If you’re feeling unfulfilled, bored, and just plain stuck in your current career, it could be time to make a change. But how do you know if the grass is actually greener on the other side? You may have many reasons to go and many reasons to stay, but before making any big decisions, it’s always a good idea to take some time to reflect on critical questions so that you can make sure you’re making the right move for yourself and your future.
Facing the challenges in life
You are probably facing some challenges in your career (which is why you are reading this) and trying to decide what move to make next. Before you jump into a decision to find a new career, let’s consider the challenge first. There are four ways in which you can respond to a challenge in your life. The acronym I love to use is C.A.L.L., and it stands for change, accept, leave, learn.
- Change: If you have a challenge in your workplace, change your circumstances in your workplace to fix the problem. It might be as simple as finding a new workspace or adjusting your schedule.
- Accept: If you can’t change it to resolve the issue, then you need to accept it. Sometimes, accepting those challenges gives you the freedom to move forward and reinvent a new you, a new perspective, or a new approach to what you do.
- Leave: Maybe you can’t change your challenge or accept it, and that brings us to leave it. Suppose you are in an environment that is dragging you down emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically… or feel like your workplace is toxic. In that case, that’s a pretty good reason to leave that environment.
- Learn: Last but definitely not least — learn from your challenge. Nietzsche once said, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Every challenge is a chance to become stronger in our lives and become better human beings. This challenge is where human beings find personal growth.
9 questions to ask yourself before making a move
That being said, let’s dive into some questions to ask yourself to determine if changing your career is truly what’s right for you.
1. What do you want out of your career?
The first step in determining whether it’s time for a career change is to understand what it is that you want out of your current profession. Are you looking for more financial security? More flexibility? A better work-life balance? Knowing what exactly you want out of your career will help guide your decision-making process and ensure that any changes you make align with your goals and values.
If you could make a list of everything that you want in a career in order to feel fulfilled, what would that look like? Does your current career have these things? Could it have those elements if it doesn’t?
I believe that real estate is a fantastic career choice with all kinds of sky’s-the-limit opportunities. That said, it’s not for everyone. If you are feeling that way, think about what you do want from another career, and let that help guide your decision-making process.
2. Am I ready for this change?
Before moving forward with a career transition, think about whether or not you are emotionally and mentally prepared for the changes that come along with it. If there has been an event in your life recently, such as a divorce or death in the family, these events may affect how ready and willing you are to make such an important decision.
It has been said by many psychologists that the stresses and emotions that come from the grieving process can manifest themselves in many different ways, and this is why making big life changes should be delayed. If that sounds like you, consider taking some time off before making any large decisions like this.
Related reading: Very Well Mind – Avoid Making Big Life Decisions After Experiencing a Death
3. Why did you get into this career in the first place?
You have probably already heard the popular phrase from Simon Sinek, “Find your why.” Why did you choose this career in the first place? What were you passionate about back then? Is that still what you are passionate about? What has changed? What hasn’t changed?
Before you decide to move into a new career, revisit the reasons you started down this path to begin with to decide whether or not that “why” is still important to you and if your current career or a new career path is the best way to live up to your personal why.
4. Do I feel passionate about this new career path?
Just like revisiting your “why” when considering a career change, it’s important to ensure that the new path ignites passion within you. Life is too short to spend your days doing something that doesn’t bring out your best self or provide fulfillment.
Take an honest look at what kind of tasks will be involved with this new job or career, and ask yourself if it’s something that will excite and challenge you. And if not, are there ways to tailor it so that it does? It can be easy to look at a new job or role with dreamy-eyed ideas of what it will be like, which is why it’s so important to measure the role and its tasks against what you enjoy and find fulfillment in.
5. What do I need to learn to succeed in this new field?
As a real estate agent looking to transition into another profession (or if you are in another profession and considering real estate as an option), there may be some skills that need refreshing or even entirely new ones that need learning to become successful.
Do some research into what education might be necessary for this role and whether it requires any certifications or licenses. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of how much time and money will be required to gain these qualifications before investing too much into this potential change.
6. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
At first glance, you might think you understand your strengths and weaknesses, but do you really? It’s time to get really, painfully honest with yourself and evaluate what you are good at and what you are less good at. It’s essential to evaluate not only what you want from your job but also what skills and experiences make it possible for you to achieve those goals.
What strengths do you bring to the table that could enhance your current role or open up new opportunities within the industry? On the flip side, what weaknesses do you need to address to take on extra responsibilities or transition into a different field entirely? Taking an honest inventory of these things can help inform you of which steps would be necessary for pursuing a successful career change.
7. What would change look like in practical terms?
A successful career change requires more than just ambition or hope — it requires practical planning and execution as well.
Consider how such changes might look in practical terms:
- Will there be additional training or certifications required?
- Which resources will be necessary to make the transition seamless (mentorships, networking events, etc.)?
- How much time and energy will be needed for this move to pay off in the long run?
- Will you make enough money initially to cover your expenses, or should you spend some time saving first?
- How will your schedule change affect your family?
Asking yourself these types of questions ahead of time can save considerable heartache down the road when it comes time to actually implement them.
8. Who can help me make this transition smoother?
Making a career change can be overwhelming but having people around who can motivate and support you throughout the process can make all the difference. Reach out to friends or family members who have gone through similar changes themselves — their experiences could give insight into what mistakes should be avoided and which strategies have worked best for them in past transitions.
Additionally, consider talking with professionals working in the field who can give advice on which steps would lead most quickly toward success in this industry.
9. Should I stay, or should I go?
Now that you have spent time considering every facet of this decision, do you stay where you are and work to improve your situation and mindset where you currently work, or is it time for a change into something different?
Don’t get weighed down by all the “What if’s” — I’m sure you already have many running through your mind! What if you don’t like the new job? What if you don’t make the same amount of money? What if it negatively impacts your family? What if you regret making this change six months down the road?
Those are good questions, but you can’t let the fear of making a mistake stop you from making a decision at all. There are no right or wrong answers — all you can do is make a choice based on what you know at this time. Yes, things will change somehow (they always do because that is the nature of life), but nobody has a crystal ball to know how things will change; all you can do is take each day as it comes and adjust as you need to.
Making a career change isn’t something that should ever be taken lightly. It takes careful deliberation and consideration before taking action. Being really honest with yourself and asking these key soul-searching questions can help you determine whether making a move is right for you at this particular moment in your life.
There are many agents who are watching the market shift again and are filled with uncertainty and considering making a move away from real estate. I get fear, I really do, but I want you to ensure that fear doesn’t own you.
Over the years, I’ve seen good agents leave when the “going got tough” — or even when the going just got different. I want you to know that all this change is not a bad thing. The sky is not falling, and there’s no need to read too much into the “doom and gloom” headlines. I would love for you to see are all the opportunities that exist for agents when markets shift.
There will always be people who need to buy, and there will always be people who need to sell, and both groups of people need real estate agents to help them navigate this transaction and make the best possible decisions for their families. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what kind of market we are in; real estate agents who invest in their skills, mindset, sphere, and systems will always have clients and commissions coming in.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.