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The Best Advice For Career Changers

Written by: Miriam Freeman, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

No matter what field or circumstances you are in, a career change can be challenging to work through. It may feel like you are burning all the energy and career assets you have accumulated over the years and are about to leap into the unknown headfirst. Like any other life change, there are two significant questions that you have to answer first: "Where to start?", and "Which direction to go?” Let's discuss the first question here, as it is the more fundamental aspect of a career change.

Types Of Career Change


Although in some cases, people change their jobs due to ambition, however, for the majority of people the desire for a career change begins out of an obligation or dissatisfaction.


In my experience, if your dissatisfaction is not about the nature of your job but rather more about your current job situation, such as an unsuitable culture, a "bad" boss or lack of health benefits, etc., you might consider talking to a coach or mentor to find ideas on how to deal with or improve these circumstances. Another option is to take it up through the chain of commands in your current organization to find a win-win solution. If that does not work, your best next move might be to think about changing employers or your industry.


However, the career change that we will be discussing in the rest of this article is the one that involves switching to another job that is entirely different from your current role. This is a 180-degree change and is a tougher challenge to overcome.


The desire to make this kind of change starts when you realize there is no hope for the future of you in your current career irrespective of the employer, salary or industry, etc. Or it may start simply because you are done doing what you have been doing so far!


Usually, when the urge to change starts, a feeling of disappointment, desperation, and worry also grows along with it. The disappointment about the past, the desperation about the present, and the worry about the uncertainty of what could possibly go wrong in the future. The combination of these negative thoughts and emotions will hold many professionals back for years. Golden years that could have been invested in a more successful and brighter future.


On the other hand, some people decide to take a leap of faith, make a bold move and jump ahead. However, most of them will find themselves stuck as they realize that they have taken the wrong path right from the start. This usually happens because they do not know that to change careers; you cannot and must not start from the results!


You must rather start from the past!


The Reason Your Past Matters In A Career Change


When we are analyzing any data, we are looking for trends, patterns, and anomalies in the information that is actual and factual. You will also consider the similarities and differences in events and outcomes.

The same logic applies to your career. The actual data that could provide you with reliable information is your past employment or life in general. You have to examine your past to determine what worked for you and what did not. This analysis can help you create a wholesome & true picture of your current situation, where you started, and what led you here.


Analyzing your history can help you gain clarity on your professional blueprint and your desired career direction. It can also help you implement preventative measures for the professional challenges that you could potentially face in the future.


How To Analyze Your Professional Past


When we look at our past with a fine-tooth comb, we are finding ways to avoid possible future disappointments. When we map out our current professional path and the events that swayed us in that direction, we look at each event while taking ownership of that past, we are not looking to shift the blame. We are not looking at those events as a victim of the circumstances; we attempt to take inventory of the data that can help us plan for the future strategically.


We look at the past to not only make a list of what has happened but also to recognize our past and current thoughts and feelings. These emotions and beliefs may hold the key to who you are as a person. And, since you and only you will be the author of your future story, you can use these insights to nudge yourself in the direction of success.


What Questions To Ask About Your Past


To comprehend your past, start by asking yourself questions about

  • What have you enjoyed about your previous positions?

  • What sorts of things you were not so fond of?

  • What big decisions have you made in your career?

  • What or who has influenced you the most in your life?

  • What drives you? and

  • What holds you back?

Through these questions, you can identify and understand your strengths and weaknesses as a person and an employee. It reveals to you ways that you can build upon and showcase your strengths or ways to work around your weaknesses so that they will not hold you back in your future career.


How To Increase The Chances Of Success


Career changes are indeed hard, but with the right mindset, proper planning, and guidance they don't have to be.


We encourage you to avoid many common mistakes of professionals going through a career change and start working with a certified career coach to plan for your future.


Working with experienced coaches or mentors, especially those who have gone through career changes themselves will ensure a smooth transition and will give you peace of mind. We encourage you to work with a coach whom you can trust. Pick up the phone and talk to a few coaches to learn about their experiences, processes, and programs. Then, choose a coach that you can trust and a program that is better aligned with your expectations. We also, welcome you to book a free consultation with our certified coach to learn about our fully customized Career Path Discovery Bootcamp.


Follow Miriam on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more information.


 

Miriam Freeman, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Miriam is a Career-Mindset Strategist and a certified coach. With more than two decades of professional experience in critical and leadership roles in some of Canada’s largest corporations and has been a committee member of the board of directors for a leading organization in Toronto. Continual learning and personal development have always been core principles in her life and work. After graduating with an MBA, she pursued additional studies in Law, taxation, Positive Psychology, and Tiny Habits.


She has worked, lived, and studied in different countries, and learned to adapt to different cultures of the East and the West. Her life experiences in addition to her positive attitude helped her expand her appreciation for mindfulness, honesty, and focus on heart and mind at the same time.


Miriam helps her clients pivot their mindset, create winning habits, change their trajectory and build the career they desire while enjoying a meaningful life.

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