Being the #doworkyoulove activist I consider myself to be :-) , I give talks whenever possible to encourage people who are unhappy in their jobs to consider other options for earning a living. Career change is a broad topic to speak about, as the circumstances will be different for each individual. In order to keep things simple, I try to address the main areas of concern for career changers, such as time, training, cost and direction, in a 45 minute presentation with Q&A at the end.
It was during one Q&A that someone raised their hand and asked: “What about the biggest obstacle to career change of all...FEAR?”
Right, yes. Took me a minute. It is such an important emotion that was now asking for acknowledgement.
“Baby steps” – I said. The way I work is to guide you towards steps you can take that will move you forward at a pace that may stretch you a bit, but will still be comfortable enough to go ahead with. Some people thrive when making a big leap, but not everyone does. Small steps can be just as effective.
That was my quick and workable coaching answer to a big topic. One I was pretty satisfied with. Coaching is about moving forward and this approach meets that objective.
Yet, the lack of certainty during a career change process can be an ongoing source of stress. When a career change journey is started, or any big life change for that matter, we don’t know where it will lead and that can make many of us deeply uncomfortable.
The truth is, when we start taking action towards a career change, new and unexpected opportunities may appear which we may never have even thought of! We may even end up in a totally different career than we expected to follow at the start. When we start giving ourselves permission to explore new possibilities is when we make space for the magic to happen.
So how can we get more comfortable with uncertainty? How can we allow ourselves to move forward and calmly make our way in the direction of our dream career?
I recently caught an Instagram post from Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, which echoes the energy I often invite into my sessions: Curiosity. She wrote: “Curiosity — the open-hearted courage to say ‘Hmmm....I don’t know, actually, but let’s see. Let’s find out. Could be anything, really. This could turn out in any number of ways. This person could surprise me. I could surprise me. Tomorrow could surprise me.’ “*
We do not know what the future will bring, but that also applies to most people’s current careers. You may also want to ask yourself, how much certainty is there in your current career? One which you may not find fulfilling anymore.
Staying open with curiosity not only puts us in a more positive frame of mind to look for solutions but will also help ease some of the worry. And when we find those solutions ourselves, we are reminded of how resourceful we are.
If fear is holding you back from exploring a new career that could make you happy, getting curious about the future possibilities a new career may bring could help ease the discomfort.
I wonder...is a useful place to start.
For more about feelings of fear during a career change, you can also read this post.
Accompanying you through the feelings of discomfort as you decide to change career is what I can help with. Book a conversation about it free of charge to learn how I can support you and identify a baby step you can take to get started.
And if you’d like me to give a talk on career change at your organization drop me a line here.
* Gilbert, Elizabeth (2019, 21 March). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/BvRhihEnYbb/