How long do you think it takes to change career, three months, six months, a year or two? I’ve had clients who have uncovered the direction of their next careers in 8 weeks and others who have made the transition over two years and my own probably was nearer three as it included retraining. It would be too simplistic to answer this question with a specific timeframe as ultimately there is no definitive answer to this question as the journey for each of us is unique, the starting point and the challenges we come across in our transition will vary.
At the heart of a career change is finding answers to numerous questions such as:
- What can I do with the skills I have?
- What will I enjoy doing?
- Will I be good at anything else?
- What if I make the wrong decision?
- Will I have to start at the bottom, or retrain?
- How can I change my career without a huge salary drop?
- How can I find a career that will give me more balance?
- Is it too risky to change careers at my age?
Ultimately the time a career change takes will depend on how quickly you can find the answers to your personal list of questions. These questions tend to fall into two categories, I like to call them the ‘WHAT’ and ‘HOW’ questions. The WHAT questions help us uncover potential careers that meet our goals, whether that is greater fulfilment, more freedom, better work-life balance, more financial security. They all focus on uncovering what would be a good career move which will fit your needs. Whereas the HOW questions assume you already know what you want to do but are struggling to make it happen, How do I find the confidence to make this transition, how will I know this is going to work for me, how do I still pay the bills while I a transitioning?
A person who clearly knows what they want to do for their next career has already answered the ‘WHAT’ questions. For them, the focus is more on ‘HOW’ how do they make it happen and understanding what has stopped them from taking action previously. Often in these scenarios their beliefs, stories and fears are the very things that are keeping them trapped and their journey is more about uncovering how they are getting in their own way and working through the practical elements such as budgeting and explaining their career change to prospective employers. (If this is sounding familiar, you may find this blog useful.)
For other people, they start from a decision to leave their existing career, but they have no idea what else they want to do or how to make it happen. They have a sense that they are in the wrong place which leaves them frustrated and unfulfilled and have the potential to stay trapped because they can’t find the answers. Their career change journey will need to answer many more questions. Questions to help them uncover careers that will combine their skills and interests, and subsequently uncovering organisations that will provide the right environment, culture and roles that will meet the financial needs.
There is no magical number because each person’s situation and starting point is unique and from deciding to take control of your career to starting your new career will be different.
However, what I can share is that in the space of 4 months and 8 sessions I can take you through a framework which will enable you to uncover:
- what you need to find in your next career to bring you greater happiness;
- how to identify potential careers which will support the life you want;
- tools to help you test out these career options and mitigate the risk of making a bad decision;
- how to manage your fears and beliefs with practical techniques.
This April the next round of my Kick Start Your Career Change Mastermind will begin and I will be working with 8 clients to support them through their own career change journey. If you would like to know more about this program and whether it could help you answer the many questions you have about your own career change then take a peek or why not book yourself a call with me to find out more and see if this could be a fit for you.
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