How to Recognize the Signs You Are Ready for A Career Transition?

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”—Joseph Campbell

When is it time for a career transition?  Sometime it is hard to know.  Pay attention when you begin to notice signs of boredom, feelings of disengagement, restlessness, or in-authenticity.  Don’t ignore nagging feelings you get that just don’t want to go away. 

Trying to stuff down these signs to make a change will only make matters worse.  You lose yourself in your current circumstances instead of discovering the gifts and magic within the journey of transition. 

Not so long ago I came face-to-face with making a career transition.  Initially I was in denial of the growing dissatisfaction regarding the direction my career was taking me.  I tried to convince myself the disinterest was temporary.  

I felt like a hamster, spinning round and round in a closed environment going nowhere and racing to get there.   It was time to stop spinning, get off the wheel and accept the call to leave the familiar and start engaging in what was joyful, creative, and fun.  It was time to move on.  No longer was I going to ignore the telltale signs of transitions. 

I opened myself up to the coaching transition process and within a reasonable amount of time I got my mojo back.   

To begin with, there is no linear path in making a career transition.  It is filled with variables from both the predictable to the unpredictable.  A key ingredient to a successful transformation is for you to have “willingness.”  

Willingness to:

Be patient with yourself, others and the process.  Leaving a comfort zone can feel uncomfortable and strange. 

Have faith and believe in yourself.  Bring your untapped creativity out to design your ideal career.  Believe that you have gifts and talents.  Take a leap of faith.

Be open to possibilities and be optimistic rather than getting blocked by the unrealistic need for a guarantee that you have to make the right decision.  Life is full of unknowns with no guarantees.  Get started now and with each step you will grow stronger and stronger. 

Let go of what no longer works. Attempting to hang onto the past, such as a career identity, can dampen the flame of your desired outcome.  By letting go you make room for ideas, new resources and your imagination to attract opportunities

Listen to your heart.  It knows the way better than your brain and truer than outsiders who believe they know what is best for you.  Don’t let the noise of others drown out your dream of being happier.  Your heart and intuition are your true guides.

Fail by taking risks.  Innovation requires taking a leap of faith into the unknown.  If you aren’t taking risks, you probably will experience going round and round on the wheel like a hamster.  See failure as feedback and a gift from which to grow and learn. 

Celebrate the milestones of wins you make along the way.  Some wins will come easy and others not so easy.  Whether small or large, each win (and loss) merits being recognized as your courage in listening to your heart, taking a risk, and following through on making a career transition. 

Understanding and developing these facets of “willingness” will help lower the voices of opposition in your journey from both your inner saboteurs and outer critics. You will gain confidence, become wiser, and draw to you opportunities.  

You are a unique human in all of the universe.  Allowing yourself to transition when your heart says it is time will empower you to bring the world all the marvelous gifts you have to offer.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”—Vincent van Gogh

Theresa Maria Napa, CPCC, LOACC
Career Transition & Leadership Coach/Speaker
Copyright 2018 – Theresa Maria Napa

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Theresa Maria “TM” Napa is a certified career and leadership transition coach, and speaker who helps purpose driven professionals pinpoint their career passion.  Throughout her professional career she has constantly evolved and reinvented herself as evidenced by her steadfastly varied career in both corporate and creative roles, as well as being a business owner for over 18 years.   TM can be contacted at