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There’s always a moment when the realization hits you. You might be sitting at your desk, contemplating the next email you need to send, or you might be in the middle of a hectic day, running from a meeting to another, when suddenly, you can’t deny it anymore. You don’t like your job. Whether you’re looking for more exciting challenges or you’re simply hoping to get a promotion with more generous pay, it’s fair to say that most people change jobs a minimum of 5 times during their careers. In other words, nobody enjoys staying in the same position for an extended period of time. Job changes are the key motor of a career; if you want to move forward, you have to skip to the next best opportunity. And that’s precisely when you need to make a choice for yourself. You need to decide where you want your future to take you.

#1. Do I have the skills to apply for a better job?

Needless to say, nobody changes job to be worse off. But applying for a better-paid job implies that you can demonstrate the required qualifications. As it can be difficult to take some time off to go back to school, you can research the options to study online: In the healthcare sector, the Baylor nurses program allows people to gain nursing qualifications in less than two years. Similarly, you can find business studies and technical courses that can help you to land your next job. The secret is to figure out which certifications you need to boost your career further. While this means that you may need to wait for the end of your studies before you can apply with an updated CV, at least you can be sure that you’ll put all the chances on your side.

#2. Do I want to work for someone else?

Deciding for work for yourself can be both liberating and terrifying at first. The first step if you decide to take your talent outside of a company and become a full-time freelancer is to define an organization that works for you. Indeed, it can be easy to be overwhelmed, as freelancers need to multitask to ensure that their business remains relevant. So, you can’t afford to waste time looking for misplaced documents or chasing customers. You need to keep everything and everyone in the loop. Additionally, you need to develop your network quickly and efficiently, as your network will be your main mean of self-promotion.

#3. Do I want to manage others?

The next step, once you’ve decided to work for yourself, is to figure out whether you want to be an independent freelancer or an ambitious entrepreneur. However, it’s fair to say that not all successful freelancers have what it takes to be running a company. Entrepreneurs need to manage and delegate tasks, while freelancers are in the midst of the action. You also need to be comfortable with an investing mentality, meaning that you can project future investments towards strategic projects instead of saving or buying impulsively!

As it’s time to take your next professional step, it’s worth asking yourself whether you want to move your career further in the hierarchic structure, or whether you need more freedom in your work. The sooner you figure out where you want to be, the sooner you can get there!