One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of a New Year is to sit and reflect on my career. How has the last year been? Am I satisfied with the progress I’ve made? Do I feel like I am in the right position for achieving next steps? Are my passions and creative spirit fulfilled? Once I have the opportunity to truthfully answer these questions, I am able to think clearly about what the next year should bring.

Most years, I find myself pretty satisfied. I’m content with the progress I’ve made, feeling good about the state of my business and am enjoying the challenges I face, but there have been years when I have known it’s time for more or that it’s time for something new. Knowing it’s time to make a career change is the first part of the process, it’s what you do with that information that will get you from point A to point B. Not sure where you stand with your own career? It’s probably high time for some self-reflection and a game plan. Here’s a look at how to know when to make a career change and how to take those first steps.

Making Career Shifts in 2017: How to Know It's Time for a Change

Making a Career Shift in 2017:

How to Know It’s Time for Change

You’re bored. Boredom isn’t a good thing for anyone. There’s nothing more unfulfilling than feeling like you just stare out the window all day long and accomplish nothing. Challenge is what drives us to keep climbing the ladder and moving along in the working world. Whether it’s figuring out a complicated accounting puzzle or pushing yourself to your creative boundaries, those challenges equal drive. You need them – and, it’s either high time you move on or you find some new projects at your current position. No matter what, it’s up to you to make that happen.

Your heart just isn’t in it anymore. Remember when you used to really care. And, I mean REALLY care about each and every project you were a part of? When that feeling goes away and you’re simply no longer engaged in the process or the outcome, you’re not playing fair for yourself or the rest of the team and it’s time for something new. Here’s the thing: you don’t have to beat yourself up over this, it happens to everyone. It means you’ve grown out of the position and your skills have exceeded the challenge. It’s a good thing – it means you’re growing and you’re learning.

You find yourself wishing you had gone down a completely different career path. You know what? People change. It’s part of life and even though it can feel like a real nag, wanting something totally different for yourself is OK. You probably aren’t your 20 year old self anymore – life has happened. Your likes and passions have changed, you have new hobbies. You have evolved. Perhaps you no longer want a career in the corporate world – you want to be a personal trainer or a yoga instructor. Or, suddenly you find yourself wanting to go to culinary school – it happens to so many of us. When you know, you know – and the bottom line? It’s time for a change.

2017 is the opportunity for a fresh start and is a great time to think about your true colors. Your true 2017 colors – who you are TODAY, not yesterday – and definitely not the you of a decade ago. So let that 2017 you shine through – don’t be afraid – instead get after it. Chase that dream. Make that change. We have one life to live and what we do with that life matters – even when it comes to a career. Will 2017 be your year?

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