By Sarah Brandis
Career changes are exciting and intimidating at the same time. A whole world of possibility opens up before you; and with it, that little nagging voice in your head…
“Can I really do this?”
“What if I made the wrong choice?”
I won’t go on – you get the idea.
So how about smoothing over the rough bits and enjoying the journey for what it is. And what is that? Why, it’s your opportunity to align your new work with your current values… In short, to feel more purpose and enjoyment in your career.
Most of my clients who work with me on marketing their small businesses are life coaches, authors, or working within the personal development world. Often they are in their second or even third career – and that’s normal today.
But you know what? Even trained life coaches, well versed in quashing the limiting beliefs of their clients, can struggle with their own psychological barriers.
Through working so closely with my clients, I’ve come to understand two really key things to embracing change:
1. Fear is a normal, human reaction. We can work with it, rather than fighting against it.
2. It is incredibly rare for career-changers to regret making their move. When your purpose calls you, it rarely steers you wrong.
Here are the best pieces of advice I have on making your career change the smoothest ride ever.
The best-laid plans… are on paper!
When we are making plans there is a danger we will think ourselves in circles. It is so easy to overthink things to the point of exhaustion, covering the same “what ifs” over and over again.
It is also a fact, confirmed by neuroscientists, that our problem-solving abilities are greatly reduced when our working memory is full up. It’s a lot like the memory in a computer – we ‘compute’ better when our brain-space isn’t maxed out.
So what’s the trick? Getting it out of your head and onto paper, or a spreadsheet if you prefer. When your mind isn’t full to bursting trying to remember all the ideas you are juggling, you really will feel the difference.
This is also an awesome trick for beating work-induced insomnia. Keep a notepad by your bed and empty your thoughts onto it before you try to sleep.
Get the right support
During a tricky time like a career-change, your friends and family might not be able to offer the kind of support you need. Choosing to seek support outside of your inner circle is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it’s smart.
A new career comes with a new community, so get in there and find your tribe!
Connecting with people in your new area of work will give you access to the best advice and potentially valuable connections, as well as just making you feel a part of that new world. So don’t be shy, say hello to some people and see where it takes you. Nothing ventured…
Self-awareness is key
Being able to listen to your intuition is an amazingly powerful skill. I know it doesn’t come naturally to many of us, and it takes time to learn. The best thing I have ever done for my intuition was to learn how to quieten my monkey-mind.
I’m not great at meditation, or any form of sitting still really. So don’t worry if you are in the same boat – you just need to find your own thing.
For me, swimming and running both help to quieten my mind. I suppose they are my forms of moving meditation. Try a few things and see what works for you.
But there is more to self-awareness, such recognising your own BS. Self-sabotage is a sneaky thing that creeps up on us when we are distracted by fear. It typically takes the form of procrastination – familiar, right? Yes, I’ve done it too! To counteract this, go back to your intuition. It will tell you when you are self-sabotaging.
In summary, I think the common thread here is that change is more of a mental struggle than a physical one. We are capable of more than we will often allow ourselves to acknowledge. So in order to enjoy your career transition, try trusting yourself a little more.
If you are reading this then, so far, you have survived 100% of your days on earth. Therefore you are resourceful and resilient, and you can trust yourself. Go and enjoy your new career – you’ve got this.