Recently a friend told me her philosophy on life: “Life has no remote control. You have to get up and change it yourself.” This is very applicable to your career. It would be nice to just press a button and land in a new career that is fulfilling, pays more than our current job, and has a shorter commute. As we are very well aware, life just doesn’t work that way. If we are unhappy or unfulfilled in our career, we need to work to change it.
A career change can be like deciding to lose 20 pounds. We wish it could happen overnight and painlessly, but that won’t ever happen. Here are 5 steps to help you make the career change you want:
- 1. First we have to evaluate what is not working in our current job. This might mean assessing if your job is un-fulfilling, or too demanding, or the environment is not positive.
- 2. Now that we know what isn’t working, we can decide on a plan of action on how to change our current situation. For a job change, this can mean evaluating positions that interest us, review and update our resume, pulling together some collateral on work that we have accomplished, identifying job search sites and networking groups and so on. This plan includes creating small and achievable goals that we can accomplish each week. With weight loss, we might plan small goals like exercising two days for 20 minutes the first week, three days for 20 minutes the second week, 3 days for 25 minutes the third week, etc. Those goals can be obtained. We wouldn’t give ourselves a goal of exercising 7 days for 60 minutes each day in week one if we haven’t exercised in awhile. That would be setting ourselves up for failure. Setting a goal of making changes to a resume or identifying 2 networking groups in week 1 are small enough to be effective and keep us moving in the right track.
- 3. We also have to hold ourselves accountable for achieving the small goals. Meeting the small goals each week will lead to a much bigger change. It is much easier to accomplish a series of small goals rather than trying to make a large change all at once.
- 4. Remind yourself that change can take time. Some individuals have a goal of finding a new job within 2 weeks. That is an aggressive goal. It can be done, but so many things have to fall into place, that it is unlikely. Make sure you give yourself a feasible time frame to achieve your goal.
- 5. Making progress toward your goal can continue to motivate you. When losing weight, you will notice that your clothes begin to feel looser well before you hit that goal weight. With a job search, finishing a resume or making new connections or landing an interview will help keep you motivated during the search.
If you are hoping to change your career, I encourage you to begin taking some small action steps to make that change. It might feel slightly uncomfortable. It might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the key to the change is action. The first one should be to print the steps above and review them regularly!
Contact Wolfgang Career Coaching for a free 1/2 hour consultation!
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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