3 Ways to change career…
It’s Sunday evening and you’re dreaming of all the ways you can think of to change career because you’re dreading having to go to work tomorrow. You’re wishing you could magically change career and have something really exciting and fulfilling to do. Something with a purpose, where you’re not micro-managed, where you’re appreciated and valued. Where you also have time for a life with those who mean the most to you.
But… you might have to retrain, it’s expensive, you have commitments, you don’t really know what it is you want to do or could do instead. So, you get your head down and go to sleep knowing that you’re going to get up in about 8 hours time, get in the car and go to the same place, to do the same stuff with the same people. Just like you always do. Just like thousands of other people.
Is this it?
I know how it feels because a few years ago, I felt the same way. There wasn’t anything dreadfully wrong with my place of work. In fact, I had loved working there. The pay was good. There were plenty of reasons for staying put but there was a voice in my head that was getting louder and louder. It kept saying: “Is this it?”
Having taken the plunge and transforming my life from being employed as a retail manager to being self-employed as a career and business coach, I’ve reflected that we all have 3 ways to change career. (Arguably, I didn’t do it the right way either!)
1. Wait for fate
The first of my 3 ways to change career is to wait for fate to make you take action. Wait to be made redundant, wait to be head-hunted, wait to get the sack!
Many people, when they’ve got over the initial shock, begin to see redundancy as the best thing that ever happened to them. It was an opportunity to change their life, to retrain, to do something they never would have done otherwise. I’m glad for them because the alternative was staying on their old hamster-wheel until they retired.
Other people are waiting for the ‘head-hunter’ to call because their friend or colleague said that’s what happened to them. They wait and wait and wait…. for a stranger to recognise how brilliant they are and make them an offer… And then they wait some more.
Staying in a job that no longer floats your boat can also cause a dip in performance, over time, that unchecked can lead to disciplinary action or even dismissal. Recovering your career after you’ve been given the sack is really tough. Not impossible but yes – let’s not beat around the bush – it’s tough.
Waiting for fate to decide when you turn your career around is a dangerous game. You’re putting yourself in to a situation where you feel like you’re a victim of circumstances.
Being in victim mode is horrendous and… what if they never do get rid of you?
2. Leave on your knees
Hard-working, conscientious employees who are known as a reliable, safe pair of hands often become disillusioned, stressed and eventually sick. Disillusioned because you don’t feel appreciated, however hard you work. Stressed because no-one else seems to care / help / understand. Sick because it’s hard to thrive under this kind of emotional strain.
This situation can make you feel more like a martyr than a victim and yet you just keep on, keeping on.
Given that denial is a common symptom of this situation, your body starts sending you signals that something needs to give. You’re not listening to the people who love you when they say things like:
“You’re working too hard; you need to slow down.”
So your body throws you a curve ball. You might come down with every bug and its sister (and still carry on). You might feel like you could sleep for your country; you’re so tired, but then suffer from insomnia. Or (like me) your body might bring you to a complete halt with an injury. I still don’t know how I slipped a disc sitting in my ergonomically designed, office chair!
In this situation, push comes to shove and you know that you need to get out and do something different. This can lead you to making rash decisions. “That’s it, I quit!” you say and realise that you actually mean it.
Now you have no choice. You have to change career. Hopefully, it all turns out alright in the end.
3. Plan your escape
This is the third of my 3 ways to change career and it is clearly the least stressful, most productive and least dangerous route you can choose. When you feel like you might recognise some of the emotions and situations I described earlier, it’s time (and never too late) to make a plan.
Take some time out to assess your situation, to reflect on how it’s come about and to recognise your part in that. Then start to do some research. A Career Clarity Session can help with this (see below). Get curious and really use your imagination to discover what it is you would love to do instead.
Finally, start networking, talk to some people. Hire a coach; we can really help! Prepare yourself for a brave new experience. Create your CV, write your business plan. Make it happen!
You’re in charge. Even making the decision to do some research can make your current job a bit more bearable because you know it’s not forever.
One small step you can take right now is to order a copy of my eBook from Amazon. It’s called “Your Dream Job – How to find it and get hired to do it.” It’s packed full of tips and resources.
I don’t have time to change career!
Ooh, did I just hear you say that you don’t have time?
Make the time. This is important. You’d find time for your friend, your partner, your parent or your child. Without you, they’d be bereft so make the time for yourself before you end up in one of the first two scenarios or worse still you get to retirement age and find you’re full of regrets.
I’ve shared three ways to change career… Make sure you choose number 3!
Be pro-active now so that you don’t need to be reacting to a situation that’s out of your control later. You can do it. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled. And, you are worth it!
Here’s a link, especially for you, to book an hour, completely free, with me. It’s what I call your Career Clarity Session.
It’s an opportunity to press “Pause” and really focus on the way ahead. It could be the most important hour you’ve ever invested in yourself!
Book your FREE Career Clarity Session with Louise by clicking the button below.
Copyright: Louise Jenner, 2020.
This post was published originally in 2017 and has been updated for the new decade.