If you are unhappy with your work situation, you may be wondering, "Should I get a new job or should I change careers entirely?" That is a very important question to answer; going through a midlife career change takes a lot more time and effort than looking for a new job.

So you first want to get very clear as to what about your current job makes you dissatisfied. One way to do that is to determine your work values. You can find information online on how to do that or you can use the work values exercise that I provide. Also, doing some writing about what you like and don't like about your job is very useful whichever path you take.

For a work values exercise, go to http://careerchangeforboomers.com/work-values/.

The next step is to examine your work situation in light of what you have come up with to determine if improvements in your current job setting would be sufficient to resolve the issues that are making you unhappy. This could involve changing things in your current job or possibly finding you a new job within the organization. If you think that is possible, by all means talk to your boss or others in your organization to see what can be done. In my 30's, I worked in a mental health center, and I was getting more and more unhappy in my job. I talked to people in management, and they found a new job for me that was more interesting, more challenging and paid more money.

If changes in your current situation are not desirable, not possible or not forthcoming, then your next step is to see if a new job in your same field would meet your requirements. Here you will need to do some research to find out what other companies or organizations are out there as possible employers, and then determine which ones have the characteristics that you require to be happy in your work. If you decide that there are real possibilities in this direction, then you need to go about finding a job. A client of mine was both a teacher and had an alternative healing business with his wife. He was not happy at his school, but he really enjoyed teaching and did not really want to give it up. So, I helped him find a new job in a school that was much more aligned with his values and requirements.

Finally, if neither of these options is sufficient to meet your need for enjoyable, fulfilling and satisfying work, then your only way out is to engage in a robust midlife career change process. For more information on this process, you can get my report, "8 Steps to Finding the Career You Always Wanted" at http://www.yourdreamcareer.net/main-squeeze/.

Author's Bio: 

Ted Behr, CPCC, The Uncommon Success Coach, is a career and life coach who specializes in working with members of the Boomer Generation who are considering a midlife career change. Through his writing and coaching, Coach Ted helps people to discover the career that will give them the enjoyment, fulfillment and meaning that they desire. For a free 6-part email mini-course on "How to Discover Your Ideal Career," a blog and other resources, visit his website at http://careerchangeforboomers.com.