At one time, a job with a company meant security for life. Your employer was like an extended family. You could count on them to be there for you and your family for as long as you needed a job, providing you came to work every day and gave your all. Today, this is no longer the case.

The competitive nature of business has companies struggling to survive, to hire the best employees at the lowest possible wage and to run as efficiently as possible. Gone are the days when a company felt an equal loyalty to its employees. Today’s mindset is more of a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ type of thinking.

This working environment can leave employees feeling undervalued and vulnerable. You may find yourself feeling stuck or blocked into the job you have with nowhere to go. Should you find yourself in such a situation, it may be time for a career change.

Career coaching may be the right path for you. Professional career coaching or consulting firms help you determine your move and map out a plan to get there. The process should start with a personal assessment that defines your skills, interests, and aptitudes. It should identify your personality style along with your strengths and weaknesses. The assessment should identify your values, your goals as well as your stresses and level of burnout. If you can, find a powerful female career coach. You will certainly discover many benefits of a female coach!

From here they can help you develop a career development plan. This includes finding the areas where you need to make improvements. It also includes knowing what your vision for your career future is – where you want to be down the road. You should be setting career goals and determining just what it is you want to achieve. Just like your first job interview, be aware to dress well, also for later career-change interviews.

With your assessment complete, you can now begin to implement a plan that will bring about the desired change. It should include a balance between home and work life. You should be striving to overcome any resistance you may have about the change and defeating any procrastination. If furthering your education is part of the plan, you will be actively working on this – not saving it for “someday”.

You will be gathering the necessary paperwork to improve your stance in life. Certifications, updated resumes, and letters of reference are important to making your career change successful. The career counselor should have given you guidance on improving your networking skills which you will now employ. Any good counseling service will also train you on how to interview with success in mind. As always, you get only one shot at making a good first impression.

Fees for this type of counseling can be steep. You will have to decide if the investment in your career and your future are worth the price. If your current position is a dead-end job or you are feeling stressed and burnt out, then the cost of the career counseling may be the best investment you make.