Transitioning From A Long-Term Job

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Transitioning From A Long-Term Job

It can be extremely difficult to leave a long-term employer. In my experience, I’ve often found clients who have worked with the same employer / organisation for 5+ years can find it really hard to move on.

After this period of time, people are generally very settled in their jobs and have a well-established routine and “comfort zone”. They have a good grasp of their job responsibilities, day to day work tasks, company processes and expectations, as well as solid relationships built with colleagues, managers, clients, suppliers and other key stakeholders.

The thought of leaving and stepping outside of this “comfort zone” can be paralysing and anxiety-provoking for many people. This is despite them feeling burnt out, stressed or miserable where they are.

I have many conversations each week with individuals who know and understand that it is time to move on, but their fear of the unknown and starting the job search process leaves them feeling overwhelmed and “stuck”.

So how do you become “unstuck” and move past the fear?

My advice is to take it slow. Small steps in the right direction will help alleviate much of the overwhelm and confusion. Career development never involves just one step. It is a process consisting of several steps.

Once you have decided that you may want to explore other opportunities, start by reflecting and writing down what is important to you. You may want to ask yourself:

  • What do you really want in a job and from your life?
  • What are you genuinely interested in?
  • At work, what really engages and energises you?
  • What does your ideal role / work environment / clients / managers look like?
  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • What do you value in a career?

By asking yourself these questions, you will gain more clarity about what you want out of your career and life.

The next step is to begin exploring and researching what resonates with you. You can do this by:

  • Looking at roles, job descriptions and companies online that interest you.
  • Following company pages on LinkedIn.
  • Connecting and networking with individual’s working in your interest role or organisation.
  • Have career conversations / informational interviews with them if possible.
  • Undertake a low fee, low-investment short course in your area of interest to see if this is actually something you enjoy doing.

A good job search strategy should always begin months before you even begin to apply for roles. Through careful reflection, planning and research, every action you take will make it that little bit easier to move toward your end goal, and transitioning to a new role after long-term employment won’t seem as daunting as first perceived.