When we start considering a career change we may experience some doubts, worries, fears and things like: ‘this is a bad idea’, ‘this is never going to happen’, etc. It doesn’t matter what the triggers are for change, it could be an unexpected opportunity to step up, starting a completely different career, finding a new role in the same sector or company. In our latest blog, I would like to invite you to explore the topic of career change with me, I will offer you some coaching questions to help you manage your thoughts and feelings. It starts by exploring what is really going on.
Every change is linked to the UNKNOWN. We might be hesitating on what to do and this is a signal to our brain that something is ‘not right’. Our brain can even perceive this change as a potential threat, trigger fight, flight or freeze response and give you all possible reasons why you shouldn’t change your job. It is a protective mechanism that our ancestors developed many years ago. In my coaching sessions, I hear statements like:
- I’m too old/ too young.
- I don’t have enough experience or knowledge.
- I would need to really prepare myself for this change, I may try when I accomplish this and that first.
- I have kids, so I can take on more responsibility.
- I can’t travel to the office every day as so-and-so does.
- I’m not that confident, or extraverted to do this job well.
- I’m horrible at job interviews.
- I have only worked for one company.
- I have probably changed my jobs too often.
- I should do my current job perfectly before I apply for a higher position.
- It’s going to be hard.
Let’s look at them with curiosity and ask: how true are these constraints?
Some of them can be true and represent real limitations and constrains. For example, I cannot take a job in London if I live 200 miles away with my family and the requirement is to be in the office 4 days a week. That might be a real non-negotiable for you as the cost of travel is too great. In those cases, I would like you to consider: What is possible? e.g. Can you negotiate your days in the office to 2 days a week? Would that make a difference? If your company paid for the travel, would you accept the offer? If the job was 25, 50, 100 miles away, would that be doable? Expand your possibilities.
Skill gaps and financial constraints
You might identify that to get your dream job you need to develop a new skill or obtain a qualification. In this situation, I would encourage you again to explore and gather information about what’s possible, get more clarity on what the learning process could look like, what would be required from you and what resources are already available to you? Potentially, your employer can offer you some upskilling training, on-the-job experience, shadowing a colleague, mentoring or financial scheme to support your external learning. If you know people who are in your dream job, ask them about their training and experience, can they offer you any advice or direction?
Limiting beliefs and gaining clarity
‘I am not good enough/ not confident enough/ not young enough/ not available enough’. Please look at those statements while removing emotions and subjectivity and reflect on the following questions.
- What are the facts?
- What are your achievements?
- What have you been recognised for?
- What can you offer?
If someone else was in your shoes, would you consider them as ‘not enough’? When you answer these questions, I would like you to think about a person who is in a similar situation and succeeding and consider what it is that makes them successful. What your success can look like? What would you need to succeed as well? What decisions would you need to take? What conversations would you need to have? What changes would you need to introduce to your life? What kind of person would you need to become? The more answers you have, the greater is your clarity and you can move to making plans and taking steps.
If you would like to explore the options around your next career change, I would be happy to support you. Please reach out to book a discovery call and let’s discuss how we can work together to support you on the next step of your career journey.