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Before You Leave Your Job, Check In On Your Brain



Is a career change in your future? If so, you’re not the only one who’s looking to shake up their daily gig. With the easing of in-person restrictions, many people are reflecting on their life decisions and seeking new employment. Combined with the record-breaking labor shortages (with an available-worker-to-opening ratio of 0.8 in July according to Business Insider), it’s an excellent time to be a jobseeker.

There are many reasons behind these job changes, but those cited most often are directly related to the recent pandemic. For example:

  • Maybe you aren’t aligned with your company anymore because they want to stay virtual, and you want to go back to the office (or vice versa).

  • Perhaps the last couple of years have been hard, and you associate those hard times with your current job.

  • Or, you were already considering a move pre-pandemic, and now that things are calming down a bit, you can finally pull the trigger.

Whatever your reasoning, we are all about having you move TO something and not run AWAY from something. We want to give you some tools and information to help make this a purposeful decision in a forward manner.


When you leave your job, it’s important to make sure you have something to move to.

The 2 Reasons Your Brain is Craving a New Job

There are a couple of reasons your brain could be craving a new job right now.

Reason 1: You’re out of fuel

When things are “off,” it takes more energy to do the things we usually do. In other words, it requires more energy to process the same amount of information if something about our surroundings is unfamiliar.

The last year or so has been really abnormal, so our brains have been in overdrive trying to process and keep up. Over time, we begin to experience burnout, which can deplete our energy levels, and when our energy levels are low for an extended period, our brains freak out.

We automatically go into survival mode and start looking for a way out of the situation. While a new job might not resolve the actual root of the burnout, it’s our brain’s way of trying to take control and survive.


Humans have survival instincts just like baby turtles that know to crawl towards the water

Reason 2: You’ve talked yourself into it

Our brain accepts our self-talk without question, so whatever we’re saying is true, our brains believe. This is because our brains look for evidence to make decisions. Real or perceived, we believe something if we’re told it enough times.

So, how you’re thinking about your current job can be why you feel the way you do. For example, if you’re telling yourself your job is awful, and it’s always going to be awful, then your brain is going to feel that way and demand a change.

If you’re telling yourself a new job will provide happiness and security, then your brain will seek that option. Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to think about your job, but it’s important to know how much our own self-talk creates our reality.

Bonus brain science: Run towards change

To be successful in a new job, it’s important that you’re running toward opportunity and not away from a bad situation. Here’s why.

When you run to something, you’re in a “toward” state, which is a state of energy, possibility, and alignment. But when you’re in an “away” state, your brain feels threatened and it shuts down, making it hard to make the best choices.

During this transition, make sure you’re running toward new opportunities rather than running from a difficult situation. Otherwise, you could be making a biased decision or entering a new job in the wrong state of mind.

3 Tips to Find the Best Job for You

With the brain science in mind, take some time to analyze your reasoning for wanting a change. For example, do you really want a new job or are you just burnt out from the challenges of the last year?

The timing of your career-change decision is critical to ensure a successful transition. When you’re ready to make a move, use these tips to help you get the best result.

Tip 1: Begin with the end in mind

Get really clear about what you want. What does a new job or career look like for you? What do you anticipate getting out of it? What will it feel like?

Visualize what you want out of a new job. The clearer you are with your visions, the more specific your goals will be — improving your odds of success.

Tip 2: Use your emotions (yep!)

When considering a long-term career move, think about factors other than money and skills. Take the time to look inward and check in on your emotions because emotions rule our brains.

Ask yourself questions to figure out what you really want. What makes you feel good? What kinds of work give you joy and energy? Consider new jobs and careers that will be emotionally fulfilling for you.

Tip 3: Check your thinking

Our brains are masters at believing thoughts that may not be true or accurate. This can be harmful to us if we’re on the hunt for a new job. Share your thought process with someone else, preferably someone that knows you well.

Use them as a sounding board, but also ask them what they’re hearing and not hearing. See if you might be missing something. Then, pause and listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to take their advice, but their thoughts might open some new possibilities that could be helpful to you.


The best way to check your thinking is by sharing your perspective with someone else.

Change Your Career with a Clear Head

It’s been a rough period for all of us. If you’re looking for a new job, be sure to check in to ensure you’re making a move for the right reasons at the right time. Then, once you’re ready, be thoughtful about your move. Don’t just jump to the next open position.

Instead, ask yourself the hard questions and get clear about what you want. After all, if you’re going through the work of finding a new job or career, you want to make it worth the effort.

If you want help with your current career or you’d like some guidance around changing your career path, we’d love to help. Contact us today for career coaching.