For those in the working world, we live in a strange time of history. There are nearly fifteen million unemployed Americans, which puts the unemployment rate at a drastically high 9.5%. These numbers represent no change from previous months, and all signs point to a continuation of this theme for more time to follow. Most of the working public – even those unhappy with their current jobs – interpret this kind of data to mean, “I should stay where I am.” There is no telling how long you might go unemployed.
Because of this fear, a lot of people simply stay where they are – even if they are unhappy. But the question is – is it worth it to stay where you are if you’re unhappy? That is – is it safe to consider a new career?
Pragmatically, it is smart to stay where you are, even if you’re unhappy. You have a steady income, predictable hours, and you might even have benefits. To give those things up in the name of a career change may just be an extension of idle dreaming. But if there is an opportunity ‘out there,’ in a place that represents the kind of change you desire with new employment, then it might be worth the risk. However, because the statistics may be working against you, it might not pay to be reckless. Weigh all of your options and see if crossing on that tightrope to a new career will help or hinder you financially (and psychologically).
If, after weighing the options, you decide it’s not worth the risk, that might mean you should test the waters at your own workplace. Maybe you’re unhappy because of your salary, or something where you are isn’t quite suited to your needs. One of the most important character attributes to uphold in any career, current or prospective, is confidence. If you feel you need a raise, ask. If you need time off, ask. It’s good to take risks, but some risks are better than others.