I have talked with many people during the last weeks that have realized that they need a career change, but don’t feel confident that they can do that. Either it’s too late, or too risky, or too hard!
I have faced that myself, the fear that you will not make it through such an important change in your career, and I can tell you that it may be hard, but all the effort is also attached with growing, developing your skills and actually you can find or create a meaningful job that stimulates your passion and purpose.
Let’s face the reason why you might be resisting this career change that you have been thinking of for years.
1. WHAT WILL THE OTHERS THINK ABOUT THAT?
We are seeking approval from our family, friends, professional circle, and deciding to change our field of work, we might think that we are giving up on people, opportunities and them questioning your decision will be too much to handle.
Changing a career and starting from zero in a new field might mean for you that you risk losing your respect from others and also your confidence.
Change is part of our lives. Evolving and growing is an inevitable part of life, so wouldn’t your career reflect that?
You will have to find out what is the best decision for you, as you cannot live your life in order to please others.
What you can do is:
- Continue showing up in your current job, and ensure your employee that you will make a smooth transition
- Explore your finances and assure any family member or friend that might worry about you
- Prepare yourself on how you want to use your arguments talking to the people you will talk to about your career change; practicing your reasoning will also help you find the way you perceive this career change.
2. WHAT IF I WASTE ALL THE TIME I INVESTED IN MY CURRENT CAREER?
For sure you have studied and worked for years, we get a specific role that we have invested through our education, training, professional experience, and networking and you feel you are going to throw that away. This seems scary, as if you need to start from scratch, and all this investment went to trash.
This is also called the job investment trap(1), which depicts the fact that you are pushing away the idea of exploring an appealing career but you feel that the time and investment you will need to put on this change stops you from changing.
Nevertheless, you are ready to give up a life of feeling fulfilled and having a purpose in your job.
What you can do for that is:
- Make an assessment of all your skills, your education, and try to perceive that more as an investment on yourself, not just on a career.
- See which of skills you can easily transfer to the job you are interested in. Many of your skills are transferable(2) so you can see the benefits in any of your future missions.
- Write a letter from your future self that has achieved this career change telling you why and how you did it. This can help you reverse engineer this change and motivate you by proviing a great source of inspiration.
3. WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE?
What usually keeps you indecisive in such situations is that you are not sure that you will make a good choice; that this will be a good decision for you.
Then you are coming up with all these questions, what if it is not what it looks like, what if I cannot fit in that culture, what if I am not good at it, and wandering in all these questions continues…
I will stop you there and tell you this: You cannot know unless you try!
The work of self reflection is the most important one here.
You will need to:
Assess your values
You start by posing these questions to yourself:
- What is the reason that you say that you need this career change?
- What are your top values that are not negotiable in your work ethic?
- What is the impact you want to make in this world?
Find possible directions
What you can do to see that is
- What am I passionate about and I could do for hours?
- What others tell me I am naturally good at?
- What I feel that I want to invest?
You can also read my article “WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK AT YOUR JOB” where you have an insight on how to Live by your values.
4. HOW DO I MOVE FORWARD?
Clean up the way you think
See what beliefs or fears are holding you back.
Even if you make the move and you quit to pursue the career of your dreams without facing your fear, you will bring your fear to your new pursuit of professional happiness
What you need to do is just to accept the parts of the situation that you don’t want to change immediately.
You can assure yourself that you have what you need, you can support yourself by having a job and even if you don’t like it right now, this motivates you to find something that nbetter suits you and guide your life where you truly want.
Make an action plan to explore them
Set a date describing when and how you need to progress and allow yourself to see small but stable progress on each direction.
I suggest that you have at least one main goal per week, even if it seems very small, consistent steps of progress is the best and most consistent strategy.
Sign up on my mailing list and I will send you right away the GROW model with questions adapted to help you in your career development.
Prepare a list of things you need to do
- Explore the options of the skills you can invest on (online courses, seminars, books, etc.)/
- Surround yourself with people that have the knowledge on a swift in their career, or related to your future career.
- Conversations with experts on career, like mentors or career coaches (you can also book your free clarity call on the button below.