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Signs You Need a Career Change and What to Do About It

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Burnout is a real thing, and it is not fun. For some people, burnout is a badge of honor, but it should not be. Pushing yourself past your limits on a consistent basis while identifying that you need a break or change and ignoring your base instincts to take one can have lasting impacts on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Before you find yourself in a spot where you are spinning out of control, look at the elements of your life and identify where the biggest stressors are originating. For many people, their job is the main culprit. Just because you have a need to make a living does not mean that you must subject yourself to a career that fills up your finances but drains every other part of your life. 

Career changes are more and more common especially in a post-pandemic world. If you are curious about making a change and are just waiting for the right time, it is not coming. There will never be an optimal, perfect day or moment in time where the right time appears out of thin air, you must create it. Before you make your final decision think about some factors that will be beneficial to you not just during the initial transition but also in the search process leading up to it. Especially if your reason for seeking out a career change is a toxic work environment, be sure that you have identified what has made it toxic for you personally so that you can avoid falling into another less than desirable situation. 

You Cannot Hide Your Feelings

One of the biggest signs that it is time to get a new job is disengagement. Often, once someone has reached a state of disengagement they are past the point of salvation regarding the specific topic. You need to stop, look, and listen within your own mind and body, as well as your surrounding for signals that you have become disengaged. 

If you find yourself going through the motions, without emotion, that is disengagement. When this becomes more of the rule and less of the exception your productivity will likely suffer as well and your mental and emotional health. If the first thing you do when you begin each workday is start the countdown until it is over, you are not setting yourself up for success. Consider as well how this disengagement might be trickling into your life outside the office as well. 

It is completely normal to vent or rant to a spouse or friend at the end of a particularly tough workday, and in fact, venting is an important element of managing emotions, but pay attention to their responses. If the people who love and know you best have started to voice concern about your well-being coming off a vent session, do not ignore that. Additionally, consider their feedback, if you voice a specific complaint about a person or element of your job, and their feedback has a tone of suggesting that perhaps more is wrong this one-off incident that can be a sign of the need for change. 

You Are Easily Triggered

Being on edge, or easily triggered is a classic sign of burnout. Regarding your job, if you are noticing that even the smallest things are setting you off and leading to thoughts or actions that make you feel out of control, it is time to look elsewhere. No job will ever be completely free from stress or irritation however it is important to know the difference between a healthy level of stress and a dangerous one. As mentioned before though, no reaction is often stress in disguise. We all operate differently and while one person’s sign of burnout may be an audible outburst or throwing things off their desk, another’s may be silence and neglect.

You Are Not Fairly Compensated

Part of any business plan is going to be managing the payroll piece of the budget. With managers notorious for watching the dollar and trying to get more for less as a facet of their job, do not let your employer get you at a discount for an extended period. Gone are the days where discussing your salary is taboo. In today’s world, talking about your earnings and the perks and benefits associated with your employment is a smart way to be sure that you are getting compensated fairly. 

Having said that, be able to recognize when you are not, and when that fact determines your future with the company. If you are happy and fulfilled and the money is the only missing piece know how to ask for a raise in a way that best sets you up for success. However, if money is just another element of your job that feels intolerable, say sayonara. You spend too much of your life working to not be earning top dollar for your contributions. 

What to Do About It

At this point it should be obvious if now is the time to make a move but admitting that fact and taking the steps to make it a reality are two different beasts. Do not let intimidation deter you though, just create a workable plan of action. A well thought out list of must-haves for your next gig is a great tool for your job search and the fact that it will be personalized means that you can sort through options more efficiently. Below are some questions to ask yourself and what the answers might lead you to.

  • Do I work better in autonomous roles? If the answer here is yes, think about jobs that take you away from an in-person office and into a more independent environment. Long haul trucking comes with travel and autonomy, but you might not have arrived at this career opportunity had you not identified your preferences first. You can review a guide on if long haul trucking is right for you to move forward within this industry or not. 
  • Do I need control over my schedule? If you need a flexible schedule and control over it, that will narrow down your search significantly. Be in tune here with what the role demands though, for example, it might be unrealistic to identify a desire to work in the accounting sector but not be willing to put in extra time during the height of tax season.

What salary does my budget demand? You can tailor your job search to your budgetary demands, or you can tailor your budget to your earned income. Either way, you need to know in advance of seeking out a new job what you consider an acceptable earnings range for yourself. Do not forget to consider factors like hours worked, and potential perks that might make up for a gap in base salary.

