Why a Career Change Shouldn't Wait for the Recovery

Change can take months or even years. Now's the time to start position yourself.

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I recently had a conversation with a woman who was unhappy in her job. As we talked about whether it made sense to think about changing careers, she echoed a common refrain: “I’m just lucky I have a job in this economy.”

Is she fortunate to have a job? Yup. But being lucky to have a job and having the ability to set in motion the wheels of a career change have nothing to do with each other. Most of the successful career transitions I have seen have unfolded over the course of many months, even years. Which means you don’t have to jump ship to get started.

Let’s say you realize you’re on the wrong path, and you decide it’s time for a change. You may not be in a position to jump into something new right now, but you are in a position to start taking steps.

The first step is often simply asking, “Where to from here?” Gaining a deep understanding of what makes you tick, and identifying a path that will energize and inspire you, is typically a process in itself. From there you can start saying, “What needs to be in place so I can make that transition?”

You might realize that you need to build a nest egg. Or that you need to start getting some education in a new field. Or that you need to start building relationships in a new arena. Or all of the above.

There are many steps you can take that have nothing to do with actually changing jobs, and they can all be done while you are still employed at that job that you are so lucky to have.

The economy isn’t going to suck forever. Wouldn’t you rather be ready when it improves?

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.

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