How do you find your professional path

Professional reorientation: 3 steps + 11 tips for changing jobs

Was that all? Was that really all? - These questions and with them the thought of a professional reorientation creep up every employee in the course of their career. For some sooner, for some later. You feel the glass ceiling above you, the lack of a challenge in front of you, the approaching boredom behind you, the increasing frustration in you. The professional reorientation is an important turning point that can significantly influence the further career. The decision for a career change is never easy, especially when it is a radical new start. When it may be time for a professional reorientation and how you can take this step ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Career reorientation? Frustration is a bad advisor

There is always acute dissatisfaction and job frustration. For some, it's the famous Monday blues that rains the beginning of the week. Others suffer from frustration after a failed project because a colleague is annoying or the boss makes unjust decisions.

In the heat of the moment, many then play with the idea of ​​a professional reorientation. You would like to give up everything - but you shouldn't.

The annual “Gallup Index” regularly certifies that employees in Germany are becoming less and less committed to their jobs. The desire for a professional reorientation then grows quickly, but many simply do not know how to implement it.

The most common reasons for job dissatisfaction

  • Bad leadership style (40%)
  • Low salary (27%)
  • Lack of appreciation (24%)
  • No career prospects (20%)
  • Boring work content (14%)

No wonder. They are spontaneous impulses. The occasions come and go. But you are not yet a reason to seriously consider a professional reorientation and to actively tackle it. To quit and change your job is ONE option - but not one that should be chosen spontaneously and certainly not too hastily. Especially not out of frustration.

Anyone who strives for a professional reorientation with every frustration at work will probably not stay in an employment relationship for long. In every profession there are moments and days that are exhausting and annoying, but frustration is never a good advisor when thinking about career changes.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that emotions are a key factor in finding a job. While a plan and specific career goals for the job change were helpful for the formulation of the cover letter and the résumé, a positive attitude in particular improved the chances of being hired.

When is it time to change jobs?

Something else applies if you have been struggling with your job for weeks or even months, no longer enjoying your work and have to force yourself to work every day. Trapped in the hamster wheel, some overlook veritable alarm signals from increasing lack of energy to persistent mood swings to feelings of faint or even an impending depression.

If anger and frustration become chronic, it will eventually have an impact on the work and those around you: Your performance will decrease, you are more easily irritable and there is a lack of happiness and satisfaction with your own situation.

In that case, it is time for some self-reflection to seriously consider the option of a professional reorientation. Answer the following questions honestly (!):

Orientation questions BEFORE changing jobs

  • How long have I been dissatisfied?
  • What exactly am I unhappy with: my job or my life?
  • Are the current conditions my main motive?
  • Do the reasons have to do with the boss, colleagues or tasks?
  • Is it my own fault - and can I change something?
  • Would that inevitably be different in another company?
  • Do I still see prospects for myself in the current company?
  • Is an external reorientation the only alternative?
  • How does the professional change fit into my career plans?
  • What would I gain from it?
  • What risks am I willing to take?
  • What makes me really happy
  • Why is this goal so important to me?
  • What job would I give myself?
  • What do I have to do to achieve my goal?
  • What would I have to do without? Could i do that?
  • How much time do I invest in myself and my development every day?
  • Can what I do today still inspire me in 5 years?
  • What are my strengths? Which do I want to use more?
  • Would I actually use my talents better elsewhere?
  • What is stopping me from starting my project?

You should take enough time, especially for the last ten questions. After all, a professional reorientation is not an end in itself. This only makes sense if you combine it with a concrete perspective, a goal. Otherwise you only run the risk of falling into the eaves. The grass doesn't necessarily have to be greener elsewhere.

Do you have an up-or-down motivation?

If you are currently feeling an escape reflex - resist it. For the time being. A very important point in a professional reorientation is the right direction - not least because you will have to justify your application with it later. Whether a career change is successful depends crucially on the motivation from which we act. "Motivation" means Move. Accordingly, there are two directions in the so-called change motivation:

  • Away-from-motivation
    When it comes to getting away from motivation, we want to “get away from something”, away from an undesirable situation, a bad job or a bad boss. However, there is usually a reflex to flee behind this. The Run away can also be a convenient evasive action and an unstrategic approach. The main thing: away!
  • Towards Motivation
    On the other hand, those who “orientate themselves” somewhere are mostly following a plan or a strategy - and promptly look determined. With the moving towards motivation, we want to achieve something, develop towards a set goal and have a clear view of where the path should lead you.

