Moving on…

Have you decided that its time for a change? Are you that person that feels a sense of dread every morning as you approach your place of employment? Do you conjure up a million reasons to call in sick or arrive late? Or, have you come to the realization that the potential for growth has dried up and you’ve progressed as far as you possibly can where you currently work? Whatever the reason is that you’ve decided to move on to new opportunities, the thought of leaving can be very unnerving. Even the misery that you feel in a job that you’ve performed for many years can become your comfort. Like a child’s old blanket that is tattered and torn, a familiar routine can be hard to say goodbye to. How do you begin?

Deciding what it is that you would like to do, is a good place to start. You need to determine whether or not your current career path is still where you should be headed or if you want to try something new. Perhaps you have been in the retail industry for the past 5 years and have finally realized that your passion is to work with children. How do you make that transition? By looking at the educational and work experience required to work with children. Be aware that you may need to go back to school to gain the knowledge that you need and that your evenings and weekends may be temporarily consumed by homework and assignments. But don’t let that deter you, if it’s something you really want to do. It will take time, but will be worth it to be in a job where you are happy. If you enjoy your career, but not the company you work for, then ensuring that your resume is up to date is key. There are plenty of resources online to help with updating or re-writing your resume to ensure it is attractive to would-be employers.

According to Sales & Leadership Coach, Brenda Van Rossum (, some of the most common reasons why people stay in a job where they are unhappy are:

1) fear of the unknown;
2) being unaware of their transferrable skills;
3) an unwillingness to risk failure that may result from a perceived ‘leap of faith’;
4) financial stability.

These fears are normal and can stem from the uncertainty that you can succeed. But in order to find a job where you feel professionally and personally satisfied, you must overcome them. How you can you do this? Van Rossum offers some tips:

1) Analyze your negative self-talk; what part are you playing in discouraging yourself to move towards new opportunities?
2) Create a list of powerful affirmations and say them; this will help to build your self-confidence and belief in yourself
3) Learn from difficult situations in your past and review what skills you used to resolve them; you will recognize the skills and talents you have to offer
4) Network, network, network!  Keeping you informed and up to date on career opportunities around you

Positive thinking is important. Sometimes we create obstacles for ourselves that do not need to exist.  Once you’ve come to the realization that you do have a lot to offer another company, its time to market yourself to recruiters and potential employers. Former recruiter (now retired) Eric Savoury advises that there are many factors that recruiters are looking for when they interview applicants. Among them, three very important ones are:

Stability – applicants that appear to have moved around from job to job too frequently show a lack of focus. Recruiters are also looking for applicants who have been in the same position (within the same company) for no more than five years; a longer period of time may show lack of progression and is not viewed as highly marketable.

Qualifications – applicants should be able to show that they are always striving for improvement professionally (i.e.: continuing education courses, training, etc).

The ability to work with others – this is an extremely important requirement and recruiters will rely heavily on references from past managers/supervisors in order to gauge an applicants ability to do this.

In Savoury’s opinion, the best way to market yourself to potential employers is by first having a strong resume, one that is concise and without excess verbiage. The second is to have great interviewing skills; being able to listen and answer the questions asked. Stay focused and on topic, don’t offer random information that the interviewer may not need or even want to know.

Now its time to leave the comfort and safety of your old routine and forge ahead on a new journey. Overcome your fears, think positively and believe in yourself and your abilities. Be prepared to embrace new opportunities and turn the page to a new chapter in your professional life. Good luck to you all!

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Joya Williams

A mother of 2, I've worked in the retail industry for approximately 15 years in various Analyst and Managerial positions. I'm always looking for new ways to broaden my knowledge base. I'm also a writer and very interested in exploring freelance writing opportunities.

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  1. Brenda Van Rossum says:

    Joya, Moving On is a well written article with food for thought for every generation.
    You laid out a very effective exit job strategy with tools and tips to successfully create a new and exciting career.

    Brenda Van Rossum