9 Tell Tale Signs That You’re Ready For A Career Change

Career Change – 9 telltale signs that you’re ready

Apart from dogs, one of my lifetime passions is personal development. So much so that I walked away from the security and comfort of full time employment and immersed myself in a programme of personal development. Then I started my own business using the personal development tools and techniques I had learnt along the way.

It took years for me to realise that I needed to radically change my lifestyle and  career, even though all the signs were there.

Here’s my list of telltale signs that it was time to get off my midlife butt and move:

1.  Even though I’d worked hard to get to where I was, and had made a long term investment in my career, my job no longer fulfilled me. I’d hopped from role to role in the name of career ‘development’.

2. I had secretly started planning my exit strategy.

3. My ears would prick up listening to people tell their story of how they had ditched their job to follow their passion and start their own business.

4. I yearned for change, but felt stuck and didn’t know what I wanted. I’d heard of thing called Coaching but didn’t have a clue how to get into it.

5. I didn’t just hate Monday mornings, I really hated Monday mornings. I felt like a caged bird with it’s wings clipped.

6. I was an expert job hunter and continuously searching the usual job adverts but nothing appealed.

7. I took a good long look at my career and realised that what I enjoyed most about my work was helping people to grow, learn, and unleash their potential. But I didn’t feel that I was achieving my own potential.

8. One day I got a postcard from a former member of my team,  living on the other side of the world, thanking me for encouraging her to make the move and follow her dream! And I hadn’t shifted.

9. One day, I sat in my living room, watching crap on TV, nursing a bottle of wine, and realised there had to be more life! That was the moment things changed.

Do any of these resonate with you?

How did you know when you were ready to get your shift together?

Published by Angela Watson

I write and talk about the stuff that's inspired my own journey so far, the lessons I’ve learned, and the insights I’ve seen that have made a difference to the way I live and the lives of others. I have a penchant for wonky cottages, modern rustic interiors, and golden retrievers. I also run a training and development consultancy www.angelawatsoncoaching.com, and I'm the founder of The Tree Shirt Project - supporting global reforestation, one Tree Shirt at a time.

10 thoughts on “9 Tell Tale Signs That You’re Ready For A Career Change

  1. Some good points to take into consideration. I am ready for the next step and hearing other perspectives is really helpful. Many thanks

    1. I’m glad you found this post useful Sue. Let me know if you have any questions about taking the next step …am happy to answer any questions and share my experiences with you on this blog if you think it will help. A xxx

  2. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  3. As an acolyte of Angela’s for about a year now I am happy to add my thoughts to this forum – I am a great believer in the power of support networks to help individuals make lasting changes.
    As always with any coaching scenario the most important step is to work out what the goal is – and to feel able to take the time to do so.
    What is it then about the ‘over forty’ bit that is relevant and that will help us to work out what we are aspiring towards?
    This may seem like an odd diversion but trust me. As an afficionado of the type of programme that now seems to make up most of the scheduling for ITV3 – Morse, Lewis, Midsummer Murders, etc. – I know that in any detection process the two key factors are opportunity and motive.
    Now, I am no Morse, but I understand that being (well) over forty was a big factor in both those aspects of my own crime against my previous career. And in both cases there is an obvious and a more subtle aspect.
    Motive – the obvious one for me was that I had been with the same company for 30 years and, while moderately successful, I knew I had gone as far as I was going to go both in terms of my capabilities and also, legislation not withstanding, age profile. So I could sit out the next 10-15 years and sulk or go and do something different. But it turned out there was a further angle, and one that I could not have become aware of without taking the plunge. Through all the self reflection that developing as a coach requires I have become aware that there were other things working within me that would drive – which continue to drive – my life and career and it is the maturity and capacity to reflect that seems to come with being of a certain age that helped kick start that process – the urgency created by a sense of time passing that was able to unlock doors long closed.
    Opportunity – there is a practical side to this. My age and years of service meant that I was able to take advantage of yet another reorganisation to leave with a bit of capital behind me and I would be the first to admit that I would be a good deal less gung ho about my career change without that security. But again, age, experience, whatever, these factors conspired to create a foundation on which I could start to build something new. 30 year old Mike would have done something very different – and much less exciting – with a pot of money and some spare time.
    So – my advice is to recognise the extraordinary capacity for change that comes with the energy and experience we all retain after 40 – to work out what drives you (and to recognise that takes time and you may have to start the process before it really kicks in) and go for that career over forty – whatever it is.

  4. My top tip when starting something new would be to do exactly as Christine is doing: get experience.

    As someone who tends to dive right in, I have learnt that it is best to think about the direction I want to go in and find the best place to start the journey. Testing the water first, making sure that the conditions are right for me, checking I can float, swim and keep my head above water means that I can then push forward and, with my eyes set on the horizon, let the movement of the tide help me.

    …And the tide has been kind enough to bring me to Angela, allowing us the opportunities to support each other on our journeys.

  5. Until last June, I was Head of HR and Marketing for Aspen Insurance and had been for six years. I had previously headed up HR for major organisations. This summer I left Aspen. As it happens, I had been thinking about setting up a new business, probably in my mid fifties but my departure from Aspen at 49, got me thinking about whether this was the moment. I attended a course on Executive Coaching, co lead by Angela Watson, and she pointed me at a book called Working Identities which I found very useful. The process of change took a couple of months in which I talked to a lot of people, was coached by colleagues and talked to my family and friends. I took steps to establish the company and I launch next Friday. Who knows how it will turn out? I feel very positive and am looking forward to building Leadenhall Consulting into a thriving business. I will now find out if I have what it takes, and will not always wonder if I should have set out on my own……

  6. Several of the points resonated with me. I recently took the plunge and left my role after 29 years with the same employer. I want to get into employability coaching, welfare to work, working in the non-profit sector. It felt like the right time for a change however opportunities are limited in the current economic climate. I have arranged two volunteering opportunities in employability coaching and would welcome any advice on how best to navigate these waters.

    1. Hi Christine, first of all congratulations in taking the plunge and thank you for sharing your experience here. I’m sure this blog site will be of support to you over the coming months as you navigate these waters.

      To your success!

      Best wishes


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