Allbright – a professional women’s network – found 61% of its members were considering career changes at the end of 2020. It is thought this number has increased since.
You may have the desire to change career, but I know wanting this is one thing… believing you can and actually doing it is another.
Change is scary at the best of times, let alone when that change may impact your family, finances or even your identity! As a career change coach, I hear daily many reasons change feels impossible…
“I’m not qualified to do anything else”
“I can’t afford to re-train/ start from the bottom again”
“I’m too old to start again now”
But what if none of that were true?
I know for a fact career change IS possible. I have done it, as have the vast majority of the working parents I have coached. I also know I, and my clients, had all the same fears and beliefs you do.
So how do you decide to go for it?
You know your own mind. You know your own happiness. If you are feeling stuck, unhappy and trapped in your career, then you know change is needed. That change may or may not be dramatic – you don’t need to know the answer to what the change will be yet. My top tip is to just decide you will do something to get back to a happier place in your career again. Your wellbeing is more than worth it. We spend an average of 90,000 hours working in a lifetime. If these become the root of unhappiness, your decision to make a change is a must, not a luxury.
So you know change is necessary, now what?
Like I said, the next step isn’t to find the answer. You want the change to reignite your career happiness and be a viable option for you and your family. To get clarity on what is right for you, take time to reflect on the skills you wish to use, the environment you want to work in, on what will bring job satisfaction at this stage in your life. This work will then lead to the exploring possible options – there is no need to think about these just yet.
When you have decided you are going to make changes, I know you will want them to happen NOW! However, making a successful career change will take time. The reflective work to decide what you want to do will take time. The research, networking, up-skilling and shift towards your new career all takes time. This is a marathon not a sprint. Sometimes it will feel futile. You may find you are putting in loads of effort for little return… but you will get there! If the only goal you set yourself is ‘change career’, you may feel like you are failing, even when you are steadily moving through the process. Setting small task-based goals to inch forward can really help here, so you can see progress week on week.
You may have a specific career change firmly in mind. However, be open to alternatives that may pop up along the way. As long as you have clear criteria around what will make you happy that you can evaluate opportunities against, so you don’t jump from frying pan to fire, there may be an alternative you didn’t think of but you can be happy in. I have many clients that, through remaining open, having conversations, putting themselves into situations that are not the perfect end goal but will benefit them in the long run, have found opportunities open up, totally unexpectedly. Your dream career may be a far reach so be open to steps to shift you closer along the way.
Your existing network is not enough.
You may have a great network. However, if you want to be in a new career you will need to expand it. Your current network knows you as who you are now. If you are trying to shift careers, it is time to reach beyond this group. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but placing yourself in the world of your target career will give you access to the people that can truly help you make the change you desire.
It’s tough going it alone!
Finally, seek support. You are the only one driving this. It is easy to put to the bottom of the pile for “when you get time” (spoiler alert – you NEVER have enough time!). It is also hard! You are way more likely to give up if you don’t have support around you. That support may be via podcasts, books, networking, social media groups or from a career coach – either 1:1 or a group programme. Coaching is an investment but I guarantee it will speed the process up and massively increase your commitment!
This process is not easy or quick, but definitely possible. If you need help working it all out, I’m here and happy to chat – here’s my diary. Alongside my 1:1 programmes, I am kicking off a nine-week group programmes, check information on my website.
Rebecca Amin can be found via her website www.rebeccaamincoaching.co.uk; or in her Facebook Group, Career Happy Mums. You may also like to listen to her podcast to draw on inspiration from those that have navigated change: Career Happy Mums – The Podcast.
September 18, 2022