By: Peer Career Coach Smriti Dhingra
In a world of impulsive decision making, sometimes our careers face the toll. This does not necessarily mean that we have lost it all and nothing new can be created. All it takes is a little courage and an intuitive understanding of one’s self to break the shackles and soar. Changing jobs in different careers might seem like a taboo when you have no one to support you. But to give an insight, you are your performer and you are your audience.
According to career change statistics, a person changes careers 5-7 times in their lifetime, mainly because of the ever-increasing career options blooming up now and then. With an ocean of free information available to us, awareness of what’s new in the job business becomes easy to track.
The Five Biggest Myths about changing careers:
- There is only one way to do it. If things worked on the principle of one solution to a problem, then the word “innovation” would not even exist in our dictionaries. Changing a career is a big decision for anyone and needs support. That support can come either from your peers, friends, or family. But most importantly it must come from financial security. So, transitioning rather than changing is advisable. Having a simultaneous start to something you want to transition into while you still work in the current job to have a security of finances will help your alternate career bloom better.
- The key to success lies in personality tests or reading journals and success books. What helps the most when making such a life-changing decision is to know exactly you exactly want. People feel stuck or confused in making such important decisions for themselves. Self reflection can help, but in situations when one feels confused and stuck, talking to a career coach or a mentor or someone who is currently working in that field is even better. They will help broaden your vision and inform you about all the job types out there in the market
- Planning leads to perfection. Planning in a calm, flexible manner is advisable during this transition. Being too rigid and planned will ultimately make you anxious. The estimated time on the plan sheet may not coordinate well with reality because not everyone is lucky to hit it right in their first time. Remember: there is always a new day to start fresh. Having a vision as to where you see yourself ten years down the line will help to keep you oriented. Focus on planning long term goals.
- Only people with money can change careers. Money always helps, but it is never a mandate to start something you love. All you need is a rich research base, either by reading or listening to successful people, or starting a conversation with knowledgeable people in your desired field.
- You need a degree to change careers. Not always! All you need to find is a way to gain experience. Keep networking with people and look up short courses offered by schools to aid your skill in that respective field. This is the place where volunteering comes handy. There are a lot of organizations hungry for free help and the good part is they do not expect professionals just people willing to put in the efforts.
Now, let us delve into some ways to make sure, you need a career change: Start with the cause. What made you feel that way? Was it your boss, the toxic work environment, or your commute? Sometimes a bad job can make you feel like giving up and starting fresh, but all it takes is a job change. If the decision to change is certain then start to think of ways to rebrand yourself. “Find the path of least resistance so you can convince whoever is listening to you- whether it’s a recruiter or a hiring manager- that the job (change) is not as drastic as it sounds,” says Waicek (certified professional career coach). Simultaneously start making connections. Your network’s network can help you more than people in your circle so branch out as much as possible while networking.
The boulder in this process is lack of experience, and to gain experience you need a job. As mentioned earlier start with something unpaid that does not require you to be the utmost suitable for that job. Many nonprofits are in dire need of help, and you are in dire need of testing the new-to-you career waters. So volunteer as much as you can!!
The final step to this obstacle race is to give yourself time and managing your expectations. As mentioned before have a long term vision and wait for 6 months or a year to see it come to life. Also, say goodbye to old fancy titles that made you unhappy. A salary cut now is a worthwhile investment when in 5 or 10 years you are going to be proud of what you do.
Lastly, with year-round the corner, break away from your fears commit to doing something you love and enjoy.