The Best Time to Make a Career Change

Career Changes When You’re in Transition

As a career coach and futurist, people often come to me when they are confused about what kind of career move they should make and when to make it.  They often want a simple, quick, one size fits all answer. As the saying goes, “Hope springs eternal”.  A pragmatist would always suggest you to not leave a job until you have another one lined up. An idealist would say, trust and leap. It will get you out of your rut. An optimist might say, write your resume and let it inspire you to draw from your experience to make your next career move.

Although I was a psychotherapist for several years before I became a change management consultant, I have always had the philosophy as someone who was trained in the Jungian tradition, that the answer to the what and when of career change is non-linear. What it does require if you want to do it before you are fired for performing poorly on the job is being present. Begin with paying close attention to synchronicities. When we are keenly aware of the world around us and our feeling state as it interacts with our world, patterns and themes will show up. You might hear the same word or words repeatedly. You might meet a new person or persons that are very out of the ordinary or eccentric even. Further, your dreams may have messages to guide your process.

When I was just finishing graduate school, my professors at Chapman University warned us not to go into private practice. We were in a big economic recession and the smart move was to work at a clinic or addiction treatment facility or go into teaching. After all, those who can’t do, teach, right? 🙂 I however, did go into private practice as an intern under a psychologist who specialized in sex and love addiction and my practice grew fast. Not because I specialized in those kind of addictions, because I didn’t. My specialty from the beginning was transition – helping people through difficult uncertain cycles like divorce or career change.  I wasn’t much interested in chronic conditions like anxiety and depression; although they are lucrative, because people rarely get better who have been depressed for many years, so they stay with you. This did not interest me. I liked working with addictions that were brought on by being in the tunnel and perhaps stuck in the birth canal.

When I discovered astrology, a whole new world opened up for me. I could see latent talents in a person’s horoscope that they might never have thought they could make money doing. I could also help them with timing. And even Daniel Pink, a very rational sort of journalist has written about timing. We all know that doing things at the right time can make all the difference.

During a Mercury Retrograde, for example, which we are in now until April 20, the time is best spent on turning within and discovering what is your calling. People often call me during a retrograde without knowing why. It is not however the best time to make any firm commitments you cannot get out of. Now this is general to everyone. More nuanced is the best time for you specifically to make a move once you know what direction you want to start in. This is where observing the interaction between your electromagnetic field and the planets in the galaxy comes in through drawing an astrological blueprint. Einstein is quoted as saying that our destiny is tied to this mathematical universe we live in. People who are not familiar with astrology confuse it with tarot card reading because they don’t know how mathematical the mantic sciences of astrology and numerology are.

Where the art comes in, is in the interpretation. If you think about it, this applies to medicine as well. A doctor is given a list of symptoms by his/her patient and three doctors might give three interpretations which is what can happen when you get a second and third opinion. So, if doctors are “guestamating” based on their training, the same is true for career coaching. I listen to my client… deeply. I listen to more than the words. I listen to their voice inflection, their body language, and something that just comes from 30 years of experience and my gut.

I love helping people find what they are here to do next. For a millennial, it may be their first career, for someone in mid life, it may be drawing on the experience they already have to do something slightly different, and for Act 3 individuals, it may be a radical divergence they can now economically support, a kind ofcocooning dream they’ve had for years and can finally allow to become a butterfly and take flight.

So to answer the thesis for this article, there is no best time to make a career change – not even in a recession or if you have a physical condition or if you have very little money. The best time is uniquely quixotic for everyone.

Dr. Toni Galardi has been a career and transitions coach for 30 years and wrote The LifeQuake Phenomenon – a 7 stage model for helping people be resilient while discovering their passionate purpose. She can be reached at 310- 890-6832. She works by phone, Skype and FaceTime with people all over the world.