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4 Ways To Explore A Career Change

Steven Losardo, LMFT

In a recent article, Carucci, Clark, & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2022 highlight that more than half of all Americans are considering a job change. In part, they desire flexibility and employers that care about their concerns. Some of the population have clarity about what they do or do not want to do next in their careers. But what do you do if you do not have a clue? The good news is while the reasons may be new for changing jobs, the challenges to pull it off are the same as prior to Covid19. 

This blog will view some considerations if you are uncertain of what is best next for your career.

  1. Let ambiguity adapt you. It can be challenging to allow ambiguity and the unknown to hold space when thinking about a career change. This can be an exciting time to lean into finding your meaning and purpose as a person. Work can look very different when we stop and take stock of who we are, what is important to us, and what we are passionate about. No longer are you complacent in your work; you don’t have to fear the future; you can become invested in your work while building space for living out your purpose. Carucci et al., 2022 state that questioning your career and seeking what is indeed a good fit could be a considerable advantage in a career change.
  2. Broaden your horizons. There may be an instinct to have a scarcity mindset about changing our careers. If there is an urgency to finding a new career or a new job, there could be an internal push to take the first thing that seems like a decent fit. It is essential to build criteria for how we will choose our next step in the career of our choosing. This requires a reflective and growing stage. When there is confidence in our skills, curiosity in how we can grow, and openness to leaving our comfort zones, we can really see all the options before us, and that is how we will determine the best fit for our futures (Carucci et al., 2022; Buford, 2009; Stanley, 2008)
  3. Review and look for new opportunities. When it’s time to pull out your resume and find a new place to build, compile a list of all of you have to offer. Not just work experience, but training, education, and skills. Carucci et al., 2022 calls this list your “portfolio of competencies” and write that reflecting on times and situations when your best and most satisfying work was occurring is a great way to begin the process of thinking outside of your current career. Take your list of experiences and look at places that can be rounded out to open up new doors. There are always spaces in our education, training, or careers that offer flexibility. Maybe when you were first on your career path, you chose to take your skills and grow them in one way, but now you can take those same key elements and take them in a whole new direction. 
  4. Sit with the discomfort. We seek meaning and purpose to find the reasoning in the world. This can be frustrating and rewarding in equal parts and requires that we face the discomfort of not having all of the answers. The tough in between is important, and finding what is truly essential in our lives causes anxiety (Carucci et al., 2022). We need this information to make an informed and unambiguous decision about the best route to take and how best to spend our energy. Taking the time to search for the right thing will benefit your life in ways that we often can’t imagine during the uncertainty of the process. Time affluence is one of the main benefits of creating a new career out of thoughtful and well-planned choices (Carucci et al., 2022; Buford, 2009; Stanley, 2008).

When evaluating a career change, emotions may become uncomfortable, stress may skyrocket, and uncertainty will be painful. Being able to take a step back from who you are and your work can be pivotal in finding a career that balances work and life. Caucci et al., 2022 say that embracing uncertainty allows you to discover “clues to possibilities.” To put it simply, we are all looking for the work and life equation that works best for each of us individually. We are looking to know and understand ourselves through our work just as we are in our personal lives. There may be some reckoning in the realization that what we have been doing in our career is not enhancing our lives or, worse, is negatively impacting other aspects of our lives and relationships. While all journeys may be different, reflecting, evaluating, changing our perceptions, and building ourselves professionally are steps we can take to grow a new career once we embrace the ambiguity of the in-between stages.

References

Buford, B. (2008). Halftime. Zondervan.

Carucci, T., Clark, D., Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2022).  “The upside of feeling uncertain about

your career.” Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2022/01/the-upside-of-feeling-uncertain-about-youcaree?utm_medium=social&utm_sourceinstagram&utm_campaign=have2haveit on January 7, 2022.

Stanley, A. (2011). The Principle of the Path: How to get from where you are to where you want

to be. Thomas Nelson.

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