Executive Career Transition: 3 Questions to Ask Before Making A Career Change

If you’re looking at an executive career transition, stop right now. Before providing advice for any career change for executives, I ask clients three critical questions first.

You see, a recent conversation with a very successful executive brought a tear to my eye. Here’s what he had to say.

Stuck In The Wrong Career

“I know I’m blessed to have a job at all in this environment. My guess is I’m a horrible person for complaining. But the truth is that this pandemic has stirred something in me. Something that’s been under the surface for years.

“Here’s the ugly truth. I hate my life right now. I mean the kids are great, and my wife is wonderful. We have a beautiful home, and I drive my dream car. 

“Yet, each day I become more distant from it. I retreat into my own world. We’re all at home together, and I’m hiding in front of my computer. I’m not speaking to them at all.

“And I’m not working. I’m wasting time and playing Words With Friends. My wife is trying to homeschool four kids, and I’m playing computer games.

“This whole pause in the world has awakened something in me that I had pushed aside for years. 

“I’m stuck in the wrong career. And I’m terrified if I make a move, I’ll lose everything I’ve worked so hard to build. And that fear is causing me to stay. I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on.”

Making A Career Change For Executives

WOW! That was a hard conversation for him to share. But he’s not alone. I talk to high level executives every day who want out of what they’re doing. 

It’s a catch-22. On the one hand they have all outward appearances of success. The house, the cars, the vacation homes. They have it all.

But is it worth what it takes to keep working in a field they hate? It’s not aligned with their core values, and it’s not rewarding. 

And as an executive, it’s even harder to make a career pivot. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic. But… it’s doable. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and dare to say, it’s even a good time to do it. The world has slowed down. Now’s your chance. 

3 Questions For A Executive Career Transition

The real question is, are you ready for a pivot? Here are three questions you should ask yourself before deciding to make an executive career transition:

1. How Long Have You Been Feeling Like This In Your Career?

Have you been feeling unsettled and dissatisfied in your career for more than a few months? We all go through periods of feeling blah. But if it goes on for several months or even a year, it’s a sign it might be time to pivot. 

If you’re feeling dissatisfied, it means something. It most likely means what you’re doing as your career is not in alignment with what you value. It’s possible it was in alignment years ago when you chose the career, but you’ve grown. You’re no longer the same person. If you ignore it, it won’t go away. 

2. Are you willing to invest time and resources in figuring out your next move? 

Let’s face it, this isn’t easy. You’ve spent a lifetime building a career. It’s not a flip of a switch that’s going to fix it. 

You will have to take time to reflect on how you got here and explore ways you’ve grown. It’s messy. But it’s so worth it. It’s necessary to do the difficult work to make sure that what you pivot to is the right move. Remember, you’re not after a new job. You’re after a new way of life for the entire next decade. 

3. What limiting beliefs do you have that might hold you back? 

We all have limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that hold us back. That little voice that tells us we’re too old. Or, it’s too late in our career to make a move. The first step in quieting those voices is to acknowledge them. Recognize that it’s false information and learn to choose another thought. 

I know that sounds easy and I admit that it’s not. But with practice, mindfulness, meditation, and desire you can do it. 

To get you started on the right path to an executive career transition, discover how to make An Executive Level Career Pivot In 3 Easy Steps.

career change for executives


Share your thoughts: