Changing Careers vs Changing Jobs: How to Tell Which One is Better for Your Overall Wellbeing

If you've thought about changing jobs, you're not alone. You also might be considering changing careers entirely. So, what's the difference? Plenty.

Changing jobs

Changing a job just moves you to a new company, doing essentially the same thing you've been doing all along. That can be a great choice if you need to get away from your current employer and/or coworkers, if you're stuck in a toxic work environment, if you need to find a job closer to home, or countless other reasons. In short, you like what you do for a living. You just might not be too thrilled about the company you're working for or other circumstances that surround your employment.

Changing careers

If you want to change careers, you're not happy doing what you do for a living. Maybe you're an accountant but you'd really like to teach, or you work in a lab but you'd much rather be doing something that lets you get outdoors a lot more often. Changing careers can seem much scarier and more involved than changing jobs, but that doesn't mean you should avoid doing so if it's really what you want.

What works and what doesn't

In order to decide whether a career change is really in order or you just need to change jobs, it's important to consider who you are, what you want, and what actually makes you feel happy. Here are two things to consider.

First, if you don't like coming to work every day, and you haven't for some time now, it's clear that things need to change. Before you start putting your resume out there, or decide to go back to school, ask yourself why you're not happy with the work you're doing. Is it because the work itself isn't fulfilling or enjoyable, or because you just completely hate your boss? Do you like the hours you work, feel like you're helping people, or daydream about something much more exciting or different? There's no point in changing jobs if you're going to be just as unfulfilled at another company. There's also no point in putting in all the effort to change careers if all you need is to locate a better employer or working environment.

Second, don't make a change until you've thought it through carefully, and really gotten to the bottom of what's bothering you about your current job. Once you've made a decision you feel good about, don't let someone else talk you out of it. Only you can decide what's truly right for you, and whether you need to change careers or just find a better company to use the talents and skills you already have. Your personality, likes and dislikes, and passions will all play a role in what you choose to do, as will your personal life.

You may have to work for a living, but you don't have to slave away at something you can't stand. Options are available, and it's time you chose the one that will make you feel good about yourself.

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