Time for a Ca­reer Switch?

6 steps to your ideal job

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Hunt Chris Hunt lives in Great Bri­tain and has been read­ing Ac­ti­vated since it was first pub­lished in 1999.

JAN­UARY IS OF­TEN WHEN PEO­PLE LOOK FOR A NEW JOB—— as many as two in five peo­ple are ac­tively job hunt­ing in the first month of the year. For some, this might be a side­ways shift into a sim­i­lar role; oth­ers might con­sider a rad­i­cal ca­reer change.

If you have been work­ing in a sim­i­lar role for years, you may won­der if you could ever step out and do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. Some peo­ple do, and not only in Jan­uary. Take An­drea Bo­celli, the pop­u­lar Ital­ian tenor and singer-song­writer, who made the jump from be­ing a lawyer to his mu­si­cal ca­reer. Justin Welby left his ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion in the oil in­dus­try to be­come a vicar, and even­tu­ally the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury and sym­bolic head of the world­wide Angli­can Com­mu­nion. Brian Cox, the pop­u­lar physi­cist who presents science on English tele­vi­sion, was a rock star, with a num­ber 1 hit in the 1990s. Har­ri­son Ford, the Hol­ly­wood ac­tor, used to be a car­pen­ter and cab­i­net-maker.

Such stand-out changes might not be within the realm of our own pos­si­bil­i­ties, but the New Year is as good a time as any to ex­am­ine how sat­is­fied we are with what we’re do­ing, and how con­fi­dent we feel about the di­rec­tion we are head­ing. Wak­ing up on a Mon­day morn­ing dread­ing the be­gin­ning of the work­ing week, or feel­ing like our tal­ents are not be­ing used, or that our pay pack­age doesn’t re­flect the value we bring, may be signs it’s time to think about other op­tions.

The Bible ac­knowl­edges the ne­ces­sity of work­ing for a liv­ing: “Peo­ple go off to their work, where they la­bor un­til evening.” Be­ing sat­is­fied in our work is also men­tioned: “You will definitely enjoy what you’ve worked hard for—you’ll be happy; and things will go well for you.” “The earn­ings of the godly en­hance their lives,” The apos­tle Paul ev­i­dently felt ful­filled in his role: “That’s what I’m work­ing so hard at day af­ter day, year af­ter year, do­ing my best with the en­ergy God so gen­er­ously gives me.” If this isn’t how you feel, then it could be time

to con­sider look­ing for a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion, or at least, for im­prove­ments where you are.

Life-chang­ing de­ci­sions shouldn’t be made in a hurry, of course, and you might like to con­sider the fol­low­ing:

List five fea­tures of your ideal job that are most im­por­tant to you, such as your ful­fill­ment and goals, the ethics of your em­ployer, the size of your salary, the sup­ple­men­tary ben­e­fits (pen­sion, gym mem­ber­ship, etc.), the work­place en­vi­ron­ment and ca­ma­raderie, the hours and work­load, your role and level of re­spon­si­bil­ity, the use that’s made of your unique tal­ents, the op­por­tu­ni­ties for train­ing and ca­reer pro­gres­sion, and so on.

Now score your present job on those fea­tures. If it doesn’t match at least half of what is most im­por­tant to you, chances are you are not in the best place and it’s time to start look­ing else­where.

Think about what you really want to do. Read up about the role. Does it fit your skills and ex­pe­ri­ence, train­ing and qual­i­fi­ca­tions? If not, is it some­thing you can learn on the go, or is there an­other route into that type of job? Do some re­search. Get ad­vice from other peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to Proverbs, “The more wise coun­sel you fol­low, the bet­ter your chances.” Try to get some ad­vice from those al­ready in the field where you’d like to be work­ing. Talk to your friends and fam­ily, and per­haps a ca­reer ad­vi­sor.

Go af­ter your dreams, but be re­al­is­tic. The vast ma­jor­ity of us have jobs be­cause we need them in or­der to pay the bills. So if your dream ca­reer isn’t quite within strik­ing dis­tance and you need to stick with your reg­u­lar job, con­sider a vol­un­tary role in the sec­tor where you are in­ter­ested. If it’s some­thing you really are pas­sion­ate about, you’ll prob­a­bly be able to fit in a few evenings or a day over the week­end. An ac­coun­tant won’t be­come a so­cial worker overnight, but he could help out at a youth club.

Seek God’s guidance. “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” You may find Him speak­ing to you through your quiet time, de­vo­tional, or Bible read­ing, or you may want to specif­i­cally ask Him: “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.” What­ever the case, try to in­clude Him in the pic­ture of your plans, re­mem­ber­ing that “God’s bless­ing makes life rich,” not only ma­te­ri­ally, but also in terms of peace of mind.

Jan­uary is just one month. Your own sea­son for change might not come at this par­tic­u­lar time of the year, yet when­ever it comes, God will be at hand to help, shin­ing His light on your path.

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