Not too long ago, adults were expected to find a good job right out of high school or college and stay with the same company until retirement. The idea was that if you worked hard and were loyal to the company they would take care of you, and after 40 or so years you could retire with a pension and a gold watch.
Today, careers just aren’t that simple. Besides the fact that pensions have all but disappeared, virtually no one expects to be with the same employer for their entire working life. In fact, the average tenure in a job is 4.2 years, and on average, men and women hold more than 11 jobs in a lifetime.
There are a lot of reasons people change jobs and, often, making the decision to leave or the transition to a new career isn’t easy or voluntary. Perhaps you’re not sure if you’re making the right decision. Maybe it’s time to make an appointment with a career counselor.
Unlike family and friends, a professional career counselor is unbiased and can act as a neutral sounding board. They’ll help you work out your current concerns and help you find the right path to your next career—or help you learn to enjoy your current one. Wondering if you should seek assistance from a career counselor? Here are a few signs or situations that it might be time to reach out.
You’ve Just Lost Your Job
Although reductions in force are not making headlines nearly as often today as they were during the recession, layoffs can still occur. Involuntary terminations can also occur, whether you expect them or not. Sure, there will be an initial period of self-pity, blame, despondency, and panic. After all, losing a job triggers a grief process, but what should come next? Consider this a great time to explore new opportunities; many people in this position decide to go back to school, start a freelance career, or pursue jobs in a completely new field. A career counselor can help you navigate your options.
You’ve Just Graduated
During those sophomore and junior years in college, students often don’t give much thought to what they’ll do after graduation. Unfortunately, reality hits shortly after graduation, and today more than five percent of recent college graduates are unemployed, either because they can’t find a job or because they aren’t sure what they really want to do with their degree. Although some unemployed graduates turn to message boards for advice, meeting with a professional career counselor may be a better, more productive choice.
Your Job Isn’t Challenging
Are you underemployed? You’re not alone. A recent study found that more than 33 percent of college graduates are in a situation where their skills and abilities aren’t being utilized to their fullest potential. If you’ve asked for more challenging work, or pitched new ideas for projects, but are still bored with your current job, a career counselor can help you decide what to do next. Not only can they identify new career opportunities, but they can also help you get a better understanding of your personal and professional needs and goals.
You Dread Going To Work Every Day
According to Therapy Group of DC, 65 percent of people are unhappy with their work. Dreading or hating your job can interfere with not only your job performance but also your personal life. Before you reach a breaking point, consider reaching out to a career counselor. He or she will work closely with you to formulate and execute a career plan that will maximize your potential, offer clarity to your career interests, and help you deal with setbacks or barriers to success and happiness at work.
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