I’ve seen a flurry of articles lately about the number of people who have accepted new positions that are a step down the ladder from the ones they left behind. We’re not talking CFO switching to burger-flipper here, but CFO deciding to take a Controller position, or IT manager returning to a more hands-on technical role. The tone of the articles is to present this as a “problem,” and I’m sure for many, it is not a first choice, but for others I see that it is a conscious decision.
As you determine your next career goal, do some self-analysis and identify your strengths and values. What do you most like doing, who do you like working with, and what works for you at this stage in your life? I often find that in the exploration process, individuals take a look at reordering their priorities, and some question the trade-off between a high-powered, highly paid career, or a position that required lots travel, and the cost to family, relationships, and health.
Some people choose to switch to career that they will find rewarding and give them more balance in their lives, but that pays less. The challenge, of course is to balance the new career and the new income with the economic realities of your lifestyle.
Creating a clear picture of your spending and financial needs and identifying possible areas to reduce expense is a sensible part of your career analysis. It will help you determine if a step to a position that some may consider “underemployment,” but you consider a great fit, is the best next step for you.
© Linda T Dewey, 2010.