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These days, it is a rare thing to have a person spend their whole life in one career. Career changes make sense when we reach points in our lives when the career we have chosen no longer feels fulfilling. But how to you make the career change easier?
In the points below, I share my tips for navigating career transitions with grace.
How do you know when to change career paths?
We invest a lot of time, energy and money to embark on our careers, so changing them can seem like a lot of work, but it’s time to change careers when:
- You don’t feel fulfilled or like you are making an impact.
- You dread going to work.
- Your job is negatively impacting your personal life.
- You constantly dream about doing something else.
Each one of those things is a sign that it is time to start exploring new career paths.
Why are career changes so stressful?
Change is always difficult, even when it is a positive change, because there are so many unknowns. When we are uncertain, it creates stress because we can’t predict an outcome. Moving into a new career will have many things we don’t know or can’t anticipate. What we can count on is our ability to adapt, after all, we did that when we entered into the careers we have now and we can certainly do that again.
Additionally, when changing careers, we might second guess ourselves because we feel like we’ve already made a career decision that isn’t working, which can increase the stress we feel, but we need to remember that we spend a large majority of our time at work, and that time is precious. We all deserve to be in careers that make us feel great about ourselves and what we do.
While the change can be stressful, the outcome of the short-term stress will be worth it when you are happier in a new position.
How do you navigate career transitions?
Career transitions must be navigated with care. The first step is to figure out what is lacking in your current career.
- Is it the career that makes you feel unfulfilled, or is the issue the company or clients you are currently working with? If you solved that, would you be happier and more fulfilled?
- What things do you like about your current career?
- What things drain you?
- What would have to happen for you to feel excited about your work when you get out of bed in the morning?
- Are there talents you have that you would like to use more in your work?
- What kind of impact do you want to create in the world with your skills and talents?
The answers to those questions will help you define what is not working with your current career, and will help you prioritize what you really want in your career moving forward. You need to understand that, before you can start designing the career path you want to take.
The next step is to start doing research. No matter what career you want to move into, there are many ways you can make that happen. Explore the various avenues your new career path might offer.
- What field of work interests you the most?
- What specifically excites you about it?
- How will it help you serve people in a better way than you are now?
- How will this new career path make your life more fulfilling?
- Who can you speak with in that field to learn more about the work and what it might be like working in it moving forward?
It’s important that you make connections with the people who are doing what you want to do, so you can ask them what their work day is like, what they enjoy most and what they might want to change about their career to make it more fulfilling. And if you make a really great connection, it could lead to a job referral for you!
By collecting as must data as you can before you make a career change, you will be much more informed and that will help you make the best decision possible to start building the future you want.
The final step is to create your exit strategy. This will differ for each person based on their current situation.
- Will you need to upgrade your education to make your career change?
- If so, what steps will you take to make it happen? Will you need to work the study in with your current job, or can you go all in right away?
- Will you need to build up your financial funds first, before you leave your current position?
- What contacts do you need to make in your new career choice?
- Can you find a mentor who can guide you through the change you want to make?
It’s important to remember that navigating career transitions takes time. Explore all your options. Talk to as many people as you can about the new area you want to move into. And then, build the strategy that works for your personal situation.
As you take these steps, you should be able to reduce the stress you might feel during the career transition, making it much easier all around.
When facing big life changes, it’s easy to let our inner critics take over, creating a myriad of negative thoughts in our heads. To keep your mindset on track, I invite you to get daily deposits of Abundance, Tips and Mentoring. The daily audio file, delivered via email and text, will help you develop and maintain an abundance mindset you can bank on, which will help you say positively focused on your new career direction.
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