How do you go about changing careers? Michelle O’Sullivan


Are you unhappy in your current career? Do you feel stuck but can’t see other possibilities? If the answer is yes, you have two choices: stay where you are and stick it out or look for a change. As the saying goes “if you change nothing, nothing changes”.


Change can be daunting. Our head brain is hardwired for safety and prediction so often times it can hold us back. However, listening to our heart and gut brains can often yield better results.


So how do you go about changing?


Here are some ideas to start you off on the process...



1) Be clear


What is that you want/ don’t want? Gaining clarity and clearly defining what you want in your career is fundamental. If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you get it? Write down a list of exactly what you are looking for and if you get stuck, think about what you don’t want and define the opposite.



2) Be courageous


If you’ve been in a career for a long time and are now looking at something different, fear can often hold you back. What if it doesn’t work out? A good pneumonic for fear is False Expectations Appearing Real. If you’ve never done something, how do you know it won’t work out, so having courage is key.



3) Be patient


Be particularly patient with yourself. When facing a change, it is often ourselves stopping us from making a change; and remember, it won’t happen overnight.



4) Be strategic


Once you’ve decided what you want, who do you know working in that field? Use your network to find people to talk to. Tools like Linkedin can help you find people in your chosen industry.


5) Be determined


As soon as you let people know you are thinking of making a change, lots of helpful and unhelpful advice, sometimes unsolicited, will come your way. Everyone’s brain is wired for safety, so you will often get questions like “but what will you do? why are you leaving you’ve been there so long, surely it can’t be that bad”? Determination and stamina and knowing you’re following what is right for you all help to manage the self-doubt that may creep in.


This approach helped me to make the best, and bravest, decision to leave my corporate career after 21 years and I can honestly say I have never looked back.


And remember... if, for whatever reason, things don’t work out, you can always go back to your previous career but if you stay where you are, you will never know what is possible.


 

Michelle O'Sullivan is one of our partner coaches. You can view her profile here: www.careeringintomotherhood.com/michelle-osullivan