Maybe you’re dissatisfied with your job. Maybe you want to try something new and exciting. Maybe you’ve gone as far as you can go in your career, but don’t want to stop your professional development.
There are innumerable reasons why you might have sparked the brilliant idea to make a change in your career. But, no matter that initial why, it’s time to come face to face with the reality of making that dream come true.
We’re not going to lie, it is going to seem daunting at first. Your goal will start to seem overshadowed by the effort it will take to accomplish it. And you are going to start to notice the obstacles that stand between you and where you want to be.
But have faith. All of the things that will bring doubt into your mind, while they might seem like reasonable concerns at first, are simply roadblocks that you’ll need to find your way around. They aren’t insurmountable, they aren’t going to defeat you, and nothing is impossible with the right approach!
In this article, we’ll go over the top 3 hurdles you’re likely to come across, and how you can overcome them in leaps and bounds!
Out there is a great big world of the unknown, waiting for you to explore. But like deep dark waters, diving in can be a scary thing. We’re here to say: “TAKE THE PLUNGE!”
Your fear might not manifest like everyone else’s. Maybe you’ll be anxious about changes to your life, or the way others will see you differently. Maybe you’ll be afraid of rejection and failure, or MAYBE you’ll be afraid of what success actually feels like!
The point is that no matter what you’re afraid of, nothing is really real unless it’s actually happened. That means that all the doubts and anxieties you have are just that: fears and anxieties. Like the expression, there is nothing to fear except fear itself, you should realize that while fear can be helpful sometimes, it is ultimately just a signal that your mind is sending you. It is up to you to decide what to do about the signal, and whether it will affect your decisions and behaviour.
One helpful thing that fear can do for you is motivate! Let it bring you the adrenaline you need to act on your ideas. Think about those stories you’ve heard where people in moments of distress do amazing feats; lift huge weights, run faster than ever before, etc. When you feel like panicking and running away from what you need to do, instead face it head on and charge down that thing standing between you and your dreams!
But wait, there’s more! Embrace the fact that your subconscious is feeding you input about your situation. Harness it. Listen to it. Are you seeing potential problems that make you afraid? Use the fear as a guideline to problem-solve! Make a list of the things you’re afraid of and start to approach them rationally. Not only will they seem less scary the more tangible they become, but you’ll be making steps towards your objective at the same time!
What are you afraid of?
Thinking You Don’t Have What It Takes
If that’s what you think, you’re wrong. Sure, you might not be able to jump right into your dream job because of credentials or technical skills you’ve yet to acquire. But no one is saying you can’t be a lion tamer just because you have to start with taming kittens.
Break your end goal down into chunks of achievable subgoals. Think of it like a map of the steps it will take for you to get where you’re going. This will make even the biggest projects seem manageable. Has anyone ever asked you how to eat an entire elephant? The answer is: one bite at a time.
Keep your goals realistic and incremental. Make sure you can measure success, and set timelines or deadlines for each step. While every journey will be different, here are 3 key elements of any career change roadmap:
- List your skills, and learn what skills are transferable to your new field. This will help you take stock of how much you’ve already got under your belt when it comes to taking on a new career. Moving from being a pilot to a ship’s captain? Maybe you don’t have the right license, but you DO know what it takes to manage licenses and registration, how to handle passengers, how to plan for international travel, etc. This step is a great way to encourage yourself, and discover how close your goals really are!
- Upgrade your skills. Now that you know what qualifications you already have, it’s time to fill in the gaps of the qualifications you still need! Learn how you acquire the necessary credentials, or how to practice the skills you’ll need in your new job, so you can be ready to start a new career as though you’re already an expert!
- Let people know about your skills! Get your network growing. Tap into the hidden job market by putting yourself out there and get involved in the discussions and communities that will keep you connected with potential employers and colleagues. Carve out a home for yourself in this new world!
What are your transferable skills, and what would you need to improve to make your career change happen?
Money, Money, Money
Oftentimes changing your career is not a lateral move. In most cases, you’ll be starting near the bottom as you work your way up in your new industry. This can mean that your financial lifestyle could undergo some heavy changes.
Do your due diligence and research the ins and outs of salary in your new position. Be sure to consider incidentals like relocating or a longer commute. Maybe you’ll need to invest in tools or training. Be as thorough as possible, and err on the side of caution. Don’t overestimate. Underestimate your earnings.
Once you have a handle on your new financial situation, put it into practice. Can you learn the habits and survive the new limitations you’ll have to undergo? Give it a trial period. Actually try to live within your new means before they become reality. If you can live with a new definition of financial stability, then you can honestly say you’re ready for your new life and career!
But, speaking of financial stability, it won’t hurt to build up an emergency fund. You may struggle with your new quality of life, and it’s ok to dip into your funds to keep yourself afloat when those difficulties arise. Expect the unexpected; diving into the unknown means being ready for anything!
What else can you do to survive the money dive?
These are just some of the top things that will cast the shadow of doubt on your potential career change. But now that you have some insight on how to cross these roadblocks, we hope you’re ready to make positives out of the negatives! Best of luck with finding the career path of your dreams; we hope they really do come true.