One of the common mistakes I see people making when they start thinking of changing careers is heading to LinkedIn or other job sites and start scrolling.

But the main problem with starting here is that you’ll be looking for jobs based on what you have done in the past.

Using your past experiences and past skill sets means that you typically end up looking at jobs that are similar to what you’ve done before or are doing now and you’ll be thinking, ”yeah I could possibly do that” or “maybe I can make that work.”

And If you’re feeling really overwhelmed at work, you might even start looking at jobs that are at a lower pay grade just so that you can have some ‘head space’ and try to step away from the stress.

Your brain will be telling you to ‘be realistic’ and go for things where you meet all of the criteria already.

But here’s the thing, this is not going to take you to a place where you feel different and excited about the future.

You will be making do, instead of making a change and thinking about what is possible.

You will be making decisions based on who you have been and what you’ve known rather than who you want to be in the future and the exciting possibilities that are ahead.

When you are younger and starting out in your career things feel new and exciting because you are FUTURE FOCUSED.

People will constantly be asking you what are you going to do? Where are you going to go next?

And often when we get to the middle of our careers we’ve stopped this kind of future thinking

It’s a muscle we no longer flex.

And the worst thing is that not only do other people stop asking us what’s next, but we stop asking ourselves!

It’s no wonder you feel stuck when you’re no longer thinking about your future in an exciting way. When you’re no longer thinking about what is possible and only looking around at where you are now and what isn’t working

You MUST continue to ask yourself, what do I want next? What will my future look like?

This is absolutely the right time to start being FUTURE FOCUSED again and start pondering your future on a regular basis in the same way you used to when you were younger and you saw it as this big stretch of possibility lying ahead of you.

Because that is what is ahead of you now…. You just haven’t been looking at it in this way

The crucial thing about this stage is exploring what YOU want NOW. Based on who you are TODAY.

You CAN do things in the future that are new, different or challenging and that involve you growing and learning new things.

And unlike when you were younger, this time you are not starting from scratch but starting from experience.

Spend time on some PERSONAL REFLECTION.

  • What do you find exciting now?
  • How have your values and ambitions changed?
  • What do you want your future to feel like?
  • What is the vision you have for yourself?

Only once you have done this internal work will you be able to confidently start job searching and be able to identify the opportunities that are really right for who you want to be.

So pause the job searching and start the soul searching because that will make all the difference to finding a new career path that is really right for you.

This article was written by Dana Stevens one of our partner coaches who can help you get clear on your next career move and build up your confidence so that you can start taking action.  To find out more about Dana please visit her profile page .