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Thinking About Career Change? Answer These 4 Crucial Questions First

When many of us leave school, college, or university, often we have no idea what we really want. We often choose a job or career based on what our parents, friends, or career advisors say, or whatever was open and available.

Then, seven years on, we find ourselves in a mediocre situation, with a growing sense of disappointment and dissatisfaction about our work and our place in it. Is it too late to change direction and do something completely new or different?

Of course not!

Life is changing rapidly and dramatically. New careers, ideas, and opportunities are popping up all the time. Things we would never have thought possible just a few years ago have become household favorites virtually overnight. 

Who would have thought that the biggest taxi company in the world could own no taxis? Who would have thought that the biggest online retailer doesn’t have a single product of their own to sell? Who would have thought a whole new industry could be born simply from fast-food delivery?

What Do You Want?

If you want to change career direction, at any age, the first and most important step is to discover is what you want out of life.

  • What interests you?
  • What fascinates you?
  • What do you feel passionate about?

Make a list of each of these important issues and see where they overlap or have commonality. Hidden in there somewhere are the basic elements of a complete change of direction for you.

When you dig into your lists, it’s possible to create a basic plan of careers, jobs, and opportunities to explore that can lead you to a life of fulfillment and happiness.

If you pursue that path as long as it keeps you happy and fulfilled, you’ll probably never look back. However, there might well come a day when life changes and/or you change, and it might be time to change direction again. It happens all the time in this rapidly developing world.

Exploring a New Career

Once you’ve gone through your lists and found some careers that will fulfill your passions and interests, you’ll want to consider for additional questions:

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What am I willing to give up to create something incredible?

Many times, you’ll find that preparing for a new career encroaches on your current life. If this is the case, weigh the costs of time, money, and effort against your current life to help determine which aspect is more important to you.

  • Would you sell your car to fund a program where you could learn new skills and explore new ideas?
  • Would you give up your evenings or your social life to reinvest that time in educating yourself in a completely different career or opportunity?
  • Are you willing to work weekends and evenings to study new concepts, ideas, or strategies?
  •  Are you willing to relocate to another town or state, leaving behind your family and close network of friends to pursue this new career path?

2. Do I care what others will think?

This is an age-old question that stops many people from making changes that could change their life for the better, forever. However, keep in mind that all the time that you’re worried about what other people think, say, or do, you’ll never be free.

  • Consider the maxim, “Whatever other people think of me is none of my business.”
  • We have no way to influence what others think of us other than by setting a good example. Let them think whatever they want while you go out and get things done! Never let those who think it can’t be done interrupt those who are already out there doing it. 

3. Will I be good enough to make it work?

The very fact that you’re reading this says that you’re searching for change, reassurance about change and that something is pulling you forward towards change.

You already considered that there is more to your life than that which you are currently experiencing, and you want to know what it is and get fully engaged with it, right?

Mindset is vitally important. Let your motivation carry you forward. As you take action, a positive mindset will help you overcome any obstacles that may arise.

4. Will it meet my financial goals and needs? 

You’ll want to consider how you’ll monetize your interest and what pursuing that aspect will entail for you. This requires having clarity of what your financial needs and goals are, not just for now, but in the future. For example, are you a new parent (or soon to be) who now needs more housing space, increased expenses in childcare, college savings, etc?

  • What is the cost of living like in the place where the job is located, and how do income and benefits from this new job measure up?
  •  Or you might even ponder if you want to get a new job in this field? Or start your own business? Many people are discovering these days what they can do from their home using the power of the internet and social media.

Your life is entirely under your control and what you do with it is your decision alone. Get busy, make some decisions and take action, and keep moving forward with your ideas and intentions.

The answers may not come overnight, but as long as you pursue what interests you, fascinates you, and makes you happy, you will find the answers that you seek.

Beware of any criticism of your dreams and ideas from anyone you wouldn’t go to for sound advice. After all, opinions are ten a penny. Everyone has them, but opinions are not going to help or support you.