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10 Software Tools to Keep Your New Business Documentation Organized

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When it comes to documenting SOPs, training materials and other important internal business processes, what’s one tool or software (not your own) that you would recommend new business owners use, and why?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Google Docs

Stay simple and use Google Docs. With direct edits and commenting features, it’s easier than ever to constantly improve upon your living documents. That way, your SOPs can continue to evolve along with your business.

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

2. Loom

You can use Loom, or a similar screen-recording software, to record short videos for your team and create sections within the platform to optimize your SOPs and onboard new hires. Video information is easier to retain for most and is also easier to look up again and parse out. Certain processes are timeless and can also be used if someone needs to take over a process in an emergency.

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

3. GitBook

Although Google Docs is an elegant and convenient resource, I think GitBook might be the next best thing. It’s far more functional than a simple Google Doc, since it allows you to structure your SOP more like a wiki page or a full website instead of a handful of files in a folder.

Bryce Welker, Testing.org

IT documentation

4. JobRouter

JobRouter is one tool that I love using for documentation purposes. It helps you manage your documents from creation, editing, approval, release and distribution. It also integrates beautifully with Microsoft Word for ease of use.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

5. Process Street

When documenting SOPs, Process Street is a great option. It’s a user-friendly process management software that allows you to create, track and schedule workflows. It also lets you create checklists, collaborate with your team, capture data and more so you have full control over your processes.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. Trainual

Trainual is a software that helps business teams run internal processes faster, better and smoother. A pain businesses face is maintaining performance as teams are assembled, grow, mature and are refreshed. The onboarding process is one process that plays a significant role in growing and refreshing teams but, if botched, organizational performance suffers. Trainual focuses on that onboarding.

Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Trello

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for distributing official materials, an excellent system for organizing, commenting on and discussing internal documents among multiple teams is Trello. Trello allows you to share, sort and comment on documents in an easy-to-manage system. With their team functions, you can also ensure only those who need the materials will have unrestricted access.

Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

IT project management

8. systemHUB

One tool that I love using for any documentation purpose is systemHUB. It lets you integrate your existing project management software and continue working on it. You can replicate the existing documents or start from scratch as per your requirement. You can also share it with your team and do a lot more.

Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

9. ETQ

The most important thing about document control software is retrieving what you need when you need it. I like ETQ because it streamlines the entire process from document creation through retrieval and training. ETQ lets you set up permissions for employees to access the information they need and automation to notify employees of upcoming/pending training.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

10. Your Own Internal Wiki

Create your own internal wiki. There are many plug-and-play WordPress templates that are easy to use and pre-built to act as an internal wiki. Allocate a login to each employee, categorize content and use hashtags to make your SOPs and other processes easily searchable.

Chase Williams, Market My Market

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How Startup Studios are Bringing New Ideas to the Startup Space

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By Startup Studio Insider

Even as businesses have struggled through COVID-19, investors have been eagerly bringing capital to startups with the hope that new and fresh businesses will catch on and become the latest and greatest success. This influx of capital is primarily due to the exponential growth of new investment models that have exploded into the mainstream in the last five years. It is these new funding models that are helping connect entrepreneurs with investors who fit their wants and needs.

This new phenomenon of the ‘perfectly matching’ entrepreneur is a beautiful symbiosis capable of helping startups avoid risk, increase efficiency, and continue business development in a forward trend.

In this explosion of entrepreneur-startup matching, startup studios have developed almost a cult following. As many entrepreneurs have strong ideas, but lack the experience, finances, or team to bring them to fruition, studios provide a sort of safety net, capable of helping entrepreneurs deal with business and operational aspects, leaving them the time necessary to focus on ideas. With this initial investment, the special teams behind startup studios are mobilizing to mitigate risk for new businesses and help entrepreneurs focus on what matters most.

Startup studios are a critical competent of the startup and entrepreneurial space due to their capabilities to usher new ideas and practices into the industry. As this model continues to change the startup space as we know it, take a look at the list below to learn more about how a startup studio can single-handedly turn any entrepreneurial project into a juggernaut.

A Concrete and Singular Vision

Startup studios are built to do one thing and one thing well: build companies from the ground up. As this is the core initiative of these studios, they are better equipped than any other organization to take an entrepreneur from initial idea stages all the way to launch and beyond.

Because of this singular focus, startup studios are in the business of churning out these business over and over again. What this means is that they have not only repeated the process many times, but also standardized it down to a science. They’ve experienced every step of the process, and can often forewarn against roadblocks or concerns inexperienced entrepreneurs would plow headlong into.

Complete Operational Guidance

With the repetition behind the core of startup studios, they have a layer of shared resources which allow for a more rapid development and faster growth process than many other incubators or accelerators. From strategy playbooks to cross-collaborative teams, processes, and backing, these resources have allowed companies to take their development to the next levels.

