The Top Things Every Career Changer Needs to Know

Last week we had our third installment of our Career Changers Workshop.  We covered a lot of topics and had so many amazing questions from our audience.  At the end of every event I lead, I ask our panelists the top advice & coaching they have for the group.   This is what Tejal Wagadia and Kyle Elliott shared (and some additional thoughts from yours truly).

Give yourself credit!  Any step you take to recognize that you are unhappy, that you feel stuck in your career and want to make a change (even if you are just saying it to yourself) is a big and important step.  You will figure out the rest, and others can help you along the way (see the last point below), but you took the hardest step already, so give yourself credit!

Get out of your head.  So good news, you took that first step.  Now get out of your head.  Even if it’s just writing things down in a journal.  It’s amazing the power of seeing your thoughts in black and white.  I am often shocked by what I find myself writing down when I’m just doing a brain dump.  Or even better, talk to people you trust about your ideas.  Even if that is all they are, ideas or questions, you will be blown away by the power of saying things out loud and getting an objective reaction to those thoughts.  But don’t let the thoughts just swirl around in that big grey space!

Run towards something, not away from something.  Take the time to figure out what you want, not just what you don’t want.  If you are going to take the time, energy and work to change jobs, make sure you have identified what will actually bring you joy, fulfillment and success moving forward & get coaching from top leaders.  It’s easy to be so burned out and frustrated by your current role that you just want to run and scream.  But without taking the time to identify what you want, you will potentially end up in the same situation again and that’s not what any of us want for you!

Leverage your network.  Whether that is LinkedIn, your family & friends, former colleagues or wherever your network is…talk to them!  Find people who are in the job or field that you want to move into and learn more about their experiences.  What is their day-to-day like? What kind of skills does someone in their role need?  How did they gain those skills?  Do they have any advice for someone in your current field looking to make the change to their line of work?  Take advantage of all their experiences and lessons learned to better understand the world you are about to enter (and maybe to confirm if it is the world for you).

Sometimes it’s not meant to be.  You may do everything right, kick ass in the interview process, and still not get the job.  It’s not you.  You are up against other amazing people and sometimes you aren’t going to get the job by no fault of your own.  It’s devastating, it’s frustrating, but it’s not the end of your journey.  Don’t give up.  Take a break and do something that re-energizes you and picks you back up & get ready for coaching yourself.  Don’t get back to the job search until you have shed the disappointment and are ready to say “I am the best person for this role” and you mean it 🙂 

You are not alone in this journey.  Lots of people make career changes.  I did!  And every other week I feature someone on my podcast on career change & coaching who has as well.  Reach out to others who have been through the journey and ask for their advice (or just their support!), work with a coach who can help you navigate a career change or just keep you motivated and focused on the future.  Find someone in your life who can be your cheerleader, accountability buddy or loving enforcer!   Just remember you are not alone and you don’t have to do this by yourself.

It takes courage, strength, energy, a lot of work and some tears to make a career change.  But don’t let where you are today define you.  Shed that label, get off the hamster wheel and know that you can be whatever you want to be.  And getting “unstuck” will truly be life changing.  You got this!

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