I Need Another Pepper Grinder! Or do I? A Career Change Question!

I Need Another Pepper Grinder! Or do I? A Career Change Question!

You know the statement “The grass is always greener.” It often precedes the career change question. I thought about that statement and pepper grinders (pepper mills) the other day.

When I go out to eat, the waiter or waitress in many of my favorite restaurants often comes by with this “ginormous” pepper grinder. They ask if I want pepper on my salad or soup, or entree. There is something (don’t laugh) almost romantic about the pepper grinder and the pepper. It makes me feel special.

Romanticized the restaurant pepper grinder

At home, I love to cook and often look for ways to duplicate the restaurant experience. I bought several different pepper grinders over the years. Admittedly, I never buy the ultra-large (ginormous) ones I see the waiters use in the restaurants, but good quality pepper grinders. My pepper grinders grind pepper. I even buy the pretty mixed color peppercorns in search of the special feeling. But it is never quite the same.

I Need Another Pepper Grinder! Or do I? A Career Change Quandry!

Perhaps I romanticized the restaurant pepper grinder as much better than ones at home. The atmosphere at the restaurant is decidedly different than home. The lighting, the tablecloths, candlelight…

Whatever the reason, my pepper-grinders never give me the same experience.

Do job seekers romanticize change too?

Career change can be good. It can be just what you need. As much as I like to help people with career moves, I want to make sure that they have thought it through.

There have been quite a few calls recently from prospective clients in the medical field. Some individuals are look to move from one facility to another. Others want to move to another role in the medical field. Some are looking to move out of the field completely.

The Top Questions to ask before you plan a career change

Whenever you look at a career change, especially one that is voluntary, there are things to consider.

  1. What is the stability of the company or organization you want to move to?
  2. Have they been around for a long time?
  3. Are they expanding?
  4. Do you know what the employee feedback is for the organization? Is it positive?
  5. What does the press say?

Examine your career change motives

If you want to move from one role to another, again, you need to check out what people are saying. Never rely on just one source for any important decision. Research and ask.

If you think you want to leave your career or occupation, review why. Make a list of the reasons (pros and cons) as well as the pros and cons of the new position. Looking objectively at your choices can help you make informed decisions. Sometimes our reason for change or our choice of a move can be clouded by other factors.

Career change question? Frequent career moves can damage your resume.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move. It just means think about the reasons you want to move and determine if the place, the role, or the change will be positive. Will you will be able to stay, and perhaps grow, with the new position or company? Keeping your resume up-to-date with your accomplishments is a good thing but using it strategically is a better thing.

In search of the perfect pepper-grinder, I realize there is more to why the ones in the restaurant are special. There is my emotional attachment to the experience. There are other factors than just the quality of the pepper-grinder. I may never find the perfect pepper-grinder because it may only exist in my imagination.

Even if currently out of a job, think through these steps.

Every career move in your life should be deliberate and thought-out. You end up being an attractive commodity to employers if you look like someone who has put thought into their career. Never make a career move out of pure emotion.

The grass isn’t always greener — and the pepper grinder isn’t always better.

What do you think? When it is time for a career move, do you really evaluate your reasons? Let me guide you.


  1. Ali Davies on February 19, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I think you make some really important points here as it is easy to jump from the frying pan into the fire if the career change isn’t proper thought through. Your comment about the grass is always greener reminded me of something I read recently – wish I could remember the source to give credit – but it went something along the lines of…the grass is always greener where you water it.

  2. Jane C Woods on February 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Hi Julie! How I love your pepper grinder beginning. I am always amused at the fanfare accorded to the grinding of the pepper!It’s quite a macho event usually.
    I had a similar resume conversation recently with my daughter. I will send her your post! many thanks,

  3. Julie on February 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Thanks, Jane! It is a big presentation, isn’t it?

    I love helping job seekers but I care about their careers too and I would rather see them put some thought into a move than do it out of only pure emotion.

  4. Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health on February 19, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Probably best not to analyse what it says about me, but I always ask them to leave the pepper on the table – mostly they get awfully flustered at this, but the really cool ones do it with a smile.

    Sometimes, when you look to replicate something exactly, you’re holding yourself back through not appreciating:

    1) New pepper grinders have their own special qualities in their new environment

    2) Your response to the old pepper grinder is what you’re after, rather than the pepper grinder itself

    3) The values that drive you make for the most successful changes

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