It doesn’t really matter what day of the week it is when you feel stuck in a job you hate – every day feels dreadful and conjures up daydreams of doing something else. In fact, a study by Gallup reveals that 51% of us say that we are ready to change jobs. That’s more than half the working population! Yet so many us spend more time planning a vacation than we do our own careers. If you are thinking of making a career change, don’t get caught up in the whirlwind emotion of change and take a leap you aren’t prepared for.

We spend on average about 40 hours a week working. That’s a big chunk of time to be doing something we don’t really enjoy. It’s no wonder that after a while we start to get that itch.

Before you start to scratch that career itch though, here are some top mistakes to be aware of that people make when planning a career change.

Not understanding what isn’t working in their current job

Being in the middle of a job you don’t enjoy makes it hard to really step back and evaluate what part of the position isn’t working for you. Instead of taking the time to figure out what aspects of the job aren’t jiving well, some people will just paint the whole picture with the same brush and say “the whole thing isn’t for me.” Often times, it’s really just a small component of the job that sours everything else. By taking the time to be aware of what we don’t like (and why) it can help us to prepare better our understanding of what it is that we want out of our next career change.

If you are currently in a role that you are just itching to leave, take a moment to go through this list to see if it can help you pinpoint what it is you just don’t like about your position.

  • The people
  • The product / service
  • The customer base
  • The type of work (you can break this down further into the various tasks that you perform)
  • The environment
  • The company culture and values
  • The work schedule / work/life balance
  • The pay and compensation


Skip the research and blindly accept any job offer

Have you ever heard the job search term “spray and pray”? It’s when you blast your resume out there to whatever job postings you find that seem acceptable to you and then hope that you get a call. (Trust us, this is not an effective job search technique. At all.) You spend about 40 hours a week at a job so you want to make sure you are going to like it. Researching your options helps you to refine your choices to help you go after positions that are a better fit for you, from both perspectives of the role and the company.

Skipping your research on a company is like buying a house next to a landfill: if you didn’t hang around long enough before buying it to figure out which way the wind blows you might be in for a stinky surprise come the warm weather.

There are some really easy ways to research companies:

  • Google them and look for news articles
  • About Us and News pages on their website
  • Anecdotal information from current and past employees
  • Employee stories that can be found on the company career page
  • Talk to people who are their customers and find out how they get treated
  • Review their social media profiles to see what kind of content they share


Get Distracted By Higher Pay and ‘Fun Cultures’

Money matters, we won’t argue with that, especially when you feel that you are being underpaid. When an opportunity crosses your path that has big dollar signs on it and a sweet compensation package it’s hard to see past that to figure out if “Yes” actually is the right answer. But there is more to a job than a fantastic compensation and a cool place to work. A recent survey showed that 47% of people would actually take a pay cut if it meant they could have a better work/life balance.

Consider asking yourself the following when contemplating an offer:

  • What customer base do they serve and will you be content working with this audience?
  • How big or small is the company?
  • How long do people tend to work there?
  • Do they seem to promote their staff members to allow for career growth?
  • What will your hours be like?
  • What all does this position entail? How is it different from what I am doing now?
  • Will you get the work/life balance that you need in your life right now? Over the next couple of years?

What you do in your career matters. If you are unhappy and are looking to make a career change, take the time to make sure you are making a good choice going forward. Know what it is that you want (and don’t want), be selective in where you apply, and educate yourself on your options. Make a career change that will stick, not one that will leave you wanting another change in a couple years!

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Want to kickstart your next career change?

Thinking of making a career change by the end of the year but don’t know how to get started? Join Melissa + Julia for our 3-Day Professional Goal-a-Thon on August 28-30 to flush out what you want and start making the plan to get there.

During these three days, this is what you can expect:

  • DAY 1: Our top 5 masterful tips on creating goals that are strategic AND meaningful so that you know how to identify what is priority and ensure that you stay committed to completing it.
  • DAY 2: How to enhance your goals from just things you are checking off to things that inspire you to take serious action that has a high return on ALL of your efforts. You’ll love our triple-approach to mapping out goals which helps to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.
  • DAY 3: Our go-to strategy to ensure we are smashing our goals and staying in full alignment with our desired outcomes…and how to pivot when needed.

Sound good? Reserve your seat here, seats are limited! >>