For most folks, their career change doesn’t arrive with that instant lightbulb moment of clarity.
Nancy wanted to have her own business. She set up an office cubicle. Then what? She wasn’t sure. Oh! She loved to organize things. So, she’d make a gazillion bucks on an organizational consulting business. Then what? She had no clue. Barry hated sales. He liked his industry. He told me he had no idea how to hone in on – let alone, navigate – that change.
While it’s nice to think things will hum along, I’m going to tell you what many don’t want to hear. It’s a step-by-step process. It includes icky words like “research” and “soul-searching” and “brainstorming”.
How committed are you?
On a scale of 1 to 4, (with 1 as strongly disagree and 4 strongly agree), rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements:
_____ If it’s going to take more than 30 days to make this change, that could be a problem.
_____ If I must think, never mind.
_____ I hate doing research and probably won’t do it.
_____ If I must use my imagination, not happening.
_____ If must think about my feelings, forget it.
_____ I don’t want to go out there and talk to people.
_____ I’m not great at making and keeping goals.
_____ It’s hard for me to go against the status quo and others’ requests.
If you scored between 24 and 32, ask yourself if you’re really committed. Honesty, you probably won’t do a comprehensive, strategic job of exploring career change. And that lowers the odds of your finding a new career that is meaningful and satisfying to you.
If you scored between 8 and 16, you’re realistic about what it’s going to take in the career transition:
- A realistic timeline.
- Input from other people.
- Going against the grain of what others say or what you’ve been told you “should” do.
- Facing your fears.
- Rolling up your sleeves with hard work.
- Willingness to set a goal and stick with it.
You can still begin!
You know exactly what you want to do next in your career. You haven’t a clue. It doesn’t matter. What does, is that your gut, inner voice – whatever you want to name it – is telling you to: 1) do something different (or at least investigate it). 2) do that thing you know you want; or 3) figure out what you do want.
Which are you?
_____ I know exactly what I want to do next. (Clear)
_____ I don’t have the slightest idea what I want to do next. (Oblivious)
_____ I’ve got some idea, but … (Vague)
If you identified yourself as “Oblivious,” you are like most folks who tell me they don’t know what they want next. A job search process will help you connect the dots.
If you identified yourself as “Vague,” a process helps you further clarify whether your ideas are a good fit.
If you’re “Clear,” a process is a good test to see if what you think you want is aligned with other realities. It can also help you expand the thoughts you have about your next career; and show you how to go about crystalizing your milestones to land in a new and happy fit.
Do you want more in your career? Do you think, “Is this all there is?” There is a process in job search that take you to where you want to be. Having a process is leg work. It’s hard. But it also gives you control and relieves a whole lot of stress.
You get to choose. Are you committed to beginning?
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