You’re a leader, right? Doesn’t that mean you’re fearless?
Maybe on some things but the prospect of changing careers has stopped you cold. You probably don’t admit this to very many people.
Is this you?
It would seem we are more comfortable seeking divorce from our spouse than divorce from our job. The divorce rate is much higher than voluntary turnover (when you leave by your own choice).
If this is the year you are finally going to make this important, life changing decision, here are some reasons for your fear and what to do about it. You don’t have to wait any longer.
#1: Fear of the unknown. At this point, you have no clue what you would go do. As a result, you are left inside your own head conjuring up a thousand possible things that could go wrong.
Fix: You control your thinking. When these thoughts enter your head, simply tell yourself you don’t yet know enough to have anything to fear. Brush off this unknown boogieman.
#2: Fear you won’t like where you’re headed. You might not like where you’ve been and even if you do, we grow very fond of our job situation simply because we, at least, know what we’re dealing with.
Fix: Vow that your new career exploration will include plenty of investigation so you know exactly what to expect. Far too many people don’t do the work they need to in order to fully understand the career they are headed to. This is an easy fix, as long as you do the work.
#3: Fear of lost income. You’d be starting over again, right? You couldn’t possibly take a pay cut, you have too many things dependent on your income. Besides, you’d feel personally deflated by a loss of income.
Fix: Figure out the very least you could live on for a few years and make that your cut off point. Not all career changes imply that you have to take a pay cut. Don’t make assumptions until you’ve done your homework and research.
#4: You’d have to retool yourself. As you are looking out the window, you’re making the assumption that to make a change, you need to go back to school. You might feel like that it’s too late or you don’t want to invest your time at this point.
Fix: When you are on the journey to decide your new career, you can pick and whole list of criteria for what would constitute a good, next step. Just like income, if you know you’re not equipped for school any more, make that part of your criteria for selection. Most jobs don’t require a specific degree. Certification programs exist which are usually short in duration, if that makes sense for the direction you’re taking.
#5: You don’t know what you’d do. You don’t really even know the first step you’d take to figure out what to do next. Do you go apply for jobs that sound good?
Fix: First, step away from the resume. Changing careers by doing a job search usually results in massive disappointment. You might “find” something but usually you don’t find something you love. Deciding on a career is a journey of investigation, research and exploration. You won’t figure out a new career by sitting on the couch our in your office. You also need to possess a good measure of patience as this won’t be an overnight discovery.
Make a career change this year and start the exploration now. You deserve to have a career you love.