’t even get filled that month. So there are always a lot of jobs available…

The world’s foremost authority on finding work says there’s plenty of opportunity out there. That should make you feel at least a little better.

But I know it’s still risky. It’s always risky, regardless of the economy. Sure, 4 million people got work. But millions more didn’t.

So it can be tempting to stay put, no matter how unhappy you are. You have a job. It’s a paycheck. Shouldn’t you just focus on the fact that you’re employed? Isn’t that good enough?

Sure. You could live your life like that. You could settle for less than what you want—and rightfully deserve—simply because it’s easy. Or maybe because you don’t believe in yourself. Or perhaps because you don’t believe anything else would be better…

You could let fear drive your decisions. You could sacrifice your hopes and dreams because there’s a chance it just won’t work out.

Hey, it’s cool. There’s no shame in it. That’s your choice.

And yes, it’s always a choice.

But don’t convince yourself that staying put is any less risky. That’s risky in a whole different way.

When you sacrifice the happiness that could be for the unhappiness that is, you risk never knowing what could have been. You risk regret.

Maybe you tell yourself, “Next year…when the economy’s better…when life isn’t so hectic…maybe then I’ll make a change.”

The risk is that such a time will never come.

So it’s really a question of which risk you’re willing to take.

Millions of people have successfully changed careers since the start of the recession. Millions more will do so this year. Perhaps you will be one of them.

It’s not easy. But then, change never is—regardless of the economy.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get practical and tactical.

I’ve written a lot about this in the past, so here’s some recommended reading to help ease a career transition (in any economy):

Lastly, if you’re considering making a career change in the near future, take advantage of this free training webinar: Job Search Success Secrets. It will help you plan, prepare and execute a seamless career transition plan.

Photo Credit: kern.justin (Flickr)

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3 Responses to “Is a Career Change Possible in this Economy?”

  1. Cheryl says:

    It’s true! I did it! Well, not a career change, but I moved my life from Atlanta to New York without having a job to go to. It was more like a life change. I knew I wanted to work in New York City, but I never thought I’d actually do it. It was seriously just a day dream. Not even that, a day-thought because I NEVER seriously considered it… until a couple of things happened in my life that made me start to see things differently. Nothing life threatening, but things that somehow opened my eyes. So I gave my notice to my Atlanta job, and two months later I moved to the Northeast (with my husband who also didn’t have a secure job yet) and we did it. And two weeks later I got a job. I worked HARD at it. AND, here’s the key point and why I’m commenting here, I used my network and resources heavily. Chrissy was a HUGE resource for me. She gave me such great advice as my career coach, and even though I thought I had a kick-butt resume, she gave it a look and critiqued it for me… in such a positive and warm way too. She gave me kudos for the work I put into it (two weeks of cutting, editing, and tweaking…), and then gave me some GREAT tips to make it stand out from all the other hundreds/thousands of resumes the HR departments would review. I seriously get compliments from HR people on my resume – I’m not kidding. With my leap of faith, my strong network, and the career counseling I received from Chrissy, I was able to make it happen. I never would have thought I could do this (especially with many people telling me I was crazy, “especially in this economy”…), but I did. And anyone out there who is looking for a change – whether it be career or personal – can do it too! =)

  2. […] How Nourishing is YOUR Career?. Thanks for visiting.It’s no secret that times are tough. The economic outlook seems to change by the minute and the only thing certain is that things are still uncertain. […]

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