New Year, New Career? How to start your journey…
Life can feel a little flat. And at some point you’re going to sit down and think:
Was 2017 a good one?
If you’re lucky, the answer will be a resounding, “Yes! BEST. YEAR. EVER!”
But if there’s something in your life that’s not quite working right, the odds are you were counting down the seconds to New Year’s day, just so you could see the back of 2017.
For a lot of people, that ‘thing’ is work.
Is it time for a career change?
We spend so much time working that finding yourself stuck in a job that doesn’t inspire you and light you up inside is tough. At the very least, work shouldn’t be a constant source of stress, anxiety and worry.
If it is, then something is very wrong.
Take a second to reflect on 2017 and tell me, have you suffered from any of these in the past 12 months as a result of your job:
- Burn out
- Feeling unappreciated
- Feeling as if you were meant for more?
These are common feelings that crop up when we’re in the wrong job.
When New Year rolls around we rush to make resolutions. We set our intentions and goals for the next twelve months. If one of your goals for 2018 is to move away from a job that’s dragging you down or stressing you out, and begin a new journey, here are some tips for kickstarting that career change.
Quash your doubts
Picture the scene, it’s 12 months from now, 2019 is dawning. You’re still in the same job, stuck in the same rut, with the same problems and worries, the same frustrations and disappointments. You’re sitting mulling over exactly the same things because nothing has changed.
What exactly does that look like?
What have your stress levels been like in the year that has elapsed between now and then?
And how exactly is being in that same job affecting your work-life and work-family balance? Are you spending time with your other half, with your kids, your friends and family? Are you enjoying it, or are you constantly struggling to get five minutes with them, and snappish when you finally do?
Here’s the big one:
Are you happy?
Picture yourself a year from now, having spent another 12 months working in this same job. If you know it’s not going to make you happy, that you’re going to be stressed, tired, burnt out, fed up, and just as desperate for a little family time, a little relaxation, and a little peace as you are right now, I have a better question:
Don’t you deserve more that?
The answer is, “Hell yeah, you do!”
So quash those doubts!
It’s really common for fear to stand in the way of a big change like this. If you’re feeling stuck and confused the thought of taking action - any action - can be completely overwhelming. The thought of taking action this big is paralysing; what if you get it wrong? Why if you try and fail?
There’s a poem by Erin Hanson that I absolutely love, and it goes like this:
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
You can’t let your fear stand in your way of starting a new career journey. Yes, you might fall, but it’s far more likely that you will fly.
Check in with your values
Often the reason we’re unhappy in a position is that there’s something out of alignment between our personal and professional values, or the amount of time we’re dedicating to work we find unfulfilling, compared to the time we have for family, friends, and things we’re genuinely passionate about.
Checking in with your values (both personal and professional) and comparing them to the values of the company you are working for, and the environment you’re working in, can really help clarify what you should be doing. Take my client, Georgia, who realised there was a big gap between what she was doing in her work, and what she wanted to be doing in her life. This revelation prompted a total career overhaul, and the start of Petit Apparel, a baby clothing business in Kent.
Don’t worry about your age
Another huge block people have is their age. The older we grow, and the longer we spend in a particular job or career, the easier it is to feel like we’re ‘too old’ to make a change.
You’ve invested so much time and effort into getting where you are, it feels like madness to throw it all away.
You may feel like you don’t have the time to learn new things, or that you ‘can’t teach old dogs new tricks’.
But the truth is there is nothing stopping you from shifting careers at any age in life.
You are quite definitely not too old to change jobs!
If you’re still not sure how to get started, ask yourself these questions:
- What is important to you about your working life and career?
- Without putting any barriers in your way, what your "in an ideal world" job?
- Are you simply tolerating your current role or do you really believe in what you are doing?
- Are you a different person at work than you are outside of work?
- When did you last have a really good day at work? How often do you get good days?
- To what degree have you actually controlled the course of your career?
Taking control and embarking on a new career journey can be terrying. But if you’re plodding through your days, constantly feeling the pressure of a job you hate (or at least, a job you don’t particularly like), it’s an essential leap to make.
The truth of it is, the only way to start your new career is to start. You have to say, “Yes! I want a new career this year!” and you have to start figuring out exactly what shape that new career will take.
You need to begin.
I know, it’s terrifying. But here’s one final question:
If not now, when?
Free Discovery Call
If you’re ready to kickstart the process and make sure you’re on the path to finding an exciting new career this year, book a FREE Discovery Call. We’ll have an informal, no-obligation, 45 minute chat about your current situation, where you’d like to be this time next year, and exactly how you can get there. It’s not as hard as you think - all you have to do is start!
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