Considering a Career Change? Here’s What You Need to Know
Have you been contemplating your next career move but get lost in determining the next steps? Know that you are not alone. Many years ago, I was feeling stuck in a role where I knew I was at my expiration date. There was no more room to grow in the role and going to work everyday was mentally exhausting. This prompted me to take action. But before I was ready to made a plan, I first started by doing what most people do which is getting into the mentality of looking for work while I still have my job. However, with time I found I kept applying to jobs that I did not necessarily have the experience, passion or knowledge for. I took a step back and really began to assess what it is I wanted out of my career. Did I want to move on to the next best thing or did I want to have a meaningful and purposeful career. I decided it was the latter that I desired. I started by doing a brainstorm of all the things I valued and wanted in my career and all that no longer resonated with me. Then I crafted my first vision board. A vision board is a physical board you create to help you visualize your future. On it I had my dreams, aspirations and the direction I saw for my career. The most difficult part of creating the vision board wasn’t the creation of the board itself but rather the execution of making those visions come through. For each vision I came up with a plan. For example, on my vision board I had engaging in international development work. It just so happened within my role at the time an opportunity came up for a project in Ghana. I started here, applying for this project and was eventually accepted to execute it. From this came other opportunities to engage in international development work. I also made a plan to assess my current skill sets and compare it to what I needed to make my vision come through. I decided to go back to school to get my Master in Social Work; this would open my options to various career opportunities and would provide me with an option of self-employment (another vision on my vision board).
If you are facing a career transition or would like the opportunity to change your career one option I wished I would have explored is seeking help from a career coach. Being a career coach myself it’s often more challenging to seek the help you need since you may inherently know the strategies to navigate your career. A career coach however has more than just the strategies to be successful, they can help you sort through your thoughts, help identify your interests, and guide you through your internal conflicts. Career paths are rarely a linear process, having someone to help can put you on a path towards getting into a purposeful career a lot sooner and help you to understand the steps to help you get there.
A career change can be scary but with the right approach, someone to help guide you and a plan to meet your vision it can be the best decision you can make for your life.