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Should I make this career change…or not?

Hi L.C.,

I’d like your perspective on something. I am a 40 something-year-old accountant working for a small private firm. I’ve worked as an accountant for over 15 years and I’ve been with this firm for about 6 years. My yearly income is around $75K, with an annual standard cost of living increase. I enjoy working as an accountant, however, I work in a very stressful and unappreciative working environment. My boss is a tyrant. The demands of the job are affecting my health and my family.

I have an opportunity to work as an operations manager for a technology company. The total compensation is slightly better than what I get from my current employer. However, the health care plan is much better and less expensive than my current plan. The new job is closer to my home and is a strict 9 to 5, Monday to Friday position. The most significant difference in the two roles is that I will not be performing accountant services with the new employer. The new job will also offer managerial responsibilities over the 5-person operations department. Should I take the job?

Signed,

K.D.

Career change: the yellow brick road or a dead end

Dear K.D.,

Thank you for sending in your question.

I must first acknowledge that you are facing a pretty big decision. A choice to stay where you are or make a career change as an operations manager may significantly impact your career trajectory. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Nor is it a decision which should be based solely on emotions or potential monetary gain.

I am honored that you are seeking my opinion, however, I strongly urge you take time the time to examine your thoughts and emotions about this decision.

Do you really want to change your career? Is your discontentment with your current position related to the practice of accounting or your experiences at your current firm? Have you looked for accountant positions either in a different private firm or with a corporation?

If in answering all of these questions you seriously believe that this position with the technology company is a viable option, then the primary question for you is whether a new job which moves you out of accounting is the right thing for your career.

The technology company offers you work life balance, a flexible work schedule, potentially less stress which will positively impact your stress related health issues, managerial skills, and better health care coverage and cost.

However, despite all those pros for taking this new position, you have at least 20 years before being retirement age eligible, therefore, you will need to maintain gainful employment until that time.

How will this career change affect your long-term employability as an accountant? Or are you willing to practice as an accountant no longer?

Is there something you could do to keep your accountant skills sharpened should you decide to take this new position?

Perhaps you could offer accountant services to personal clients?

By doing so you remain knowledgeable of the changes in the tax codes which may enable you to get a position as an accountant more easily, should you decide to go back to your trained field.

Alternatively, is it possible that you could eventually obtain an accountant position at the technology company? That may be worth investigating!

Based on the limited facts provided, I would advise against making a significant career change without having a backup plan which keeps you knowledgeable of the developments and changes in the tax codes.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, you must do what is the best for you and your family?

I personally think it is ok to take a career detour if you need to. However, I firmly believe you must have a plan to get back in the game when you are ready…and ideally, you should devise that plan before taking the detour.

Even if the plan changes later….it’s important to have a plan!

What is yours?

Best of luck, and please let me know how things work out!

I’m rooting for you!!

 

L.C.

27 thoughts on “CAREER CHANGE….THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD OR A DEAD END”

  1. I know making a career change can be a hard decision to make especially if someone is comfortable in the job they already know. But growth, experiences, and lessons come with change. Change is good.

  2. I choose happy and healthy everyday. This is a huge decision and counting the cost is important – the cost of transition, the cost certification/re-certification, the cost of building new relationships…. A personal assessment is needed and a plan of action.

  3. I believe that a career change is the opportunity for growth, expansion, and change in the work place. I think that you should go with your hear and your gut when you make a serious decision like a career change for the future.

  4. Career changes can be exciting and then scary too! Doing what makes you happy will be the winner!

  5. In considering adjusting careers, I plan ahead of time and then I began obtaining those skills so that I can be prepared. It is a big decision but you have provided some great advice.

  6. At the end of the day, I believe in being happy. I’m also a planner so before making a drastic change you have to way the pros and cons as much as possible. Also, if the current job is affecting your health due to stress. Stress is a killer and you won’t be around to partake of either job if you continue on this path. Seek God first in all things!

  7. weigh out your options, including the back up plan and research that position some more. See if they’ll answer some questions for you that are concerning you.

  8. i did a career change after my son was born. I was a trade marketing and branding specialist in the FMCG industry now i am doing graphic designing and content writing – I like my new career as much i liked my earlier one!

  9. Career changes are risky. Risk-taking is important but not for everyone. Thank you for a great post!

  10. I would definitely take the new job! It seems like to me there are so many positives as to why she should change careers. And who knows? Maybe in the future she could open her own accounting office!

  11. Career changes at this stage in the game can be scary. I do believe that making sure that you have backup plans and you keep up with what your field is now is not a bad idea. I guess it depends on what your goals are with the new job, aside from the opportunities that it gives. Good advice here.

  12. A career change can give you the opportunity to learn new, transferable skills. It’s always good to have a backup, though! In this case, the new opportunity sounds like a great change and a chance to be more appreciated.

  13. Adjusting on career move is such a big decision. Going out of your comfort zone and adjusting to your new environment has to be consider. I love the way you gave your advice.

  14. Adjusting careers is a toss up, however, I believe in being happy. I’m also a planner so before making a drastic change you have to way the pros and cons as much as possible. When it was just me I was a lot more carefree in the changes I would make.

  15. I love that you advised a backup plan and additional options. The new opportunity sounds great, but you never know. Career changing is a big step.

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