- Adunola Adeshola is the creator of employeeREDEFINED, which teaches corporate professionals how to secure desired positions at companies they love, and author of “How to Go From Zero Interviews to Dream Job Offers.”
- Adeshola recommends evaluating what’s making you unhappy in your current position before switching industries.
- Issues could be from your company’s culture, day-to-day work, or organizational values.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
New decade. New year. New job. New industry? Sounds tempting.
Here’s how it tends to go: You’ve been at your company for a long time. You’ve had success in your career. You got the promotions you thought you wanted. But deep down, you’re not that fulfilled. You know it’s time for a new job, but you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to transition into a new industry, too. The thought alone lights you up and makes you feel alive again.
But not so fast. Having helped high achievers in dozens of industries completely change careers, I’ve learned that as sexy as it sounds to land a “dream job” in a new industry, not everyone wants to – even if they think they do.
Before you completely overhaul your career, you must ask yourself one simple question: What’s making you unhappy in your role right now?
It’s the same question I was forced to ask myself when I landed my dream job at a global PR firm and later realised that it wasn’t the dream after all. Answering this question helped me get to the root of what I needed to change, and if you’re ready to do the same, here are the three most important factors to consider:
1. The culture
When thinking about your current company’s culture, Harvard Business Review recommends considering two elements: the way people interact and the organisation’s response to change. Are you satisfied with the way you and your colleagues interact in the office? Does your company’s response to change align with the way you’d like things to move forward?
If your source of unhappiness is your current organisation’s culture, you may just need to ditch your company. Often, I speak to clients who feel jaded by their industry because of their experience with their current company, or even past ones.
My client Iman spent years climbing up the ladder at her company, but by the time she landed a director role, she felt unfulfilled. She was convinced she needed to leave her industry altogether. But after asking herself what was making her unhappy, she realised that she wasn’t quite ready to change her career – she just needed to change her work environment. All businesses are not created equal, and if the company’s culture is the only thing you wish you could change, then it’s time to put more effort into finding a place that aligns with the type of culture you’d enjoy.
2. The work
Those mornings you dread going into the office, are you mostly thinking about the work you have to do? Even in the most pleasant work environments, if you hate your duties, that’s a sure sign you need a change. Fast.
But before you conclude that you need to change industries, you may just be bored with your work because you’re ready for more challenges. Maybe you’re ready for a more senior-level role, and there aren’t any growth opportunities at your company right now. Rather than pivot to something entirely new, it may be time to find a job that will allow you to take your career to the next level.
However, if you’re sick of the work you do, or if your responsibilities no longer align with your career goals, then it may be time to change industries, like my client Shannon. After being in PR for more than eight years, she realised she no longer enjoyed press campaigns and had a new passion for diversity and inclusion. She leveraged her experience to land a diversity and inclusion role at Tiffany & Co.
3. The mission
The last factor to consider is the type of service your company provides and the type of clients your company serves. When evaluating the cause of your unhappiness, it could be that you’re no longer satisfied with the impact your company is making. Or, it could be that the type of work your company does no longer aligns with your values or the contributions you’d like to make.
I once spoke to a project manager who worked on the consumer products team at a major network and created merchandise for the company, but she was unhappy because she felt like her organisation’s products didn’t align with her personal interests. If that’s the case for you, then you may need to take your talents elsewhere. This could mean continuing the work you currently do at a company that serves different people or offers products that better align with your values.
Getting to the root of what’s making you unhappy in your job will give you greater clarity on what needs to change. That way, if you do decide to ditch your industry, you’ll know that it was the best decision for you. You might even discover that you don’t need to completely change your career after all.
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