Considering a Career Change? Time for Pros/Cons List

I’ve been in my field since 2003, and last year I completed my Bachelor’s degree in a completely different field.  I’ve since had an ongoing debate within about whether it is time for me to make a career change.

The idea of leaving what I’ve known, what I’ve excelled at, to try something new is a bit frightening.  I generally have confidence in what I do, but this change would be major.  I have to be sure of what I’m doing, because it affects much more than just me.  My wife and daughters are just as affected—if not more so.

Through this inner debating I’ve realized I needed to put together a pros and cons list about the prospect of leaving.  Then, if I decide it’s worth it and safe to change careers I can create separate pro/con lists for any jobs I apply for or, if I’m lucky, am offered.

You Can’t Just Sit Down Once

Starting with the overall change list is something that I now realize takes time.  I thought I could just sit down and hammer it out in one attempt, but there are things I overlooked.  Just this past weekend realized that one perk of my current job that I had previously overlooked is that my daughters have free and easy access to nature.

For those that don’t know me beyond the words I put on your screen, I work as the Assistant Superintendent of a golf course.  On Saturday I took my oldest with me as I went to work to check on a possible issue.  We drove around the course in my John Deere Gator and she loved it!  She kept pointing out things she saw (flowers, squirrels, balls, etc.) and we would drive down a slope she’d yell out, “Weeeeee!”  I knew I enjoyed my ability to work outdoors, but I had overlooked the value my outdoor job has for my little ones.

When I originally made my list I thought of things like expected salaries, health insurance and the potential lapse in health insurance, weekly hours, type of shifts required, the distance to work, and my fear versus comfort level.  I realize now that I need to go beyond those obvious factors; I need to consider the abstract.

I have my list ready to go, but I keep discovering new items to add to the list.  Now, I do have a good idea of what I would need from a different job to make leaving my current job acceptable.  It will likely be tough to get all of what I feel I need, so in the meantime I have learned to find new ways to enjoy my current job.

 No Change in Sight?

It may be beneficial to make this pro/con list even if you aren’t considering a career change now.  You may meet someone who offers you a job, you may be part of corporate downsizing, or you may simply start having some bad days on the job.  If you have this list completed and available for review, then you’ll be better prepared for the next steps.  Preparation is crucial when it comes to your future, your family’s future, and the security of your children.


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