If you’re wondering whether the time has come to make a career transition, think critically about your reasons for doing so — you might just discover that it’s not the right move.
“Changing careers implies an enormous amount of energy, time, and dedication. The transition between your old career life and the one under development may disrupt different aspects of your life to the point where you will question several times your decision to create that change,” says certified career and leadership coach Benedicte Flouriot.
This is not meant to scare you, as Flouriot says anyone can change careers at any point in their life and, if you do decide to go ahead, you can rest assured that many have done it before you.
However, if you’re not clear on your motivations, you may not have the stamina needed to face the inevitable changes and challenges brought on by a career change.
“The more you’re clear about your reasons for wanting to change careers, the more you will be able to rely on them and remind yourself of what initially pushed you to take the leap,” says Flouriot.
“Having clear reasons will also pave the road of change with faster and better results as you will navigate changes with a more precise compass.”
Having second thoughts? Consider these five terrible reasons to change careers.
1. You like your environment but not your role.
According to Flouriot, many professionals think they don’t like their job anymore when really, it’s their work environment that’s wrong for them:
“People often think they don’t like what they do anymore because they don’t do it in the right work environment and with the right people: a company where they can express their values, feel they fit and belong, and abide by how things are done internally.”
So before jumping ship, ask yourself whether the issue is the work itself or the environment. If you love your team and work culture, you may want to consider approaching your role differently before making an abrupt career change.
“If you find some kind of unbalance and a lack of motivation, explore where and how you could do your job differently before thinking of changing your career,” says Flouriot.
2. You’re reacting to a negative event.
Are you hurt about not getting promoted? Does your boss kind of make you anxious? Don’t react hastily — changing careers out of reactivity can be a recipe for disaster.
“Change careers because it feels like a real calling, because you want to bring more in your career life (more challenge, fulfillment, learning, or growth), and not just because you fear your boss or didn’t get the promotion you were so long awaiting,” says Flouriot.
If something upsetting happened at work, give yourself a few months — or, at the very least, a few weeks — to really process things and evaluate how you feel about your career once the dust has settled. You’ll be able to approach the situation from a proactive standpoint instead of a reactive one.
3. To do something short-term.
There are jobs that sound good on paper but probably won’t even exist 10 years from now. Consider tech and industry trends before jumping on a career that could be fun right now but end up making you obsolete on the job market.
Focus on developing a long-term career strategy and making sure any career change creates tons of opportunities instead of backing you into a corner after a few years, says Flouriot.
4. Because you’re craving a hobby.
Sometimes you think you want to change professions when you’re really just craving a hobby. Over time, a hobby you feel super passionate about can absolutely turn into a new career. But before committing to a full-fledged change of course, take some time to explore any newfound interest further.
When will you know you feel serious enough about your hobby to take a leap of faith? Once you’ve built a network and gained experience and wisdom.
“[When] you’ve developed all the necessary skills needed to make it a profession. You know the rules, you have connections, you are passionate, you developed all needed competencies, and the field is a known universe to you,” says Flouriot.
5. You’re fulfilled and staying put but have FOMO.
If you’re still feeling fulfilled in your current career and you’re not moving cities or countries, you may just be suffering from the fear of missing out — otherwise known as FOMO. Not sure if that’s the case? There are some telltale signs you should switch careers ASAP and you’re not doing it just because the grass seems greener on the other side.
“If you feel you’ve lost the spark, if it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, if you don’t feel joy in your activities, if you feel like you’re no longer learning, it may be time to switch careers,” says Flouriot.
Otherwise, consider whether your desire to make a move is rooted in the wrong reasons.
— Anouare Abdou
This article originally appeared on Ladders.