Are you ready for a career change? If you’re starting to feel like you’ve tapped out where you are, and you want to do work that feels more aligned with your values and passions then you’re likely thinking of switching to something else. Whether it’s another company, job, career or just figuring out what it is you want to do now that you have a choice – the decisions we make about our work often take up so much mindspace. Today we’re going to talk about what to do before you change careers.
What this is really about
When we think about our work, there are often so many mixed feelings. We have a sense of achievement, pride, determination, disappointment, rejection, anxiety, hope and fear almost all at the same time. There is almost nowhere else in our life where we feel subject to so many emotions constantly. It may also be the place where you feel like you have the least control. What if the organization changes? What if you and your situation changes? What if this business you created changes? What if you don’t make enough money? What if it takes too much time? What if you can’t handle what comes your way? What if it’s too much for you? What if it’s too little?
So many “what if’s” – which defy everything that our brain wants. We want safety, security, and a known entity. We want to be sure. Yet, we’re so unsure. If you’re thinking about changing your career, you have to separate yourself from the situation. No matter where you go, the grass is not always greener. No amount of money or status keeps you from having stress or problems. I repeat. No amount of money or status will keep the fear at bay. No matter where you go, it is always a good idea for you to get stronger. To figure out what you need and who you are.
The one thing
The one thing most people don’t do before changing their careers is to see their responsibility in managing the situation that they are in. If you have a difficult boss or too much work, we often fear rocking the boat so we slip out and just disappear into the next job and find a different boss. But what happens when that boss changes and the work comes piling back up? Are you going to leave again?
I’m not saying that you should stay in the situation that you’re in or that we should be in one line of work our entire lives, but I do want to acknowledge that the reason you want to leave must be identified if we want to truly understand if we’re making a move out of fear or out of love. I’ve often mentioned this idea of wanting to run towards a new line of work and not away from what you’re doing. It’s often when your work is at a high and you’re doing great when you think of staying and vice versa when you think of leaving. It makes sense right? Now I’m going to challenge you and say, what if what makes more sense is if you change when your work is at a high?
Many of you may not have that choice, but if that is a choice for you I’d like you to consider it. Why? Because when you leave when things are going great, you’re not doing it from this low place on the emotional rollercoaster. You’re doing it because you are moving from good to great. Or from great to amazing.
I’m always interested in how we can move from great to amazing. To have lives that we love and we want to love even more. To know that we have impact and we can have even more. Not from a place of ego or legacy but from the sense of utilizing the time we have here in the ways you feel mean something to you.
So before you decide to change your career or job, ask yourself am I running towards something or away from something? If i’m running away from my job, do I know that it’s a structural situation (a certain industry/ function) that I don’t want anymore, or is it my own ability to manage it? Neither is right or wrong, but when you can answer that question, you’ll know what the next steps are. Some industries are inherently time-consuming and the schedules don’t work for you. Some cultures are much more intense than others. It doesn’t mean one is bad or good, but it does mean that there can be structural reasons that you are making this change.
Same thing goes from managing boundaries or over-working. If we have a pattern of behavior, we’ll likely see that showing up again and again until we address the root cause.
Above all else, when you do this kind of introspection before you make a change, you can feel much more confident in your decisions. You won’t have that buyer’s remorse or analysis paralysis that often happens when we make big decisions like this. Let yourself see that this moment of anxiety-producing change is a profound opportunity for you to test the waters and learn more about yourself. To decide who you are and make a decision from that place. To lead with intuition and let yourself fall forward towards your next opportunity to live in greater alignment from your head to your heart and soul.
If you’re interested in career changing, you’re going to want to sign up from my free Ultimate Career Change Starter Kit at https://mayempson.com/career. It’s a must-have resource for soon to be career changers. You’ll learn the 3 decisions you need to make to get started on your career or job change, 3 strategies to identify your strengths and expertise, 3 ways to uncover your ideal role, and the 2 stories to persuade others to believe in you and hire you. Get your start kit at https://mayempson.com/career.