For the success of the professional reorientation it is necessary - in the long term - that you know where you are going (see video):

Career reorientation at 35, 40 or 50?

Can you still have a career at 50? For many employees, the desire for a change in their career is associated with a fundamental question and concern: "Am I not too old for that?" a successful move. Too fixed, too far in one direction or simply too old to look for something new again?

Even if the current work is no longer fun and the longing for change grows, many prefer to accept their own situation. Motto: From 35, at the latest by 40, it is too late for a professional reorientation. Do what you have to do.

That's nonsense!

The age of 40 is often seen as a magical limit. Up to this point you can still make some changes in your career, maybe even start from scratch. Once exceeded, however, one belongs to the old iron.

Remaining unhappy is not an option!

From a purely mathematical point of view, this is sheer nonsense. Suppose you started your professional life at the age of 20, then by the age of 40 you have less than half of your career behind you. There is at least that much time ahead of you. Why should there no longer be a professional reorientation possible in order to shape the remaining more than two decades according to your own ideas?

That is not to say that a professional reorientation is easy with increasing age. Of course, some companies are specifically looking for younger employees - but that doesn't change your situation. Resigning yourself to being unhappy in your job for the next 20 years - THAT is not an option.

If you come to the conclusion for yourself that a professional reorientation is necessary, you have already made your decision. Regardless of whether you are 25, 40 or 50 years old. Don't let your fear or insecurity block you, set yourself a goal and pursue it.

Good reasons for a professional reorientation

  • health
    There are jobs that make you sick: Permastress, the boss poisons the atmosphere, colleagues bully. Nobody can and should endure such a thing in the long run. Money may be important - health is more important.
  • boredom
    What is meant is not the alleged boreout phenomenon. Something can be done about that. But if the job does not present any challenges and you can no longer learn or achieve anything there, it is time to change jobs - internally or externally.
  • Expectations
    Some employers have expectations that cannot be met despite commitment, overtime and motivation. If the boss is never satisfied because he has unrealistic requirements, a change can be useful.
  • Standstill
    In every respect: There is a lack of career prospects as well as financial ones. If the store doesn't even develop further, the job is in danger in the long term. Better go before the ship sinks.
  • uncertainty
    No job is safe today. Markets and industries change too quickly for that. But if you live in constant fear for your professional existence, it is only exhausting - and at some point makes you sick (see above.)
  • nepotism
    Do you toil every day and don't even hear a "thank you"? Disdain would be a reason to leave. If favoritism is added, the measure is full.

Bad reasons for a professional reorientation

  • frustration
    We all have a bad day at work. Sometimes the displeasure lasts longer. But that is no reason to throw the gun in the grain immediately. There are also frustrating days elsewhere. The overall picture over the course of the year is crucial.
  • criticism
    The boss was dissatisfied with the performance and did you fold it? Not the best kind. But more of a self-reflection on what you can do better. Only when the criticism becomes unfounded and chronic does that speak for a change.
  • error
    You really screwed it up, it costs the company dearly. The shame is great. You might even get fired. Nevertheless, you can only grow from it: Take responsibility and learn from it.
  • boss
    Employees come for jobs and leave for bosses. That's true - in part. Very few bosses are perfect, as are we. Who knows what the next one is like. Then better learn to manage managers.

Overcome mental hurdles in professional reorientation

There are numerous obstacles associated with professional reorientation. A fresh start - regardless of the extent to which it is a change of job, retraining or a completely new start - is just as relevant a change in your mid-20s as it is at 35 or 50 years of age.

In order to master the reorientation, however, not only practical problems have to be solved, but also mental hurdles have to be overcome. One of them is the mental hurdle of old age, already mentioned above. This can be an obstacle, but only really slows you down when you become passive and accept the role of victim. In addition, there are other mental blocks, which mean that not a few complain about their job frustration and their situation, but at the same time look for reasons why a professional reorientation is impossible:

  • Work and profession are important components of one's own identity. For many people, their previous job is an essential part of their self-image and self-worth. Breaking away from this part is therefore often accompanied by fear and disorientation.
  • The riskier the professional reorientation, the greater the worry and security. You may want to leave a well-paying position or you may find it difficult to gauge how the new path will develop. So-called worst-case scenarios then arise in the head. But catastrophic thinking blocks.
  • The professional reorientation can trigger numerous questions in the private sphere. The more a person has already achieved, the greater the pressure to justify himself and others. Especially when you want to start all over again. If the new direction is not yet 100 percent clear to you, these queries can be extremely unsettling.

