Getting through our fears about a career change

Change is inevitable. Change is constant.

Benjamin Disraeli

For you change might be needed because the job you had will never exist again, you are unhappy in your current job, you want to start your own business, or you made a wrong career choice and want to start a completely different career. We can never get over the fear that these changes evoke, what we can do is to manage the situation to get through our fears and move on.

Here are five tips to help you manage the change process and thus get through your natural fears when facing a change of careers.

  • Define your ideal job

What is dissatisfying about your current or past jobs? What are your recurring interests? What is your desirable work environment? What are your passions? How much income do you need? Write these down.

  • Objectively define your transferable strengths and skills

What do you do best? When others think about you, how would they describe you? What evidence do you have that these are your strengths and skills? Define you 5-8 transferable strengths and skills. Write these down.

  • Investigate alternative career

The internet is an excellent source of information, don’t stop here, talk to people doing your ideal jobs, there is no substitute for first hand, personal information. Some of the questions to ask: how did they land this job, what are the keys to success, any down sides or frustrations with this job?

  • Make a plan that takes your financial needs into account

Outlines your steps and financial requirements, Will your new career require additional training, outside financial assistance, relocation, time off from work, relocation. There is comfort in being prepared, being prepared means having a solid plan and access to the resources necessary to execute that plan.

  • Keep positive and motivated

Write down your negative thoughts and each time you find yourself thinking or saying something that reinforces your fear, write down the corresponding positive statement. Replace, “I think I can’t….” with “I think I can…” Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who believe in you—talk about your reservations and how they can be managed. Remember you have a choice to be happy or unhappy, positive or negative.