Making a career change isn’t just about finding more money or greener pastures. Every job comes with a long list of pros and cons. This article will share a few tips to consider while you continue looking for your next landing place.
Last week, I shared the basic items to think about financially before making a career change. If this is your first time here, feel free to check out the article from last week before getting started. Come on back after you have read this article.
Scope of New Responsibilities:
Understanding what your boundaries are on your ideal level of commitment and responsibility at work can make all the difference when switching careers.
This is one of the big mistakes I personally have heard creep up after someone has been in their new job for a few months. It can be a slippery slope when starting a new career, and trying to get off to a good start can oftentimes lead to saying yes when presented with too many opportunities.
Vetting out the job and what you will be expected to do is a really crucial first step when switching careers. I have found with those I have worked with while making career changes in the past have seen this pitfall show up about 6 months into their new role.
While going through the interview process, be sure to get clear expectations on what you need to accomplish to perform well in your new role. Having clear boundaries of what it will take to be successful for the role you are being hired for will make it that much easier to know when you are going above and beyond your job title’s responsibility.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to go further, especially if you are looking to advance up the career track, but knowing you will be potentially overstretching your capacity will be a tremendous help in avoiding burnout or being under-compensated.
A couple of scenarios this is particularly common in are start-up companies with blurry job descriptions, or companies that are potentially being the target of a buyout. As companies change, so does the culture, and the responsibility you will be expected to assume. Rapidly growing start-ups are especially prone to this, and you may be unexpectedly placed in a management role as the team starts to grow.
Don’t overlook the little things:
As the old saying goes, it is the little things in life, right?
If your current job has lost appeal due to the little things adding up over the course of your tenure there, it probably isn’t just a little thing. You’re not alone, and it is perfectly natural to grow tired of the things you may have enjoyed at first.
Whether it is your supervisor showing up slightly late for meetings, accountability issues causing unnecessary friction, or even just those few extra minutes of a commute, these all have the ability to ruin what could be your next big thing.
If it is impacting your mood, effectiveness, or ability to enjoy your work each day, there is no issue too small. Focusing on these little things can be a great chance for personal growth, and also to set proper expectations with your new employer.
A small bump in the road isn’t going to break you down if you hit one on occasion, but the fewer bumps you have to experience or even have worry, the better. Identifying and getting these on paper is a huge push in the right direction for the long-term satisfaction of your work life.
This may even be something you can evaluate and realize a career change may not be for you. If the little things can be ironed out in your current role, you may be perfectly content where you are right now.
Avoiding Imposter Syndrome:
If you are taking the leap into an entirely new field of work, or maybe aiming for a position with the company of your dreams, don’t let imposter syndrome slow you down in your pursuit.
Before we dive into this one, it is perfectly normal to feel imposter syndrome, and most people will continue to feel it regardless of the amount of experience they have. There will ALWAYS be someone who knows more, who has done it longer, or is slightly ahead of you. Just remember the flip side, there will always be someone slightly behind you, too.
The best antidote for this is to pursue your new career with genuine curiosity, ask a lot of questions, and learn from the talent around you. This ties in well with the first point from my blog last week. Seek out the counsel of others as you get started, and get as much data as you can while you’re in the search phase of your career change.
Settling for something you are too comfortable with can lead to boredom, and boredom may cause some regret if there isn’t a clear path forward in your new career.
Looking back at the first point I made in this post, a great first step when being presented with opportunities would simply be asking someone to teach you more about it, before taking the responsibility of actually accomplishing whatever the task may be. This also will let you test it out to see if you will actually enjoy it before being stuck with it.
My final tip here is to not let perfect get in the way of good or great. This is a hard rule to live by at times, but it is really hard to learn without getting feedback… and feedback is impossible before you get started. Getting started is arguably your biggest roadblock with anything, new or old.
Turning uncertainty, into excitement:
I can’t stress this one enough… it isn’t going to go 100% to the plan you have laid out up to this point. The fewer expectations we have, the more enjoyable the ride is going to be.
Your biggest enemy on this journey (and really any journey in life) is impatience. Each year, I choose to focus on one word. Last year, it was patience, and wow… what a year 2020 was to learn about what it really means to be patient.
A quote (which apparently, I cannot find the source of as I write this) that really stuck with me last year was this:
“Patience is the manifestation of lowering your expectations. Pursue those things you would do even if it meant not receiving anything in return.”
What… a…. quote!
This was a game-changer for me, and I hope it can be for you as well when you get started in your new career. There were a couple of reasons this quote stuck with me, and I want to share what they were.
First, don’t expect anything. If we don’t expect or anticipate reaching a certain place at a certain time, it is a lot harder to get frustrated as the world changes around us. It also makes the journey much more enjoyable, because you will actually be looking at what is right in front of you, not what is 5+ years away from you. Patience is presence.
Secondly, if you are patient, you will never actually lose. There will be failures along the way, surely. But, rather than being a loss, they are just a destination on your pathway to the career of your dreams. I guarantee you will know more about your new career one year after getting started, how much more is all up to you, go get it!
If you are still unsure or have some fog in your journey to the next step of your career, I’d love to chat about it. You can schedule a free 30-minute call by clicking this link, where you can read more about how we can help you go through this transition.
See you next week,