Trading places

Think things through before ditching cubicle for health care career. (April 3, 2013)

There is a big difference between changing jobs and changing careers. The latter can mean staying in your current career, but changing where you do it. The former is more dramatic, and requires that more thought be put into the decision. Before you make a drastic change, look for signs that may point to a new career.

"You know it's time to change careers if you're never felt like you're being yourself in the career you have now," says Andrea Kay, a career consultant in Cincinnati. "Or if you've lost complete enthusiasm for your work and your heart's just not in it. Maybe you've become disenchanted with the field and hate the thought of doing this work any longer."

Move on

June Greco was an office manager for a handful of insurance companies in the Chicago area. She decided that after more than 20 years handling the ins and outs of a business setting, she wanted to do something different. She enrolled in the radiologic technology program at Triton College in River Grove after deciding she wanted some job security.

"I need to do something that had some staying power," says Greco. "I want to make sure I can enjoy my life when I get older without always worrying about whether or not I'll have a job."

A big life change can also signal the need for a career change.

"I made my change due to life circumstances," says Karen Steede-Terry, author of "Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career" (CMS Press, $19.95). "I was burned out on one job, got married, quit and moved to a smaller metropolitan area that offered less opportunity in my field so I went out on my own."

Or perhaps you're just ready for a new challenge in life.

"Maybe you're at a point in life where you're retiring from a company and either need or want to still work," says Kay. "You've decided this time around you'll do something you really enjoy or have always dreamed about. This can be a reason to change careers."