Sooner or later, and usually more than once, you’ll go through a serious debate with yourself about changing careers. You may be planning to get into technical communication, or out of it, or around it somehow, but chances are you’re on a path rather than a pinnacle in your career. According to various sources most people will change careers several times, and will change jobs at least seven times. Careers and individual “jobs” or positions are not necessarily the same thing, I’ve held more than 20 jobs (including numerous short-term contracts, and two promotions within the same organization) in three different careers, over more than 20 years, all of them related in some fashion to communications. So while the breadth of a career can be a bit fuzzy, depending on who you talk with, the fact is that very few (if any) of us will hold the same job with the same employer in the same career field throughout our working lives.
As promised, during September, we’re exploring what it takes for technical communication professionals to do a “career upgrade.” It makes sense to start out by asking readers whether they’re planning or in the midst of a career change of some sort, so that’s what we’re focusing this week’s poll on. It’s not as simple as a “yes” or “no” answer for most of us. Some are truly happy with the career and the employer at any given moment. Others are looking for greener pastures in terms of compensation or culture, but want to stay within the field. Still others are burned out on the corporate life and want to call their own shots. And there’s always a segment who wants out of technical communication (or any other field for that matter) completely.
So where do you fit into the spectrum of career changing? Are you one of those rarities that is content with the position and the path? Or are you looking at making some level of change in how you spend the majority of your waking hours? Vote in the poll, and please do post a comment on where you are and what factors are impacting your choices right now. Then feel free to wander over and start a new thread on the TechWhirl email discussion list.