Dreaming about making a change is easy. Deciding to take a career leap is the hard part. Talent Management and Recruitment specialist Christine Khor shares a few tips on deciding to jump and finding your feet.
Ask yourself this: if you had six months to live, would you still be doing what you are currently doing? It sounds dramatic, but if the answer is no, it’s time to make some firm decisions. Make a list with two columns. In Column A, list things you love and enjoy, both in life and work. In Column B, list the things you’re currently doing. The gaps will soon become clear.
A big barrier to change is how moving on will be perceived by friends, family or potential employers. Does a dramatic change in careers make you appear less stable, more flighty and indecisive? Let me tell you from experience: if you own it, it’s a non-issue. A career change is courageous. It demonstrates a drive towards self-actualisation and shows that you care about what you do, and how you do it. If people judge you for taking a risk and making a career change, it only illustrates their own fear of change.
What we dream and what we settle for is largely motivated by obligation, responsibility and social expectation. Ask yourself who you’re really doing the job for – and whether it benefits you or others.
The biggest barrier to making a change is fear and money is a big part of that. To make any significant change in your life, you have to take money out of the decision making process and let yourself consider all possible options.
Of course, we all have to pay the bills but do we really need what we earn? When I have spoken to people who have made the financial sacrifice to follow their dreams (as I have) they always think it is worth it. In fact, I spoke to a lady the other day who is still earning 30% less than she was in 2001 and she said she “wouldn’t change it for the world” as she wakes up every day with a purpose.
There are so many ways to make money these days and not all of these are packaged in a full time, salary wage with benefits. Contract or part time work are all potential stepping stones to discovering what you want to do next, allowing yourself the time to refine your next move.
Success manifests itself in so many different ways. Everyone has dreams and the direction won’t always be obvious. Many people consider making a side move to try something new before finding their feet in exactly what they’d like to do next.
To be the very best Marketing Director, you may need to go into sales for a while. To be a fantastic General Manager, you might need to get your hands dirty in a store to learn the ropes. Other times, it’s about doing something completely different. It gives you the time and space to let yourself discover what it is you really love.
A career change doesn’t need to be an all or nothing process: sometimes a slight rejig of your current working environment can make all the difference. The biggest changes come when you allow yourself the time to develop and work on the things you are really passionate about. Speak to your boss about working four days a week instead of five, or doing more of the tasks that play to your strengths and that you enjoy. Go back to study, start volunteering, take up a musical instrument. All these things can help you open your mind to doing things a little differently.
For career advice, visit www.chorusexecutive.com.au
[author image=”http://www.woman.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Christine-Khor-Chorus-Executive_1.jpeg” ]Christine Khor is the Managing Director of Chorus Executive, specialists in talent management and recruitment services for sales, marketing and communications
For jobs and career advice, visit www.chorusexecutive.com.au.[/author]