Additionally, startup studios are invested in the process of developing a product beyond its launch. As such, many studios have developed programs to share resources and guidance beyond the launches from the startup studio and into the spaces beyond them.

Startup team doing planning

Oversight on Strategy

As startup studios are deeply entrenched in the day-to-day operations of their projects from the very start, especially when compared to incubators and venture capital firms, they are more capable of providing strategic oversight than other investment styles.

By utilizing a repeated process, as well as the experience of the entire team, these studios are capable of developing plans from the start, and imparting wisdom and experience onto younger entrepreneurs. This strategic guidance has been cited by many who’ve gone through the startup studio ecosystem as one of the most essential tools they’ve taken away from their experiences.

While the startup studio model is not for everyone, it is a true partnership that provides more than just financial backing. A studio is a great model for entrepreneurs who thrive off of teamwork and collaboration, and who may be looking to deepen their experience and learnings. While they can require flexibility and trust in their studio’s guidance, they are often a critical tool in pushing startups to the next level.

As the old adage goes, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. If you want to truly take your idea to the next level, consider developing it under the help and guidance of a startup studio. For more on startup studios, be sure to check out Startup Studio Insider, the newest journal providing daily insights into the startup studio space.

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5 Mistakes Business Owners Make When They Open a New Dental Clinic

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Starting a dental clinic is a daunting task, especially for young, budding entrepreneurs. The medical equipment can be pricey, putting the owner at great financial risk. Because of that, planning is a crucial step of the process that can save you a lot of money and stress down the line. Luckily, even if you don’t have experience running a business, you can learn most of these things.

photo credit: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels

With that in mind, here are the five mistakes business owners make when they open a new dental clinic:

1. Hiring Too Quickly

Due to high expenditures, business owners tend to rush the initial processes when opening a clinic. Hiring the right staff is crucial for your success, but unfortunately, some entrepreneurs make a decision for all the wrong reasons.

As a way of cutting expenses, lots of owners will hire young professionals straight out of school. Sometimes, they will put them on probation even if they have experience. When the time comes to hire them as full-time employees, they might not have enough loyalty to stay with your organization.

Having enough experience is crucial for dentists, but you also need to consider if this person is the right fit. Business owners neglect long-term plans and team suitability for short-term financial goals. Hiring a reputable professional is usually a better idea as it will bring stability to your team.

2. Not Creating a Beautiful Website

Word-of-mouth marketing was always crucial for companies, and it is especially important for small businesses such as dentistry. Unfortunately, getting those first clients is always a choir.

Many owners neglect the power of promotion, thinking that it’s enough to have a good service. However, unless you’re able to attract those initial patients, you will never be able to scale the business.

Having a great website is important as it sets up the basis for search engine optimization. Down the line, it will help you reach more people through Google. But it also works as a digital business card. Like your clinic, the website needs to be clean and to instill confidence in potential patients.

3. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Performing search engine optimization or SEO is a time-consuming job. However, small local companies can achieve great results in just a few months.

According to several professionals that conduct dental SEO by Dental Marketing Guy, local search engine optimization is an ideal way of promoting dental services to your local community. When a person looks for medical experts in their home city, your clinic should appear at the top of Google search pages. By investing some money in this promotional activity, you can get thousands of new clients in a short time.

Among others, search engine optimization is great for branding. Unlike other digital marketing activities, such as pay-per-click, the SEO results will remain even when you stop paying for the service.

Dental assistant working on a laptop

4. Not Having a Stellar Customer Service Plan in Place

We can argue that customer service is more important for dental clinics than most other businesses. This is because lots of patients are anxious before treatments and exams. Like with any other medical procedure, a person wants to be certain they’re in good hands.

Most patients are willing to pay extra for premium dental services. However, if you have poor customer service, it can dissuade them from giving you a chance. Even if they visit your clinic once, they might not return.

Retaining a patient is especially important in dentistry. Like with some other services, a patient is willing to travel long distances to perform an exam at the same clinic. Once a person chooses a dentist, they will likely return to the same person for most of their lives. And the lifetime value of one patient can be high.

5. Not preparing for the unexpected

Similar to other businesses, dental practices are subject to inherent business risks. For example, an equipment malfunction can set you back for months. In some situations, it might take weeks before you can get back to business. Losing a staff member can also be a major problem.

Although you cannot avert some potential issues, you need to have a contingency plan. First off, a business owner needs to have a healthy cash flow to cover any unexpected expenditures. Having debt is normal for dental offices, but you need to reduce liabilities as soon as possible.

One way to protect yourself is by getting insurance. Certain policies can cover dental practice overhead and provide you with income when you go on a hiatus.

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