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How to Decide Between a New Job and a Career Change

Packaging industry jobs are in demand and offer exceptional opportunities to expand your career. Yet, even in a growing field brimming with possibilities, not all jobs will be the right fit. If you’ve hit a professional plateau and feel like it might be time for a change, here's some advice to help with the decision.   

Define the Problem Before Changing Careers

Many people are content to spend their working years taking whatever life gives them. A stable job, decent pay and benefits, along with the occasional raise or holiday bonus. But finding real career success requires intentionality and effort.

Granted, switching jobs can be scary and a bit stressful. Especially when you’re vested with the people, culture, and benefits. Yet, it’s also far too easy to let routines and habits dictate our professional accomplishments and keep us from reaching our goals.

And while the new year is the perfect time to consider making a change, it helps to be introspective before taking action. Like performing an honest self-evaluation of the career areas in which you’re satisfied along with those you feel are lacking.

Workplace success begins with understanding who you are and what you want.

Contemplate the following:

  • What are my primary beliefs and values?
  • Which kinds of work and workplace environments suit me best?
  • What obstacles are preventing me from making a change?
  • What resources do I have to overcome these obstacles?
  • Where do I ultimately see my career going?

These are tough questions that require dedicated time and serious thought to answer. However, they can provide enormous insight into your personal preferences, desires, and motivations. As you’ll soon discover, the biggest hurdle to getting what you want is systematically eliminating more of what you don’t.

When to Consider a New Job in Packaging

There’s a big difference between changing jobs and careers. After all, moving to a similar role with your current (or another) employer is a fairly straightforward task. You already know people, have credibility in the industry, and the skills and talents employers are looking for. You just have to decide where you want to go.

Sometimes a change of venue is all that’s needed to revive your passion.

One of the most basic ways to determine if a job change is warranted is to think about your daily assignments and interactions. Is it the work that’s causing you grief? Or everything that goes along with it?

Perhaps you don’t like your colleagues or team members. It could be that your boss or supervisors are difficult to handle. How about a long commute, extended hours, or lack of opportunities to advance? Maybe the company culture doesn’t align with your values.

If you were house hunting, these would be cosmetic flaws.

Toxic work environments are indeed demoralizing, but also an easy fix. Making a lateral move can eliminate the source of discomfort and allow you to continue doing the work you enjoy elsewhere.

Bottom line: If people, places, or things are a problem, another job may be the solution.

Signs to Switch Packaging Careers

Changing packaging careers is more difficult than switching jobs, but certainly still doable. Often times the decision involves moving to a new area, company, or department. Switches may also require retraining, additional education, or rebalancing your career ladder.  

However, taking bold action is often the fastest way to produce momentum. If you lack satisfaction, purpose, or direction at work it may be time for a change. When your initial excitement morphs into dread, boredom, or apathy it could be time to get out. Even if you’re still fond of your boss or coworkers, missing a sense of fulfillment can leave you restless.

Ask if there are other projects you can tackle. Or if you can have greater autonomy or shoulder more responsibility. The point is to evaluate your options before jumping ship.

Another smart idea is to consult with an experienced packaging recruiter to see what’s out there. They keep a pulse on the market and can let you know what you’re up against and where you stand.

In case you’re wondering, transferring to another job might help (temporarily). But then again, you may find yourself back in the same predicament six months down the road.

Bottom line: If your environment is good, but the work is dragging you down, it may be time to explore a new career.

Tips to Foster Career Change Success

No matter what, you should always put forth your best effort. But, if you’ve given the process time and still aren’t seeing positive results, there’s no shame in moving on. Think strategically and keep these concepts in mind.

  • Do your research - use your free time to investigate alternate career opportunities and see what they have to offer. Think about brushing up on your existing skills also or look into acquiring new ones. And don’t forget to dust off that resume and update your experience and qualifications.   
  • Seek guidance - from mentors or people you trust that are already where you want to be. Invite them to lunch or coffee and ask about their career satisfaction. Find out what factors are most critical for success in a given role.
  • Exit gracefully - if you do move on, try to leave on good terms. Offer to train your replacement and do whatever possible to make the transition easier. Burning bridges is     pointless and you don’t want to take the chance of damaging your professional network.  
  • Find employment that suits your lifestyle - rather than chasing money or prestige. For example, if family time or an easy commute are important, don’t take a job     requiring travel and extended hours. You’ll end up miserable.
  • Get expert help - because it’s tough to figure things out on your own. Consult with a packaging recruiter to evaluate your options. Not only can they find opportunities that match your skills and interests, but also advocate on your behalf during the negotiation process.

Bottom Line: look before you leap.

Conclusion

If you’re unhappy at work, thinking about change is natural. There are simply too many opportunities available for packaging executives to feel stuck in today’s job market.

The key is figuring out what you want out of your career and eliminating opportunities that aren’t a good fit. Keep in mind that you don’t want to rush the process, but you shouldn’t wait too long either. No one is going to walk up and offer you the perfect job.

It’s out there - but it’s on you to go and get it.

Are you considering a packaging job or career change?

Contact us today and explore your options.

Together- We Succeed!
Chase & Associates

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