Career changes can seem overwhelming but they can also be exciting and fun. Let me first ask a series of questions to assess your readiness and openness to make a career change.
- How many times a day do you look/research/make connections for a profession you desire?
- How often do you tell yourself, “I really need to update my resume”?
- How often do you think, “I should be further along by now”.
- Or this one…”I don’t like what I’m doing now, but I have no idea what else I would do or if I’m really qualified given my experience”.
When I tell my friends and acquaintances that I’m a career coach, I usually get the overwhelming response “oh cool, maybe you can help me figure out what my purpose is or help me find a better fit”. Many people are looking to find that “dream job”. Even those who have had great careers, made decent income and generally like who they work with. There’s something about finding that ‘perfect’ fit that keeps us coming back around and around even when we don’t hate what we are currently doing. When our jobs are not tied to a deeper sense of meaning, we seem to keep searching.
If you answered often or very often to my questions above, I’d say you’re on the verge of making a change. I believe that it’s a process. Usually people don’t wake up one morning and change everything. It’s a slow process that starts with something small. For example, a minor grievance with a co-worker or being in a position too long, that doesn’t offer intellectual or professional challenge and growth. Something subtle in our gut that just seems to scream “is this what I’m going to do for the rest of my life?!”
When we were kids, the world seemed to be a place where we had a lot of time and space to dream. Our answer to ‘what are you going to be when you grow up?’ didn’t have credentials tied to it or proof of experience. It was okay just to be an idea. Our grandparents would ooh and ahh and it was cute. We also didn’t have accountability. We could say ‘a doctor’ and go back to coloring rather than applying to med school.
Change takes work. It’s not easy. It comes with action behind the dream. I believe many people get stuck because on one hand, the little kid who dreamed doesn’t want to give up and is feeling unfulfilled in their true potential. On the other hand, getting to the potential is hard, uncertain, and in many cases too much change.
I’d say it’s time to call a career coach when you’re sick of looking at job boards, when you can’t NOT pursue the change anymore, or need the accountability to take action. Just like a running buddy helps you lose the 10 pounds, a coach will help you take the next right action towards your goal. Now, can’t promise a certain outcome. However, identifying areas of change, putting one foot in front of the other, plus having an objective expert cheering you on can help get you headed in the right direction.
Everyone seeks meaning and wants to contribute, make a difference. I’ve never met anyone that I coach that says “please just help me get to mediocre”. But sometimes we need programs, education, support and accountability to accomplish the important things in life. So, if not a career coach to help you with the daunting tasks of change, then who will you enlist? Get someone on your team to be the voice of reason when you want to quit. It’s simple, just not easy. Like exercise and health. If you want to lose 10 pounds, you’ll need to change your eating and exercise habits. Not rocket science, but extra motivation from others can make all the difference. Similarly, if you want to launch a new career, you’ll need to update your resume and make some connections, but what you really need is support.
When you’re tired enough of NOT doing something, you’ll be ready for the change and we are here to help!