Please don't let that blow you into the fenugreek. There are mental Obstacles to professional reorientation - none real and certainly none insurmountable. Good preparation reduces this significantly. This means that you - as difficult as it may be - include your private environment right from the start: your partner, good friends or mentors can help you gain more clarity about missing pieces of the puzzle. Hardly anyone takes such a step alone.

Let us help you with your professional reorientation!

Professional reorientation in 3 steps

A professional reorientation is seldom easy, but represents a lengthy process. This can be traced back to three basic steps: Analysis, planning and implementation of your professional reorientation. We will introduce you to the three steps of a professional reorientation in detail and show you how you can systematically face the change process:

1. Analysis: Leave your comfort zone

The first step is the most inconvenient in the whole process. It has primarily to do with your attitude and attitude. Break away from your current expectations and assumptions and go back to zero. Only if you do the analysis of the status quo Approach it openly and unconditionally, you can find the right path for you.

This inevitably raises questions like the above that will not always be pleasant. Many lead out of your comfort zone. Nevertheless, take the time to take an honest and comprehensive inventory. Approach the internal inventory consistently - and you will find out what you need to change.

Also face your fears, doubts and fears and come up with good arguments against it. Above all, consider your options in a long-term context - ideally using what is known as the 10-10-10 method:

How will I feel about my decision?

➠ In 10 minutes?
➠ In 10 months?
➠ In 10 years?

2. Planning: Consider all the options

If it turns out that your professional future does not lie with your current employer and not in your traditional job, the search for alternatives and possible job profiles begins. The following applies here: First consider every conceivable possibility and do not rule out any option from the outset just because it seems unrealistic or like a castle in the air at first glance. Or to put it another way: “If you want something, you will find ways. Who does not want something, finds reasons."

This is especially true for professional reorientation. If, among the seemingly unrealistic options, you find one that you are passionate about, that you intuitively sense: I want that! Then look for a way to do it.

That doesn't mean it will be the most convenient way to go. Maybe you will have to retrain, cut your salary significantly and tighten your belt for a few years. Nothing is free. But you know what you are facing the hardship for and, above all, you have a long-term perspective that fulfills it.

3. Implementation: Draw the consequences

The last step is to minimize the gap between plan and reality. This can only be achieved through one thing: action. The dream job will not come to you by chance. To do this, you have to be active yourself (and sometimes also have patience and perseverance). If your expectations and goals are realistic, you can achieve them.

People whose career choice is driven by extrinsic factors such as money, power or prestige run the risk of overestimating these factors and therefore always lagging one step behind being happy. When choosing your alternatives, please do not only pay attention to material factors such as ...

  • Better pay
  • More flexible working hours
  • Career prospects
  • More pleasant working atmosphere
  • Shorter commutes
  • Nicer colleagues (boss)

Sure, all of this contributes significantly to job satisfaction. In order to be happy in the long term and thus also successful in your new job, you should also pay attention to factors such as ...

  • Recognition and appreciation
  • Meaningfulness of the work
  • Balance of demands and support
  • Development prospects

If you don't want to restart your professional reorientation every few years, you have to think long-term. Dissatisfaction can trigger this process. To implement it successfully, you need clear and tenable goals.

Even if it all sounds exhausting, it's worth it. If you follow the path consistently, you will soon regain inner peace and satisfaction. Happiness is not a coincidence - it is made. As soon as you take control of life (again), you also determine the direction in which you develop.This self-determination is an essential engine for success.

Checklist for professional reorientation

In order to support you on the way to a professional reorientation, we have created the following checklist, which can serve as a kind of guide. Here you will find key points, food for thought and orientation aids that can help you with major professional changes. Please take enough time to reflect on the individual aspects. This is the only way to achieve an optimal result:

  • Pay attention to physical and emotional alarm signals.
  • Find the causes of your dissatisfaction.
  • First try to make small changes to improve your situation.
  • Try to change internally.
  • Adapt the job to your wishes - for example, with new tasks that are more fun.
  • State your goals in life - professionally and privately.
  • Analyze what brings you closer to your professional goal.
  • Plan the necessary steps for this - short, medium, long-term.
  • Do not rush to rule out any option.
  • First find ways to do this.
  • Face your fears, insecurities, and self-doubts.
  • Believe in yourself, your skills and success.
  • Find your real dream job.
  • Research the requirements for this.
  • Focus on your goals.
  • Find yourself mental supporters *.
  • Provide a financial buffer.
  • Set priorities and draw conclusions.

