The Executive’s Guide to Career Reorientation

Is it Time for a New Direction?

Not many executives wake up on a Monday morning with a cry of joy. And every employee complains about his colleagues, or irritating customers now and then – but these aren’t good reasons to start looking for a new job. Any employee who believes that their current position isn’t making full use of their potential, however, should seriously consider a career reorientation. Oftentimes, as you ascend the career ladder, more and more career opportunities become available for those on the senior management level. So, be honest with yourself – is it time for a career change?

Berufliche Neuorientierung

The Advantages of a Professional Reorientation

Some people hesitate when it comes to a change of career path – and find themselves in a dead end. Those in leadership positions understand that certain privileges are included, the kind of benefits that no one wants to give up. Those who are too swayed by these advantages are held captive by convenience and insecurity. Change your perspective and recognize a career change for what it is: a great chance for your professional development! Trust your skills and your knowledge, and use the opportunity to move forward in your career: a higher salary, more responsibilities and their respective duties, motivated colleagues, professional freedom – a change in career can bring plenty of advantages. So what are you waiting for?

How can I prepare for a career change?

There are often plenty of things that can be changed to make you happier in your current situation. A complete change of career isn’t always necessary to push your career forward. Proceed thoughtfully and carefully, and ask yourself what’s bothering you the most:

Am I dissatisfied with my salary?

Salary is a form of appreciation for every employee. As a team leader or a senior manager, you have many responsibilities and should therefore receive a fitting compensation. If you’re unhappy with your paycheck, only one thing will help: be active and speak up for yourself concerning your next raise. It’s also a great idea to stay up to date on your market value with a tool like the Experteer Salary Calculator. This way, you’ll enter the conversation with reinforced arguments in hand, and know what a position is worth in your industry and career function. If this still didn’t help, you can start looking at other companies, rather than starting your new career change from the ground up.

Are certain aspects of my job bothering me, or is it just the environment?

Countless hours of overtime, utopian goal expectations, or a complete lack of incentives could lead to resentment over time, and cause your desire for a new career to grow stronger and stronger. These are also issues that can be resolved at your current workplace. But it won’t help your desire for a career change if you’re not able to speak to the right person about these concerns.

Am I dissatisfied with my professional field?

Regardless of whether you feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed: you should always speak to your supervisor about your concerns before you choose to start switching your career path.

Reasons for a Change of Career

There are several reasons why a drastic next step might be the right move for your career:

  • Few opportunities for career advancement
  • Incompatible balance between work and family life (for example, industry-specific working times)
  • Spectrum of duties no longer fit with interests
  • Sickness or disability that make working in this field impossible

Do one or more of these fit your situation? Then it’s not enough to try and fix the small minutiae in your current position. It’s better to go on the offensive and try for an exciting change of career – regardless of your age. You can strive for a professional reorientation at 30, 40, or even 50 years old. Discover all of your possibilities, and see these professional changes as a chance to move forward and further develop.

Four Steps for Your Professional Reorientation

Your decision is clear: you need to make moves to change your career. So what now? To start off on the right foot, follow these four steps and start the journey of finding your next exciting career opportunity:

What are you bringing to the table?

Which incredible experiences and qualifications can you offer? What skills have you acquired in your previous positions that you can use in other professional fields? List your collective skills and abilities that could play a role in your next career change.

Where can you put your skills to good use?

Don’t simply abandon your professional know-how and skills; look for other areas where you can incorporate your knowledge. Remain realistic and check if this new industry can actually satisfy your expectations for your next big career step.

Connect your network

If you’ve found alternatives for your professional reorientation, it’s now up to you to apply to all of the relevant positions. Tap into your network of friends and acquaintances, and learn as much as you can about the current status of the job market. Or you can use professional career services like Experteer to develop your network and connect with executive recruiters and headhunters.

Apply yourself

Start sending out your applications – now. And make sure to be confident about your skills and qualifications! As an external hire, you’ll bring diverse experiences and can help to enrich your new team and company with all of your knowledge. Your professional reorientation is ready to go!

Consult the Professionals

For help with a change in career, you can get counseling and expertise from professional career coaches. Depending on how strong your relationship with your supervisor is, it may also be practical to ask if they have time to give you some insight into where you should improve, and how you can progress in your career. But remember: services like coaching or career search advising can be helpful when it comes to your professional reorientation, but it’s up to you to continue down this path with enthusiasm and the confidence to succeed! Best of luck in your career!

About the author:

After completing her studies, where she focused on German literature and studies, Marieke Arcadi took her skills and interests in technology, and began working in marketing and SEO for several companies and agencies. Currently, she works as a teacher in the public school system, and gives seminars at the University of Hamburg. When her professional schedule allows it, Marieke enjoys traveling, and learning more about foreign cultures and languages.

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