Does He Need New Career or Just New Employer? - The Career Doctor Blog

John writes:

I graduated from college last year and took a job that I thought was perfect for me and for my degree. But I am now having some problems.

How do I decide if a new career is what I need or just a new boss/position/company? If jumping ship is the best option, how should I go about doing it? What support system do you need in place? What are the risks?

The Career Doctor responds:

I guess the first thing I want to say — partly as a lesson to younger folks — is that this problem could partly be solved by internships. Not entirely, but the more internships a college student can undertake, the more knowledge s/he will have about the types of jobs, careers, and employers. Besides internships, other good ways to learn more about different jobs and careers include informational interviews and job shadowing.

That said, please realize that yours is a VERY common situation. Many new grads come to realize that they made a mistake in taking that first job after college and that something needs to be done. Many, many college grads switch jobs in that first year after graduation.

The question those folks who are unhappy in their jobs need to decide is whether it is the job/employer that is wrong or whether it is the career choice that is wrong. One of the questions I ask people who approach me is whether they love the work they do or not. If the work itself is completely unsatisfying or boring, then it is most certainly not the right job — and it might not even be the right career. I usually ask about their work environment and whether they like their co-workers and boss… and if they hate them, but enjoy their job, then it is simply time to switch employers and find a similar job in a better organization.

So, if they are unhappy in their jobs — and it is the job itself that is driving them over the edge, not the environment, then I advise career research and exploration. In this situation, research other jobs in the field, talk with old professors, and get a handle on what other options are out there.

Jumping ship is not a big deal, especially if you have put in about a year with the company. You do not want to be switching jobs every year, though, because eventually you will be labeled a job-hopper, so take the time to really know the type of job and type of employer you want to work for — and then find your ideal situation.

Hope this information helps. We also have a quiz on our site that folks can take to help them determine whether it is the job or the career. Go to: Time to Change Jobs…or Careers? A Quintessential Careers Quiz.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal