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Thinking About Making a Career Move? Walk through these steps first.

Posted by Dr. Phil Yaeger on Dec 13, 2017 9:51:32 AM

People are changing jobs more than they ever have before. However, these job changes often come with the requirement to relocate. It may be easy to hire movers and take a road trip to your new home base, but it can feel quite uprooting if you have a well-established personal and professional community. People usually relocate for a better position which can mean higher pay, more room for upward mobility, or a better work-life balance. At times, though, it can be easy just to look for change and hope things will get better. The reality is, not all changes are right, and your situation might even get worse if you aren't careful to find the right fit. You should seek out wisdom from friends, family, and professionals alike to determine the right path.

1. Talk to your loved ones, but not each and every loved one

Consulting with people you care about is important, but make sure you trust their advice. They know you the best and want to see you happy, but moving or staying may be advantageous to them so they might let their personal feeling bias their thoughts about the right move for you. Also, not every person who cares for you may give good professional or life advice. Look at their track record of decision making. Remember, strong opinions don't mean they are correct. If they are merely asking "when are you moving" or "have you turned the job down yet" it's probably time to seek input from somewhere else.

2. Ask a friend who is in the same spot as you

The great thing about friends is how they are growing up alongside you. They aren't watching you come or watching you go; they are moving in right alongside you. They've met you at a point where you came into their life and didn't expect you to always be right there because you know you're both growing up. At the same time, they expect a lot out of you because they became your friend and thus want to see your life flourish. They will better understand the sacrifice, the need to move far away, or the desire to make a family and foster relationships with parents and siblings all at the same time because they are right there too. You can have genuine talks with worries, fears, and hopes. You can process rather than having to have it all figured out immediately.


3. Consult with a professional mentor

Realizing what the career move will do for you sometimes feels like guess work. This is where someone who's been there before can help. You can address questions you'll have about the reality of upward mobility, the positive trajectory of your career moves, and long-term looks at the impact to your finances. Same as with loved ones though, make sure you'd trust their advice. Ask yourself if you'd trust this person to invest $5,000 for you. If the answer to that is no, then why would you trust them with how you're planning to invest your future?


4. No matter what, you should keep these things in mind

The worst thing you could do is hate moving and come to resent the people, places, and opportunities you made the move for. You have to be happy or find the good in things, or you will get too frustrated. If this could be the case, then you are better staying put until you gfeel like you have more clear direction.

Set aside constants (family, health, religion, etc.) and ask what will make you happy after the change, what makes you happy right now, and what are the things you want to make you happy. Cross-reference those lists and look to the similarities and differences for guidance. Being an optimist and content are important, but don't let those virtues cross the line into settling and complacency.

Forcing yourself to fit in somewhere can lead to quantity: more proximity of friendships or family, higher salary, and more opportunities professionally, but rarely does forcing yourself to do something lead to quality.

Altogether, you will have to take a risk. Just make sure your risks are as calculated as possible. Trust that hard work, and smart risks will pay off.

Tags: CPA Career, Accounting Career Advice, accounting career

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