We are facing difficult times, for some of us terrible times. Is now the time to be thinking about a new career, or starting a new business or getting a new job?

The answer lies in what your present situation is and what your goals are. If you are already in a growth industry working in a job that you like and pays well you probably don’t need to look for a fresh start. If you have a job that you like and pays well but is in an industry that is declining the answer is different. Maybe you should be looking for a new position before the sector and your organization collapses. If you are not working right now then depending on your financial situation you may want to make the hard decision to move into a different role.

Let’s look at each of these situations in detail.

You love your job, it pays well and you are in a growth industry. Congratulations you are in one of those rare areas of the economy that is still doing OK. You might be in healthcare or certain areas of technology or in the government. Why would you want to change careers? Maybe you’ve seen the writing on the wall. You’ve seen what has happened in other industries and you can see what could happen in your world. For example, who would have thought that …

So you are in an industry that is declining or is suffering hardship, for example you work in banking or retail. These are the questions to ask:

1. Is this a temporary blip or a long term trend?
a. Eventually people will buy houses again so they will need mortgages. That model doesn’t look like changing. It’s temporary.
b. You work for a medium-sized privately owned bookstore in a small town. Business is down and unless the owners do something extraordinary or have some unique specialty – Books for Cooks in London’s Notting Hill sells books and teaches cooking – you might be in trouble. Warning!
2. Do you do something that can transfer easily to another industry?
a. If you are in HR you can often move into other areas fairly easily.
b. If you work as an engineer for a custom manufacturing company making high quality stainless steel products then you are more limited as you see your work going to lower cost producers around the world.
3. Are you at the top of your game, irreplaceable and paid below market.
a. If you are needed and you are not “overpaid” you are less likely to be laid off than the person who is one of the pack and is being highly paid.
b. If you are the highest paid person out of a group of people make sure that you can justify why you make more money and tie it to dollars. When the money guys and gals want to make cuts they look at numbers not faces.

And finally you didn’t see the writing on the wall – and I have been laid off three times in my career – so it’s not always easy – and now you are one of the many unemployed.

First things first are finances.

Do you need to pay pressing bills, stop your house being taken from you or support your family? Your first need is to get money coming in. That usually means sticking with the career and job you already have – you have the most experience and expertise there. But in order to stay employed in the same field you may have to relocate or take a pay cut. And be ready to network and work full time in finding a full time job. The other way is to find an area where they still need people. Unfortunately that is often low-paid work such as in fast food or dirty work such as gardening. The key is to get money coming in.

Once you have money coming in then you can look at changing careers. If you are worried that your new job is going to disappear again – and in this economy it can – then it’s time to look at changing to something more secure. Or if you are in a low paid, undesirable job you probably want to look at changing so that you can more money and be happier in your work.

If you have money for a breathing space then you are in a different place. This can be the perfect time to look at doing something you have always wanted to do but were too busy (or scared to try). You can use this enforced change as a gift to really get what you want rather than what you are offered.

One of my clients was laid off from a job she hated. With my help she was able to look at what was really important in her career and through setting an intention, drawing on the laws of attraction and taking some practical steps such as creating a networking strategy develop a business which she loves, is much less demanding and is paying more money than her old job.

If that appeals to you contact me for a free coaching session.

David Couper is a unique Career Change Coach who has enabled thousands of successful clients around the world to find their dream jobs and fulfil their live's purpose.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and in the USA with major organizations including the BBC, Fuji Television, Mattel, Sony, and Warner Bros.

He has successfully coached individuals at all levels including CEOs of major companies wanting a new challenge, frustrated souls wanting to make their dream come true, and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job.

David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA.

David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television.

He has dual US/UK citizenship and speaks French and Japanese.

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