Be relentless in your pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. Go at it like your whole life depends on it. Because it does.

Need help clarifying your life purpose?

 Click on the button below to sign up for a FREE career strategy session to help you develop clarity about what you want and how to get it.

How To Make A Career Change Even In The Middle Of A Pandemic

A client of mine named Hayden (Hayden is actually not his real name) once told me this: “I have done everything that was expected of me since graduating college. I got a well-paying job in a well-known company, excelled in my work, and had been promoted many times. I’ve bought a home, and have traveled quite a bit around the world because of my job. I think I have attained what you will consider a successful career. Yet, I keep feeling unfulfilled… that I am not making any reasonable contribution to society through my work. I feel uninspired driving to work in the morning. I know I want a career change, but I don’t know what to do.”

Hayden went on to share that he feels sick on Sunday nights whenever he thinks about the Monday commute.

Perhaps, you are reading this piece because you feel uninspired about your job like Hayden, or you have other reasons why you want a career change: work-life balance, burn-out, more money, or you need a different type of challenge.

But why continue to suffer in silence and remain depressed?

Reasons Why People Feel Stuck at Their Jobs even Though They Know They Want to Leave

1. Fear: 

One of the main reasons why people stay stuck at their miserable jobs is fear of income or status loss. You may not want to give up what you currently consider a “good-paying” job. You are probably hiding behind that old saying: “a bird at hand is worth two in the forest.”

If you have worked for any number of years, you may have accumulated a number of financial liabilities like mortgage or automobile loan, and you are now starting to feel trapped.

You may also be concerned about losing your status and seniority in your current job and starting a new career as a beginner. Or you may be concerned about what people might say, especially your friends, professional colleagues, and family members.

2. Trying to Figure It Out:

A second reason why people are stuck in their job is because they keep analyzing it.

It’s called analysis paralysis. Psychology Today describes analysis paralysis (AP) as the inability to move forward with a decision or action as a result of overanalyzing or overthinking a problem. I mean, the reason why you’re here reading this is because you are still “trying to figure it out.”

The problem is: if trying to figure it out is the way to get the answer you would have gotten it a long time ago.

Are you thinking about career change, but don’t know where to start?

I will help you clarify your life purpose and uncover the hidden challenges that are sabotaging your career success. Click on the button below to sign up for a FREE career strategy session



3. Self-Sabotage:

This is the one that is the most insidious. Many people know they want a career change, but they keep standing in the way of their own progress by giving themselves all kinds of excuses.

You may be thinking you are not good enough, or that you don’t have the degree or certification or experience.

Or you might think that you are too old to start a new career and keep telling yourself that you will not be able to catch up to those who are already on that career path.

The fact of the matter, however, is that if you truly want a new career, you can easily overcome all of these challenges by doing the following things:

What To Do To Make A Career Change

1. Know Why You Want A Career Change: 

You must be clear about why you want a career change. Do not rush to a career change just for the sake of making a change; you may end up jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

Ask yourself these questions: Is your current job out of alignment with your purpose and values? Do you want more money, more flexibility, or more time with your family?

Do you want a career change because of a change in your health, family status, or residence? Do you want a change because you hate your boss or you cannot stand your co-workers?

Be clear-eyed why you want a career change.

2. Start Moving:

Do not get stuck with analysis-paralysis. Once you’re clear about why you want a change, stop analyzing and start taking action.

Sometimes, when clients say to me that they have no idea what to do, what they are actually saying is that they have plenty of options, but they don’t know which one to take. They are afraid of getting it “wrong again,” so they freeze.

Yet, you cannot achieve the career dream you seek until you start moving.

You should start trying different things in the areas of your new interest, or as they say, start testing the waters.

Enroll in classes (online or in your local community college) in one of those areas you are thinking about. You may even decide to get a relevant certification or two.

Online learning is exploding right now. Take advantage of it. There are many great sites like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Udemy, Lynda.com, Cousera, 360Training and a whole host of them out there.

