Have you been dreaming about resigning and changing careers? I would and when the time came to do it, I was so nervous, I actually ended up crying!  Maybe you have even thought about how you would do it, do you tell them the truth or soften the reasoning; “I hate my job" or "it’s time for a new challenge.” As you let your dream continue maybe you even start to get excited and then BOOM you come to a grinding halt, suddenly all the reasons why you can’t change jobs come pouring out. You need to face reality, this is your life and those dreams are just that. 

Do you continually have these thoughts of escaping? Do you dread the daily grind of your job? Does it consume you and leave you with little time for other things? Is your unhappiness at work impacting your health and your relationships? Do you feel you have more to offer the world? Life is short and most of us will spend a third of our life at work, don’t we deserve to enjoy it?

This is a cycle I found myself continually faced with, having the same conversations over and over in my head until I really acknowledge what was happening, I was putting up barriers, reasons why I couldn’t make a career change. I was scared and had many questions; if I did move would I like it? Would I be any good at it? Ultimately how would I know if it would lead me to a better place? And instead, I would tell myself a story about why now was not the right time.

What’s the story you are writing regarding your career change?  Having built a business that helps people to make career changes I have identified four main stories people use to talk themselves out of taking action.

Money worries. Perhaps in your current job, you are the main breadwinner or the only breadwinner and you can’t rely on someone else to bring the money in. Perhaps you are contemplating moving and you need the security of your steady income to get your mortgage. Perhaps you are waiting for that big bonus payment or pension lump sum.

The time is not right. With the economy being impacted by COVID-19 and unemployment increasing maybe you feel now is not the right time and to be grateful that you have a job. If this is your story read ‘how to plan your career change during a recession’ for practical information on what you can do right now. Perhaps you have big events happening in other parts of your life, birth, marriages, kids changing schools and you tell yourself it wouldn’t be sensible to make a career move at this time.

You don’t know what else to do. You have wracked your brains, awoken in the middle of the night desperately trying to work out what else you can do but nothing comes to mind. Instead, you tell yourself that until you figure it out you just have to accept the way things are.

Fear of failure. Maybe you do have an idea of what that next career chapter could look like, but the thought of leaving the security of your current job and having to start from the bottom is too much. You just don’t have the skills or the experience so who would employ you? This was my personal favourite.

Is one of these your story? It’s important to acknowledge it; behind is a subplot that that needs to be managed. Write it down, say it out loud. Don’t hide it, deal with it!

We can always find a reason not to do something but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. This is just our mind trying to protect us from the fear of the unknown; it’s alerting us to some concerns but doesn’t mean you can’t manage them or that they have validity.

Once we admit what the story is we can understand if it has any substance.

For example, if money is the concern, get clear on your figures. What do you need to earn to pay the bills? How could you cut back on your expenses? What savings could you draw on during your transition? What other ways can you earn if you were to take a pay cut? What is the salary you could command in your potential career and the longer-term earnings?

If timing is the story challenge yourself to understand if this is really the issue or actually are you using this as an excuse. There will always be something happening in your life that you could use as an excuse to stay put. Reflect on the unhappiness you are feeling and the cost this is having to your life. Is the cost of doing nothing, putting up with these feeling less than the pain of trying to start your career journey now? If yes, then commit to a date when you will start the process. Remember a career change takes time, and there is some work you can do in terms of reflecting on what you want for yourself that doesn’t require you to announce to the world your intentions, which you could start now and if your desired industry is being impacted by shrinkages in the economy get yourself in a good place to go for those roles as the market opens up.

For those of you who don’t know what else you want to do, then your first start is to get clear on who you want to be in your life, what you want to be able to do and to have. Then you need to reflect on what skills you enjoy using, what interests you, surrounding yourself with what type of person and environment will enable you to flourish. Take a look at these free resources to help you.

And if fear is your story, acknowledge what is happening, write the fear down, and challenge it. What evidence do you have to support it, what’s the likelihood of it happening and if it does what would be your back up plan. Remember fear is our mind protecting us from the unknown; your subconscious has rifled through your memory storage but drawn a blank. This is unknown territory we better stop it! But let’s right size it. Think about your fear as if they were the cautious member of your family. You take note of what they say but you don’t always listen to it.

You have a choice, you can continue to tread water and go through the motions, put up with those feelings or you can choose to do something about it, to take action and to find a happier you. A journey is made up of many small steps, just start today and acknowledge what is your story so you can start to rewrite it.

If you want to accelerate your career change then why not book in for a free call to find out how I can help you and to get some simple steps that you can take now.