* Helpers can be friends and family. But also coaches, career advisors (see: German Association for Educational and Career Advice e.V., German Society for Career Advice e.V.) or career advisors for the employment agency

11 tips for a successful reorientation

Real-life experience shows: The professional reorientation is hard work. But neither impossible nor pointless. On the contrary: you are doing something good and great for yourself! To ensure that this step succeeds, we finally have 11 tips from practice so that you can start your professional reorientation right away:

  1. Define your goals
    Those who are dissatisfied with their jobs sooner or later think about a new professional orientation. However, that is a broad field. A career change can mean a lot. First and foremost, you should therefore set a clear goal and think about what your personal reorientation should look like. For example, a new start in the form of debt rescheduling and a lateral entry into another profession is conceivable. Even minor changes can be a reorientation. For example, by entering a different professional area through courses and further training and opening up a completely different field of activity.
  2. Plan carefully
    There are always uncertainties associated with professional reorientation. That shouldn't prevent you from planning your project as thoroughly as possible anyway and going into the later implementation with a precise idea: "What steps do you have to go by when?" A time and financial framework can also be helpful: How much time do you want to invest in the professional reorientation? When do you want to get fully back in? What about your finances if you earn nothing or less at first? Anyone who can answer these questions and knows the framework conditions is well prepared.
  3. Find out early
    When job dissatisfaction grows, some cannot wait and want to force a professional reorientation and break over the knee. The main thing is out and something else. You run the risk of failing or going from bad to worse. Before starting anything, please always research each option in detail. This is the only way you can decide what is the currently most suitable path and what promises the most success. It is a rush that is often forgotten by strong emotions: the more you know and prepare, the less can go wrong.
  4. Check your motivation
    Not only must the goal be clear, but also the reason and your motivation for the professional reorientation. In other words: answer the question why you are taking the step in the first place. What drives you and why is the change so important to you? Only with sufficient motivation will you hold out if the restart proves to be much more difficult than assumed.
  5. Identify your strengths
    This is doubly important: for yourself and for potential employers. The analysis of your own strengths will give you a better picture of yourself - and also help you to decide in which direction the professional reorientation can go. At the same time, it is an important prerequisite for future applications. Employers will be interested in who you are and why you should be hired. For the reorientation, this means that you have to be able to show what experience and what added value you bring with you from your previous work and how the new employer will benefit from it.
  6. Hang in there
    You have made the decision, then you have to stand by it and take responsibility for ensuring that something changes. It starts with standing up in front of family and friends about your decision. Here you will find encouragement and support, but you will encounter doubts and worries. More importantly, when reorienting your career, you don't rely on others to do the work for you. The responsibility is yours alone. Others can provide advice and support. In the end, however, it depends on you and your commitment whether the change succeeds.
  7. Have the courage to change
    Without courage, there will be no reorientation in the first place. The very thought of submitting a notice of termination, terminating a possibly open-ended employment contract and facing an uncertain professional future scares many. Don't let that stop you or put you off. Think about your goal and believe that you can achieve it.
  8. Be realistic
    The professional reorientation is often associated with high expectations and hopes. However, you should be realistic about this. Otherwise, you run the risk of quickly becoming disappointed and frustrated. This is especially true for the time frame. It will probably take some time for the change to really take effect and for you to achieve what you set out to do.
  9. use your contacts
    A broad network and vitamin B are always an advantage in professional life. This is even more important when it comes to professional reorientation. Having an advocate or knowing key decision-makers can significantly increase the chance of a new job. You can also find out about such contacts from jobs on the so-called hidden job market. It would be negligent to leave these sources unused.
  10. Collect arguments for reorientation
    In the application, but at the latest in the interview, you will be asked about the reasons for your professional reorientation. HR managers want to understand how you came to the decision and what is behind it. The focus is on your motivation for the new job and the new company. HR managers want to find out whether they are really passionate about the new job. Or whether it's just a stopover. The better your explanation and justification, the better your job chances are. Explanation - never justification!
  11. Be confident
    A common mistake applicants make when reorienting their careers is to be too defensive when looking for a job. Your own career is seen as a flaw that should be apologized for. The entire application and self-presentation lack the necessary self-confidence. But HR managers are not convinced that way. Instead, show that it was your conscious decision to reposition yourself, that you are highly motivated and that you have some advantages over other candidates.

We wish you every success with your professional reorientation!

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