Changing your career can feel very uncertain and indeed it can be uncertain. This is especially true if you have been doing something/been in a role for a long time. Before you make the leap it’s important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. It’s very easy to think that it’s your only option….or on the flip side perhaps want to change but you think that staying in your current role/sector is your only option? Either way, I believe it comes down to your limiting beliefs.
I want to address three common limiting beliefs when it comes to changing your career.
You believe there is no future in your role/sector
It’s really hard when you have applied for jobs, for promotions or for more responsibility and you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s hard when you see lots of redundancies happening and/or if you’ve been made redundant yourself. This can lead to all sorts of thoughts about the future in your role, your company and your sector. However, I would challenge you to look objectively and perhaps get some support. Common issues I see are:
- your CV isn’t selling you well enough (but that can be fixed)
- you aren’t selling yourself at interview (again, this can be fixed)
- you are only seeing one perspective
It’s not all on you though. Just like in a bad relationship sometimes it’s time to part ways with your company. Consider how working in your role/company aligns with your values. How do you know? Look around for unrefutable facts, look at your values and be as objective as you can. Perhaps you need to change your employer but perhaps you are fundamentally unhappy in your sector and you need a change.
You believe that you have no control over your career
There’s a whole career theory based on being in the right place at the right time – it’s called happenstance theory. Whilst this is a common way that people find their careers, it isn’t a magic pill. I want you to think back…what drew you to your career in the first place? Did you really want to work in this area or did you fall into it? If you really wanted it…what’s changed? What would it take for you get back to that passion and focus that you once had? If you fell into your job/career…what happened? What, if anything would you have preferred? Is that a possibility now? (Before you say no to that last question, please take a moment and consider your options and whether they are realistic or if there are alternatives.)
You don’t believe you can
Now we come to the big one. Do you believe you can? That you are worthy of having a job that you love? Much of this is fear. One of the things I love seeing in my clients is when we challenge this limiting belief we start to see options. I get my clients to ask themselves this:
If you believed you would succeed in your career, how would that change your actions?
Take a moment to consider your answer. Much of our success is a mental game – when we believe that we can, we see opportunities. It’s not true that you can’t change career – you can, if you want to. You might have to sacrifice some things or make some compromises but if it’s important to you, I bet you won’t notice. This doesn’t mean taking a massive salary cut or working ALL the hours…it might do but it’s not a given. I know because I have seen clients move sectors and get a pay rise (with no experience) or find a better balance and achieving as much in less time.
Questions to ask when changing your career
Perhaps you are ready to change your career. In which case here are some questions for you to consider:
- Will this bring you closer to your longer-term career goals?
- How will it change/fit into your preferred lifestyle?
- What benefits are available to you in terms of flexible working, pension, healthcare etc?
- How is any new sector/role different to your current one?
- What are the challenges which face you?
- Will your commute/me time/family time change?