11 Signs You’re Ready for a Career Transition


Understandably, the decision to make a career transition isn’t always an easy one to make. There are many factors to consider, especially if you have a family. So how do you know if it’s time to begin pursuing a career change?

Second-year MBA student Elizabeth Hood spent several years in the fitness industry, most recently in marketing and events management positions before coming to TCU Neeley. After making the decision that it was time for a career change, she chose to pursue her MBA with a concentration in marketing—a platform from which she could launch into a new industry.

“I loved my previous work, but felt I had plateaued in the position and didn’t see room for me to grow professionally,” she  says. “With my MBA, I have the skills needed to succeed in high-level marketing roles as well as a robust network of outstanding faculty and alumni with great connections.”

If you, like Hood, think it might be time to start your career transition by going back to school, ask yourself these questions to help you make the right decision for your situation:

  1. Are you satisfied/happy in your job? No job is perfect, but if you feel continually unhappy or dissatisfied in your current position, this may be the biggest sign that it’s time for a career change.
  2. Are you being challenged (in a good way) and learning? If you don’t feel challenged in your current position and the possibility of learning and improving your core skills is nonexistent, it may be time to look for a job with a company that is serious about career development.
  3. Do you have room for growth in your position? Can you achieve your career goals at your current company? Is there room for you to move up the corporate ladder? If growth is important to you and it’s not an option where you’re at, look for a job in which you’ll have room for advancement.
  4. What is most important to you in a job? Does your current position fulfill that? Flexibility, company culture, salary, travel—these are all factors that may impact your professional satisfaction. You may not find a job that meets all your expectations, but look for one that satisfies most.
  5. Does your current job align with your skills, goals and interests? Are you maximizing your talents within your job? There are a lot of things you can do, but do those tasks really suit your capabilities?
  6. Are you satisfied with your income level and future earning potential? If you believe you are underpaid or your future earning is limited, you may want to explore career options with more financial potential.
  7. Is your work negatively affecting your physical and mental health? Chronic illness, stress and exhaustion are often a telltale sign it’s time for a career change.
  8. Are you apathetic toward your current work? Apathy leads to dissatisfaction and burnout. Again, no job is perfect, but you should enjoy your work most days. If not, you may not be in the right position.
  9. Is there regular organization restructuring in your current company? Frequent restructuring within a company or an ongoing exodus of employees can be a sign of turbulence and may signal that it’s time for you to make a move.
  10.   Do you get frequent calls from recruiters? Calls from recruiters may not lead to a job change, but inquiries from headhunters are a sign that companies in your industry are hiring and looking for people like you.
  11.   How might going back to school impact your finances? Examine whether the future financial payoff of getting your MBA is worth it from a current financial viewpoint.

“There is always some self-doubt when it comes to taking on a two-year commitment and the added financial burden of an MBA,” Elizabeth says. “However, the truth is that without an MBA I may not have been to aim as highly on the career ladder. Taking two years to focus on your professional development puts you on the fast track to achieving your goals.”

And Elizabeth's decision is already paying off—she landed a marketing internship this past summer with Essilor of America, a world leader in ophthalmic optics and visual health. “The position confirmed my decision about my concentration in marketing,” she says. “My MBA allowed me to be successful in an industry that I knew nothing about. TCU challenges us to think broadly in our career search and take chances. In my case, it definitely paid off.”

The TCU Neeley School can help prepare you for the next step in your career—whether you are pursuing a promotion within your current company or changing career paths altogether. Our faculty and staff work closely with students to help them achieve both their academic and career goals.

Interested in making a change? Request more info about the Neeley School of Business graduate program or apply now.

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