Your FUTURE is on the line.
For so many of us, we’ve spent most of our lives in school preparing for a career that we may or may not have had actual experience with. Typically, we’re not even adults yet when we’re forming these ideas about the rest of our lives and our careers.
Very often we’re swayed by parents, teachers, and our own ideas of what career success should look like. While they may be well meaning, our family, friends, and mentors may have a vested interest in our success, and that can have a big impact on our ability to determine what’s in our own best interest.
Here are 4 things you need to think about before deciding to up and change your career:
1) Understand change isn't immediate.
If you’ve been feeling like things have been “off” for a while now, recognizing that you need to make a career change can feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest. After having this realization you may be expecting that the rest is going to be pretty easy.
Unfortunately, change is not like you see in movies — it rarely happens quickly. Now, don’t let that discourage you. Rather, having realistic expectations of your career transformation is vital to your success.
2) Fears about money are inevitable.
There are a lot of fears people have when making any kind of change — career changes especially — as financial concerns can make us feel extremely de-stabilized. Money is the biggie, right? Money is about safety for some, or intricately tied to success for others. But when money is bound with your feeling of security, as it is for many, making changes to your income can have a debilitating emotional effect.
Come up with a plan that will allow you to pursue change WITHOUT losing your safety net.
3) The right kind of support is essential.
Look, your parents and friends love you and (mostly) want to support you. But change isn’t easy for them either, and this can be really tricky for some people to understand. For some, your parents have spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars funding your education and supporting you as you got on your feet. Remember, that your parents — even the most supportive of them — are people too, full of emotion and fears and desires. They may worry about you, especially if your career change is quite different from what you’re doing now.
For some, your friends are in the same field as you, so when you make a change, they might feel undermined, or even threatened. Support with like-minded others, people who are also making a change in career, is really the best way to get support.
4) Quitting your job isn’t always the first step.
After months of feeling miserable or just “meh” about your present career path you may want to throw caution to the wind and quit your job immediately. While you may make the decision to leave your present job, running into your boss’ office and telling him or her “I’m outta here” is probably premature.
Rather, making a career transformation or change is a process to help you (A) explore what a meaningful career means to you, (B) define what kind of career change is right for you, or (C) become aligned with your career change plan.
There’s nothing wrong with changing jobs or careers — in fact it’s healthy. Where I see people getting into trouble is when they quit their jobs without considering the above questions or get into black and white thinking, such as, “if I only had a different job, then I would be okay.”
By considering these 4 questions, you’ll be able to make the decision to leave your current position and make a career transition, not from a place of fear, but from a place of inspiration and confidence.
Tess Brigham is a therapist and coach working with millennials and twenty-somethings. For more guidance on making changes and taking control in your life, download your FREE Guide to Creating Lasting Change here or visit www.tessbrigham.com to schedule your free consultation!