Join online forums and ask questions about what those career fields are like. You may also try your hands at a side hustle, freelancing, or blogging in the new industry of your interest, if possible. 

These actions will help you filter out the options that are not for you. 

3. Leverage Your Network:

If there is any time you seriously need your professional network, it’s now. Use it, but of course, respectfully. And remember to pay it forward after your successful career change.              

When you’re making a change to a career or industry in which you have limited work experience, networking is the most important tool in your job search kit.

Remember that old saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know…”? That is so true. Networking is one of the most important strategies for tapping into the unpublished job market.

Networking can help you get around the stumbling block of the resume filtering system, which many businesses use these days to automate part of their hiring process.

So, be sure to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile; and get active with your alumni offices and networks. Hit up your former colleagues; and use your church or sports groups or reading club.

4. Market Your Strength and Talent:

In the popular book, Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0, Jay Conrad Levinson and David Perry wrote emphatically: “Embrace this fact: it’s rarely the best qualified candidates who win the most coveted positions. Instead, it is most often the person who ‘packages’ his experiences best to meet the needs of employers.” In other words, the people who best market their talents win.

Indeed, one of the best ways of getting around the feeling of inadequacy when you are job hunting is to market your strengths and talent.

Your personal brand and marketing strategy are what determine if you even get the interview. In other words, you must identify your unique strengths and talents, and communicate them in a way that makes you stand out from other job searchers, and hence, irresistible to the employer.

If you have been working for any number of years, you have likely accumulated some transferable skills that a new employer might find valuable.

Employers are especially happy when a candidate’s strengths match the particular needs they are looking for. But you have to show it; don’t leave it to the hiring officer to guess.

Do not apologize for what you think might be your deficiencies, or what you don’t have – rather highlight what you do have.

For example, instead of apologizing for your youthful age and relatively little experience, emphasize your youthful vigor and energy to work even longer hours if need be, or flexibility to quickly relocate to another branch of the firm if you get a hint that such might be in the works.

Conversely, if you’re an older applicant, emphasize your experience, knowledge and wisdom and even useful connections that you can bring to the new job.

Apologizing for what you don’t have might be seen as a sign of a lack of confidence. You have to believe that you’re uniquely qualified for the new position precisely because of your unique background, strength or talent, not in spite of, so you can move forward with confidence.

CONCLUSION

Stop suffering in silence at a job (or even career) you hate. You should step out to pursue a job that is meaningful to you, the kind of work that energizes and fulfills you, that brings you excitement and a sense of purpose. And it’s within your reach, no matter the political and economic conditions.

Are you thinking about career change, but don’t know where to start?

I will help you clarify your life purpose and uncover the hidden challenges that are sabotaging your career success. Click on the button below to sign up for a FREE career strategy session


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An elevator pitch is a short, compelling introduction of who you are and what you do, that can be delivered in 60 seconds or less.

This is an important asset for your job search.

Imagine that you stepped into the elevator and behold, right in front of you, is the CEO of that company you have been dreaming about working for. Just the two of you! And the CEO asks you: “What do you do?” Can you communicate to him who you are, what you do, and how you can contribute to his organization within the time it takes to ride that elevator to his floor?

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While many people would love to change their careers, not many people know what to do or where to start. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why many people remain stuck on jobs they don’t like.

Career or job shift can often be the desirable and rightful thing to do when you no longer feel fulfilled in the job you have, however, I will strongly advise that you plan your move carefully.

Do not leap before you look! You do not want the regret of making the wrong move.

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It’s natural to feel nervous about job interviews. But you can use mock interviews to gain confidence and make a better impression on a potential employer.

Mock interview is a stress-free way to explore your strengths and weaknesses in an interview process. It can help you find out which part of an interview process you are good at, and which part you need to work on. I mean, if you’re going to bomb a question, wouldn’t you rather prefer to have it be in a mock interview?

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