If your once-enjoyable career no longer satisfies you, it can feel like the end of a relationship. Your values might have changed, but your career doesn’t match them. Your needs might have changed, and your career no longer meets them. Or maybe your career itself has changed, where the demands of your industry mean that your role and responsibilities are no longer as satisfying as they were.
When this happens in life, your security and sense of certainty get rocked to the core. What can you do now, after you have worked so hard to get where you are? How can you find career satisfaction again, when there were so many unknowns which led you to where you are?
This moment I am describing is the typical beginning point of the career change process for many professionals in midlife. This realization may come slowly, and people often try to suppress this ‘uncomfortable truth’ and carry on regardless. The trouble is, ignoring the problem does not make it go away and can contribute to stress and other health and wellbeing issues.
If this sounds like you, you may feel bewildered at the thought of changing your career. “I don’t know where to start” is something I often hear. You might have lots of responsibilities and a busy lifestyle. It might feel like changing careers is too much alongside everything else.
Bear in mind, that if you are in a stable job, you can give yourself time to facilitate career change at your pace. Whatever your situation, your career change process is yours to decide. However, once you are aware that something needs to change, it is difficult to carry on the same without addressing it.
If you are at the beginning of this journey, read on to see my suggestions to help you facilitate this initial career change enquiry process:
Gift yourself quiet space on a regular basis to notice what truly matters
During hectic times, it is easy to become busy and lose touch with your inner world. However, when you are changing a big part of your life, like your career, it is even more important to take care of yourself and pay attention to what is contributing to or driving your decision-making processes. Giving yourself regular quiet space to notice your inner world will prevent hasty decision making and reduce ‘autopilot’. Ask yourself “do I still need the same thing from my career? What do I need now?”
Get to know your transferable skills as if they were your best friends
They really are! I have never met a person who does not have multiple skills, and if you are exploring alternative employment options, understanding your skillset inside out will help you to identify, as well as create new possibilities. There are lots of ways of identifying your skills- one way is to list the skills you have used in each paid or voluntary job so far, as well as your related competency level
Think outside the box
Spend half an hour on any jobs page at the moment and you will see changes emerging in the world of employment. As employers adapt to virtual working, the skills required in some roles will reflect this. Once you understand your transferable skills, you will notice how these can be used in different combinations for different roles. Perhaps a skill you had previously discounted is now relevant? It is good to review your skills regularly, especially if you have not done so in a while or you are considering new career options
You may end up with a number of new career goals. Sometimes identifying what you want is enough to keep you happy whilst you work towards them. If, through your enquiry, you realise you need an immediate career change, consider what that level of change would be. Expecting too much too soon can add unnecessary stress.
Enjoy using this time as an opportunity for radical self-honesty. Allow yourself to dream as well as get real about the practicalities of life. Sometimes life can be so busy that people carry on the same way for years, not noticing that it doesn’t serve them. What are you drawn to now? What do you love now? Where would you like to go now?
Would you like to explore your career change journey through coaching?
You can secure your free 30-minute consultation call with me directly here https://calendly.com/fireflycoachinguk/30min or alternatively you can find out more information here https://fireflycoaching.co.uk/product/introductory-free-consultation/