When it comes to your career, you want to be fulfilled in what you do.
Yet, there may come a time when you will feel like you are approaching a "crossroads" with your career.
>> Ever felt torn between two career roads -- the one most comfortable and the one less travelled -- only to find yourself returning back to the same place?
>> Ever felt fearful of leaving your "comfort zone" for a career that could offer more growth and challenge, yet you hesitated to take the risk due to the "what if" factor?
>> Do you find yourself concerned more about career security these days?
Well, you are not alone among numerous jobseekers who share the same concerns and values, yet face challenging career choices and decisions every day within the ever-changing world of work.
Career is so much more than doing a role, but a progressive search for a greater purpose, a unique vision, and expanded meaning for ourselves and others.
But here's the key:
Career security is really a matter of perception -- because the key to your own career satisfaction and security starts with you!
Therefore, it's important to position yourself towards a career focus that you want rather than simply running away from a career or job that you do not like.
From experience, many people feel stuck in their perceptions about what their career needs to look like and what their vision of success needs to reflect. Some jobseekers tend to view their career as following a linear path. However, a linear career path is rare these days.
Rather, consider viewing your career as on a continuum of progressive changes fuelling a deeper sense of growth and realization about your potential to make a bigger difference.
You can expect to change careers or roles at least a few times even if you have not planned it that way. Your career may likely undergo both ups and downs or triumphs and challenges. Chalk it up to a change in personal goals, needs, and values, the economy, and a fiercely competitive labour market. Ironically, the only thing you can count on really is change, and avoiding risk and change is a sure way to keep your personal growth and career growth stagnant.
A career is a journey. You will experience new skills, interface with different networks, and learn new lessons that may redefine your vision and mission. Sometimes, you will rise higher and other times you may question your very purpose and strategy, as well as your ability to make a real impact. This may rechannel your efforts in a totally new direction and propel you to return with even a stronger sense of morale and commitment to a new purpose or mission.
Many people fail to consider an important fact in their career-related decisions:
Career impacts every facet of life.
Career can impact a person physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, and socially. Career is shaped by a whole multitude of internal and external events or forces, and some external forces such as unexpected downsizings or restructurings or a company closing are simply beyond your control.
However, you can control your attitude, the choices you make, the values you uphold, and the actions you choose. There is no such thing as failure, only constructive feedback and lessons learned according to NLP principles.
That is why it is time for positive reframing and applying a holistic approach when planning a career transition.
It is time to dispel rigid thinking and embrace greater flexibility. Change can serve as both a teacher and a healer in your career.
Otherwise, you may find yourself repeating the same disempowering patterns and themes in your career and having to go back and relearn the same lessons.
Making the Career Change: Reflection and Self-Evaluation
Here are 13 helpful strategies for making a career change that involve reflection and self-evaluation of your goals, strengths, expertise, milestones, and values as well as your networks.
✅ The first step in making a change is identifying the real reason or reasons why you are considering a change.
>> Are the reasons for the change temporary or something that are likely to permanently impact your current position?
✅ Figure out whether you just need to change companies or if you need to change your entire career.
>> Changing your entire career is a big step and requires thorough research, planning, and preparation.
>> It also depends on the level and type of marketable skill sets and experience that you have to offer as well as your values.
✅ If you’ve decided it’s time to make a change, make a plan for what you want to do next before you take any action.
✅ Don’t know where you are headed? First start with an assessment of where you’ve been.
>> Is there a common thread in your career history that you can pinpoint?
>> Are you using the skills, education, and training you have? If not, how can you leverage your skills and qualifications more effectively to prepare for your career transition?
>> Consider if you need additional skills, education, or training in order to make a successful job or career change. If so, how will you achieve this?
✅ Set career goals for yourself.
>> Where do you want to be 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years from now?
>> What are the steps that you need to take to get there?
✅ Think about what you would really like your life to be like.
>> If money and time were of no concern, how would you spend your days? (keeping in mind a realistic goal, of course). This will shed light on what you really want to do with your life.
✅ Determine what your #1 priority is (personally) for the next 12 months.
>> What is the one thing you absolutely want to accomplish, see, or experience in the next year?
✅ Professionally, what do you want to be different in the next year?
>> What do you want to be doing more of, and how can you get there? This will clarify your focus and goals.
>> Ask yourself: Am I doing the things I need to do to get where I want to go?
>> Avoid spending time on unproductive activities. Be purposeful in your actions.
✅ Write down what kind of support you need — personally and professionally — to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.
>> Assess what supports have helped you in the past.
>> Aim for surrounding yourself with only positive and empowering networks who believe in your value.
>> Forecast what new and existing supports would help you now. Remember the value of give and take in networking.
>> Seek 360-degree honest and constructive feedback.
✅ Document your work accomplishments. Start a journal or brag file.
>> What was the most important thing you accomplished in the past year?
>> What was the impact of that accomplishment — did you save your company money, improve customer satisfaction, or bring in revenue?
>> Can you quantify the financial impact?
>> What do you have to offer another company or in a different career path?
✅ Evaluate your relationships with co-workers, bosses, and direct / indirect reports.
>> Do you need to make any adjustments or changes?
>> Could you strengthen these relationships? How?
✅ Don’t burn the bridge at your current job.
>> Give ample notice and offer to train your replacement -- remember to leverage the right timing.
✅ Get your finances in order before you take action on your job or career change. Start planning for the career transition financially.
Remember, life choices shape career and career choices shape lifestyle.
Carve out that vision and mission on paper.
The more specific you are about what you want in your career, the more your mind will focus on creating those possibilities and new opportunities. Then test out your vision and mission by interacting and brainstorming with your networks to gain a holistic perspective. Let your instincts guide you and your creative vision propel you further to a new horizon!
Your career growth matters! Call Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374 for professional Master-level career support.
Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon!
Lori Jazvac is an award-winning Master Resume Writer / Career Coach, and Founder of Creative Horizons Communications, a Halton-based holistic career services firm. She positions jobseekers of all fields and levels locally and abroad for their next career move.