top of page

What is the right time to change in my career?

Right time to change
I am doing well in my career. One question that I always grapple with is when should I make a change? Right now, I make a call that is quite passive based on either the opportunities that come through or my dissatisfaction levels in what I am doing now. Is there a better way?

This is a very popular question in coaching conversations.

Some clients don't like to rock their boat and value stability.

Some clients become restless. They do like change and want to set sail with their boats to unknown lands. It's a choice that they exercise based on what they value at a certain point in time.

If you are toying with this idea of 'what is the right time to change in my career?', then a simple model that could help you is below:


Picture Courtesy: Book Systems Thinking, Chaos & Complexity, Behaviour of Multidimensional systems

The matrix is plotted on 2 variables :

  • Concern for Stability (CoS)

  • Concern for Change (CoC)


1. Conservative (High CoS, Low CoC):

If your need for stability is higher than your need for change, at this point of time in your life, then it may not be the right time to change.

May be you are hard pressed on non-career areas of your life and you would like to stabilise career wise. Or you like what you are doing and you want to become an expert in it.

Either way, you don't have the motivation or bandwidth to change. Then the outlook for you is Conservative: Exploring with Caution.

ship on sail

2. Radical (High CoC, Low CoS):

If your need for change is greater than your need for stability, now is the right time to explore.

This could have been precipitated by lack of learning, boredom, lack of career growth, disconnect with manager etc.

There is a huge restlessness experienced by you in "stability" where nothing changes within your control. You have the motivation to change and what perhaps is good place to start is to look out for radical opportunities as you are ready.

racing car

3. Mature (High CoC, High CoS)

There is a state of readiness when you value stability and change nearly equally. This is "mature" as both options are valuable.

The key differentiator is that you don't place too much value on staying or making a change as you have both the choices available to you.

Hence you are not disappointed or restless when it happens or does not happen. This is perhaps the right mindset from where good career decisions emerge.


4. Anarchy (Low CoS, Low CoC)

Anarchy is when the Need of Stability and Change are both low. This happens when there is a disinterest in everything.

There is no inclination to make a choice. Some of the factors that can keep you on in this stage are burnout, disillusionment, lack of direction and negative thinking.

If you find yourself here for long periods of time, its important to reflect and take steps to see what possibility do you hold?

Use this framework as a first cut intervention to see where you are and accordingly exercise choice.

How do you make a call to change?

#executivecoaching #careercoaching #leadershipcoaching #coaching #change

40 views0 comments
bottom of page