How to increase personal fulfillment by transitioning job roles

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Professionals transition into new roles for various reasons. They may receive a promotion, look to expand their skills, or because they have a financial incentive. It’s rare that people consider their own personal fulfillment when changing jobs, which can be the most important factor. A fulfilling career can lead to you earning more because you find the work personally rewarding. It can also lead to greater development opportunities because of a newfound sense of motivation. Below, we explore some reasons why people transition into new roles, how to do it, and how doing so can increase personal fulfillment. 

What does it mean to transition job roles?

Transitioning job role typically means staying within the same or a similar field but moving into a new position and way of working. It’s not a career change, which is more significant and often requires additional study and training, but it may require a shift in your behavior, the skills you apply, and your work pattern. A professional may transition to job roles due to a promotion, stepping down due to semi-retirement, or a near-endless list of other reasons. One of the best metrics to consider when it comes to career decisions is your level of personal fulfillment. 

Why do people transition into new roles?

There are countless reasons why professionals might transition from one role to another, but there are also several fairly common reasons. Here are some examples:


A common reason for transitioning into a new role is promotion, which means stepping into a more advanced role within the same company or field. This can be a great way to achieve a sense of personal fulfillment, as it affirms that your career is moving in the right direction. It typically involves taking on more responsibility and contributing more to the company.


Some professionals decide to transition into new roles due to semi-retirement. People who’ve been with a company for many years and are nearing retirement age may step into a lower role or reduce their responsibilities as they prepare to retire. This may involve transitioning into an advisor/consultant role so the professional can still offer value by sharing their expertise. They may also transfer their knowledge to a replacement while in their new role. 

Following a career path

Many people transition into new roles when following a career path, as it may be necessary to gain experience in one particular role before moving on to another. Career plans can be characterized in multiple ways, and typical career paths include vertical, horizontal, and strategic. A vertical career path involves transitioning upwards through different roles in a company’s hierarchy. A horizontal career path may include transitioning sideways in a company, perhaps to another department. Strategic career paths involve a professional transitioning into different roles with a clear end goal in mind, as they may require experience in various other roles. 

How transitioning job roles can increase personal fulfillment 

Our own personal fulfillment is something we too often neglect when making career decisions, which is unusual because the majority of us spend most of our lives working. Huge numbers of people work purely for the paycheck, others select jobs based on what’s available to them geographically, and a lucky few pursue careers that they find personally rewarding. As you can imagine, the latter group is the happiest of the three types of professionals. To many, transitioning into a new role to increase personal fulfillment seems like a pipe dream, but when was the last time you considered the possibility?

There may be a role within your organization that’s better suited to your passions and interests, or there may be an online program you can complete to facilitate the transition. For example, a registered nurse can easily become a nurse practitioner by completing an online master of science in nursing qualification aimed at becoming a family nurse practitioner. Walsh University’s MSN-FNP program allows you a smooth transition from RN to Np. This course can prepare registered nurses for certification as APRNs and give them the skills to practice medicine independently. It also teaches them how to work in various settings, like schools, hospitals, and clinics.   

In the case of registered nurses transitioning to family practitioner roles, the transition can not only be personally fulfilling because it gives an opportunity to directly impact people’s lives, but it also comes with significant pay advantages. These professionals earn significantly more than registered nurses and benefit from many more career opportunities. They also have a lot of autonomy and flexibility, which is rewarding in itself because it enables nurse practitioners to work in different settings and help various kinds of patients. While transitioning can mean becoming a novice again temporarily, it can ultimately prove to be highly rewarding. 

How to transition job roles

Here are some steps you can follow to help you transition into a new job role:

1. Consider your starting position

Taking time to consider your current position is the best place to start your job transition. This can help you decide what makes sense for you financially, geographically, and in terms of your personal fulfillment. 

Consider things like why you want to transition into a new role, what opportunities are easily available to you and where you are currently in your career. Depending on where you are at the moment, transitioning job roles may be as simple as requesting a transfer from your manager, or it may involve re-entering formal education to acquire new skills.

2. Research available opportunities

Before making any hasty decisions, spend time researching the various opportunities available to you. This way, you can evaluate the pros and cons of each decision and select a new job role that you’re passionate about, and that satisfies your financial needs. Conduct research online by looking for opportunities on job sites, company websites, and professional social media platforms. You can also research any courses you might be interested in to gain new qualifications. 

3. Be patient

Being patient in the process of transitioning into a new role is essential, as this can help you avoid making mistakes and quick decisions. Don’t leave your current position or even tell your manager that you’re considering leaving until you’re absolutely sure of what you want to do next. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so be sure to make a plan and follow it, regardless of how long it takes. If you need to go back into formal education, for example, this may take a couple of years to complete. Although, it’s possible to do most courses online nowadays, which can save you time and money. 

4. Prepare for the new opportunity

Once you have a clear objective in mind, it’s time to prepare yourself for the new role. This can mean acquiring new qualifications before you’re ready to apply for a new job or move into a new position. Preparing yourself adequately beforehand can help you transition successfully and avoid any potential stress when taking on unfamiliar responsibilities. Also, be prepared to be a novice once more, as you may be used to being an expert in your current role. This adjustment can be unsettling, but it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. 

5. Make a transition plan

Create a transition plan that covers all aspects of the move. This means scheduling an appointment with your current employer to inform them of your decision to transition to a new role. Staying on good terms with your current employer is essential, as this not only gives you a fallback plan if the transition fails, but it ensures you can get a reference from them in the future. Create a clear timeline of events and try to stick to it when executing the plan. 

6. Enjoy yourself

When transitioning into a new role, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy thought patterns of self-doubt and worry. Remember that you’re in control, and it’s your decision to move into the new role. Try to convert any potential worry into excitement and have fun with your new opportunity, as you’re likely to meet new people, make new friends, and progress in your career. As long as you research the move thoroughly and stick to a plan, the transition is sure to enhance your personal fulfillment.