Is it you or where you are?

I hear it frequently. “I’m contemplating a career change”. “I’m burned out”. Not surprising for so many professionals in mid management and at the Director levels. Doing more with less, feeling stuck in their companies and in their roles – of course they’re tired of what they’re doing and wish like hell they could be doing something else.

As a change agent who practices what she preaches, I often counsel, that it’s not what you’re doing, but where you’re doing it. Yes, I know that some roles have a certain amount of redundancy built in (accounting first and foremost comes to mind). But before you take the plunge of quitting, going back to school &/or starting over, think about a few of the following.

Is your job so routine that you do it mindlessly? Are you really great at what you do but bored and unchallenged? Are you working exceptionally long hours, with no end in sight or potential reward? Tired of the people? The Corporate culture? The commute?

Any and all of the above, to name a few, can and does lead to career burn out. Maybe it’s time to review and freshen up that resume. Reconsider the value add your particular skill set brings to the party. And remember said skill set has financial value. Walking away from a career you’ve heavily invested years in almost certainly means a pay cut. And let’s face it, by the time we think we’re burned out, we’re of an age where there are kids, mortgages, loans, alimony, etc. at stake.

So before you think you couldn’t close the books one more time, visit one more prospect or write one more brief, imagine yourself in a new organization, with different challenges, new faces and the opportunity to once again be a valued contributor. And imagine how doing your job in those new surroundings feels.

Change is hard enough in a volatile employment market. Make it easy on yourself and give you and your particular expertise one more chance. You might just find yourself engaged again and whistling while you work!