I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am a certified coach / counselor at Dutch...
3 secrets to a successful career change28 January 2013, by Dorota Klop-Sowinska
Are you thinking of changing your career but feel lost and do not know where to start? Here is why and how you should take the step!
First let’s focus on why staying in a job that you don’t like is not an option:
› You are in a negative spiral and this will lead to a loss of self-confidence. Unfortunately, time is not on your side, and as it passes by, the chances of changing your career are diminishing.
› It can have a serious negative effect on your physical and mental health. A job that you don’t really enjoy causes you lots of stress and doesn’t allow you to focus on your strengths (see below). This could well lead to a burnout quicker than you think.
› You waste your time. Allow me to rephrase: You waste your precious time!
I could easily mention numerous other reasons why it is not a good idea to stay but I think it is better to focus on how different your life can become.
Imagine if you could combine career and passion, or better, if your career was your passion. How great it would be if you were feeling happy and relaxed every Sunday knowing that a new work week is ahead. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t you feel fulfilled, happy and good with yourself?
So, what are the secrets to a successful career change? Here is a short list I created over the years helping my clients to successfully turn around their careers.
› Know what you want: Investigate your short & long term career goals
First you need to realise what you want. You need to figure out what your professional life should look like! Sounds simple, but believe me it’s not.
Just ask yourself what you would be doing if money was not an issue. Which career path would you choose? Where do you want to be in 1, 3, 5, 10 years time?
Don’t just think about it; the key is to write it down!
Photo by Flickr user Victor1558
› Know what your strengths are
Focus on what you are good at! Instead of wasting your time improving your weaknesses, focus on your talents and master them to perfection. Start observing yourself; which activities you are good at, what comes as easy as breathing.
You could also ask 3 people to name 5 talents of yours. Surprise yourself!
› Surround yourself with like-minded people
This is a key one. You need people who believe in you, and will support you for better or worse. The last thing you want is to be surrounded by people who don’t (or pretend not to) understand why you want to change your career and how important this is to you.
Take a look around you. Are the ones close to you giving you what you need? Do they allow you to make the big step? If not, look for people who want to change their careers too. They will understand and support you - remember: they need to be surrounded with like-minded people too.
So, how about working on the above-mentioned points, and change your career and your life? Believe me, if it was possible for many, including me, it is possible for you too!
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