How do you know when it is time for a career change? For me, it was the realization that work no longer brought me much excitement. Challenges became more and more dull. My priorities were changing, and my work wasn’t keeping up with my demands. I want to share my story with you to highlight what I have learned, and maybe even be a source of encouragement for you to make a career leap. I know firsthand that it can be frightening but also quite rewarding!
I had spent 24 years in manufacturing. As a teenager, I began my professional career as a laborer. I worked my way through various positions within the industry. My last position was as Plant Manager, which had ended up being a 14-year stint. Those 14 years demanded long working hours, including weekends. I had come to realize that work no longer excited me. Outside of ownership in the business, I had reached my threshold at the company. I was at my pinnacle. Although I had a pretty good gig, the excitement was gone. There was no longer any advancement opportunity. My daily challenges seemed monotonous and stagnant.
When I was a working bachelor, I wasn’t as worried about heading to work at 4:30 am. Long hours and weekends didn’t matter to me. I was complacent with being a work martyr. That was until things were also changing for me at home. My wife and I had two beautiful children. My priorities began to shift. I now had new familial responsibilities, and it was important for me to reevaluate sustaining those long working hours. My children began elementary school and I felt it was more important to be there with them at the bus stop than to be sitting in my car in an early morning commute. I began to explore alternative career opportunities.
Because of my long tenure at the company, I was nervous thinking about walking away from the only employment I had ever known. I felt guilty. I feared losing the mentorship I had for the last 24 years. I suddenly found myself frightened by leaving old personal connections. Leaving that job would mean saying goodbye to the old team, to familiar collaborations, and to the comfort of always ‘knowing what to do’.
I struggled with the idea of leaving my old employer, but I knew that I needed new challenges. I needed to do what was best for me and make a career change. I wanted to find a job that would make me excited to get out of bed in the morning, even if it required venturing out into the unknown. The unknown, for me, came in the form of SDI Clarity, a small consulting/learning company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was offered a position on the performance side of the business. It was an opportunity well worth diving into, and admittedly, they muted any fears I had of changing careers. They were committed to helping ease my transition.
Is it time to step back and reevaluate your needs? Is your current work situation what’s best for you? Maybe it’s time for a career change. If you are looking for a challenging and dynamic workplace that values your personal and professional objectives, I encourage you to check out our open positions at SDI Clarity.
In my next article, I will discuss what it was like transitioning into a new work environment, how accommodating the people at SDI have been, and why I love being where I am now.