Navigating Career Changes with Resilience and Purpose

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

Career development is a continuous journey, and as I stepped into 2023, I found myself, like many others, contemplating the changes that lie ahead for me. Thirteen years ago, I stepped away from my decade plus time in corporate healthcare leadership and decided to venture out into solopreneurship and I never looked back. This year is a time for change for me. The pandemic granted me the gift introspection and reflection, pushing me to reevaluate my priorities and my view work and life.

Everyone, it seems is asking about their own changing attitudes towards work, including  remote work, honoring our “one life” rather than seeking work-life balance, and prioritizing mental health by seeking genuine happiness instead of the elimination of negative feelings.

Several of my career clients are seeking work that aligns with their values, and brings meaning and respect to their lives and provides growing financial compensation. With low unemployment rates and lots of opportunities, I’ve been advising folks to step out of their comfort zones and, at least, explore possibilities. It may take courage to take a leap to new worlds of work, but not to examine where we are in our work world

If you find yourself craving change but need guidance to navigate the path ahead, I offer you a GPS based roadmap that needs you to triangulate around three questions to help you find the right coordinates.

  1. What am I good at, and what do I enjoy doing? Understanding our strengths and passions lays the groundwork for making informed career choices. This journey of self-discovery involves not only evaluating our abilities but also seeking the perspectives of others to gauge our capabilities, energy, and what truly ignites our passion.
  2. What are my job values? This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of career exploration, as it directly influences our joy and fulfillment in our work. Job values encompass various factors such as:
    • Geography: Consider where you want to work in terms of location—perhaps closer to family or with a shorter commute.
    • Goals, Values, and Purpose of the Organization: Assess how important the company’s mission and objectives are to you. Whether it’s positively impacting the world, financial success, or serving others, clarifying these values will guide your career decisions.
    • Work Environment: The physical workspace can significantly impact our well-being and productivity. Consider your preferences for natural light, open spaces, and overall comfort.
    • People Environment: According to the Gallup Engagement Study, having strong connections with colleagues contributes to finding meaning in work. Evaluate how the community of employees interacts within the organization.
    • Salary and Level of Responsibility: Look beyond monetary compensation and assess your desired level of responsibility and leadership within your organization.
    • Personal Dignity: Ensure you prioritize your self-respect and evaluate whether the organization and especially your boss not only treats you well but understands your goals for work and helps you achieve them in an active manner.
  3. How do I go about finding this job? Avoid spending too much time posting on job boards or responding to job ads. These methods only account for around 15% of job placements. Instead, focus on building relationships through networking, providing help to others, and meeting new people. This might be the most challenging part of the job search process, but it is the heart of finding the right career fit.

One of my clients shared that his resilience was weaning during his job search, after sending out countless resumes without direction. Once we started working through these important questions, did he begin to feel more in control, confident, and excited about the possibilities. If you want to chat about your career, drop me a note.

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