Have you ever faced a problem that seemed daunting right from the get go? For most of us, considering a career change falls into this category of problem. It feels foggy and confusing to try to figure out what to do next with our careers, particularly because this type of decision is not something we regularly face.
Admittedly, in my early years of working as a career coach, the process of guiding a client through a career change felt a bit vague to me too. Every client was a new mystery that I did my darnedest to solve, but I didn’t initially get the big picture of the process I was guiding them through.
When I look back now, my early confusion about the general arc of career changes makes me laugh. Career changes follow a predictable sequence of steps that are not mysterious at all.
Ready to learn them?
- Identify what’s important to you.
- Make a career hypothesis.
- Test that hypothesis through real world exploration.
- Revise your hypothesis (if needed).
- Strategically prepare for the career path you’ve picked.
- Work to transition to the new field.
Yeah. That’s IT. Really. There’s nothing more to the steps of a career change than that.
However, just because the steps of a career change are simple to understand, actually implementing those steps is a BIG undertaking. The steps involve moving into discomfort and believing in both yourself and the possibility that there’s something better out there for you. Oh, and for most people, doing it all after a full day’s work, or in the midst of family obligations.
This week, in honor of my new book, Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career, I’ve asked three guests to share their personal experience with making a career change.* As you read their stories, I want you to notice not just the steps they took, but the attitudes and characteristics they embodied as they worked through their change.
Here’s what to look for:
A desire for change,
A decent level of personal confidence,
A willingness to take action in the midst of uncertainty,
Taking one step and discovering the next step as a result,
Asking for help, and
Putting in effort.
What you really need to make a career change is a set of behind-the-scenes attitudes and behaviors (including those mentioned above). Having these in place is mission critical to being able to successfully make a change. If you’re getting stumped with the process, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Career changes don’t happen every day, so it would be surprising if you had all the back-end pieces for handling them at the ready.
Enjoy the blog tour and be sure to grab a copy of Career Grease today! You’ll get even more insight into the career change process, lots of real life client case studies, and encouragement for your own career journey.
*Note from Alison – You’ll notice that my guests are all entrepreneurs. This is because business owners generally have both made a career change and also have a blog. I initially tried to find ‘regular people’ (like my clients) who fit the above two criteria for this series and came up empty. Even if you aren’t planning on starting a business, I think the elements my panelists discuss are still relevant. Enjoy!