Feeling unsettled, restless or disillusioned in your career is not a great place to be. What is even worse is trying to change your situation but being unable to turn intention and desire into action. Months go past or worse years, and you still feel stuck and confused. Here are five things which can get in the way of a career change. Take action to tackle these and the process will become easier.
Change and fear go hand in hand. The fears of getting something wrong, in exposing our weaknesses or in losing what we have no matter how unhappy you may be at that time are common. Furthermore, the fear in never actually finding something which will lead to greater fulfilment and ultimately making the wrong decision often come up with my clients. No one has a crystal ball, but we often act as if we do. We create truths around the uncertain future which we build up and seek to reinforce as fact. This adds power to our fears and can keep us stuck or closed to ideas.
Being able to notice the fear and assess whether it is fact or fiction is a skill and can get in the way of a career change. The work to be done is to understand where your fear is coming from. Is it your inner gremlin chatter which is emotional and creates panic out of the stories you are telling yourself? Or is it your true inner mentor guiding you from a place of rational thinking and love?
Even the most confident and experienced of people can suffer from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is defined as the moment we doubt our ability and have a fear of being found to be a fraud. Understanding your strengths, transferable skills and knowledge will help build self-belief. Then, using this information daily as you review job descriptions and applications will help fight the imposter. It will help push through the hesitations and anxiety which can set in and get in the way of a career change.
Too many ideas
In the changing working world we live in today there is now so much opportunity it is hard to see the wood through the trees and know which path to take. With lots of transferable skills, we could, in essence, turn our hand to many different ideas if we truly wanted to. Plus, if we don’t have the skills or expertise it is easier than ever to get them. It’s common for people to go back to college and university or to learn online in courses, facebook groups or webinars. With so many ideas bouncing around our head, it can be overwhelming. Many people end up flitting between ideas or become paralysed with indecision.
To stop overwhelm and confusion you need a set of criteria to filter your way through ideas. This criterion will come from time you invest in understanding what you truly want in the future and personal self-awareness. Once you have this clarity and insight you can set criteria for your change which will automatically narrow down your funnel of ideas and opportunity.
The number one excuse I hear from those seeking change is “I just don’t have enough time – to think, to look, to update my cv….” With only 24 hours in a day to carry on and deliver what you are currently paid to do, to keep healthy and to look after and be with those you love and enjoy, it is true there is not that much time left for soul searching, researching jobs and finding clarity on what’s next.
However, you are the master of your time. You choose what you spend your precious hours on. The reality is people don’t necessarily have an issue with lack of time but a lack of focus on priorities. All too often we are unaware how much time we waste on things which we could do without in the short term. Aligning your ambition to change with your overall life priorities and goals will heighten your motivation to carve out the time to take action. Scheduling and deadlining yourself will also help.
Getting the right advice
We all have lots of people around us to use as a sounding board. All who have your best interest at heart. Words of wisdom from friends, family and colleagues is so welcome when you are seeking a change in direction. However, it can be overwhelming. Too many opinions can lead to greater confusion and conflict.
One thing to remember is that no one truly understands you, your needs and your challenge but you. Your advisors may not be asking the right questions to help you get focused. They may not listen effectively because they jump to solutions and advice based on their personal experience and beliefs. Finding an impartial advisor or a coach will help you make sense of your own thinking and break down the conflict and confusion. It will help you find confidence in your own advice.
Victoria Walsh is a certified executive and career coach working with professionals and teams to help them keep on loving and excelling in the work they do. She’s an expert in helping people tackle the things which get in the way of a career change and fulfilment. Find out more about Victoria
Feeling stuck, disillusioned or restless in your career but can’t work out what to do next? book a free consultation call to chat with Victoria