Feeling stuck in any aspect of life is frustrating and draining. This is especially true of our professional careers where we all eventually come to a point when we need to re-evaluate and decide whether we’ll embrace the change or keep resisting it. However, change is an inevitable part of life and the only way we can learn and grow. Most people fear change and prefer to stay in their comfort zone, possibly wasting their potential. But it’s those life-changing experiences and a leap of faith that help us overcome our fears and shift focus from anxiety about the future to possibilities in the present.
Obviously, in time, we all change and what mattered to us in our 20s is certainly different than what matters to us in our 30s, 40s and 50s. Constant change is what gives life meaning, but when a person is at the brink of a career change, it can be scary and overwhelming.
The best way to go about this change and search for something new is to take it step by step, so here are some guidelines to help you manage it.
Be honest with yourself
The most important question to ask yourself at the beginning of this journey is what is really important to you, where you see yourself working with satisfaction and what are the specific criteria a new job choice should meet. Coming up with these answers will lay down the foundations of your search. So, make sure you tick off most of the criteria from your list and be honest about your pros and cons. Balance out what you’re giving up and what you’re going into as you move forward, so you can have a clear perspective. Also, remind yourself not to take anything for granted since even the little things matter in the end.
Networking is one of the important steps to take in your job search. Reach out to people who already do the job you want and find out as much as you can about the nature, challenges and demands of work. Everybody knows somebody so you’ll be able to expand your circle and make sure you get to know the right people and be at the right place and at the right time. Connect with alumni from your region, especially the ones from your industry or in the one you wish to transfer to. This is a very solid approach as you probably share common interests, hobbies and values, so you’ll easily establish the connection.
All these connections will allow you to keep up with current events so make an effort to attend as many as you can, such as meetings, conventions, conferences and charities. You’ll be able to meet a lot of people there and maybe arrange valuable follow-up meetings.
Another effective way to connect with the right people is to be a part of the LinkedIn community. Identify your target market based on your industry, skills, education and interests and connect with similar people. The same goes if you’re looking for a complete change in your field of work. For example, if you’re targeting the insurance industry and you’re interested in NZ insurance jobs, aim to connect with managers and HR departments in this industry.
Venturing into a new industry means you’ll have to be prepared to put in extra time and effort, be open to learning new things and expanding your horizons. It may turn out that much of your existing knowledge and skills are transferable, so you’ll be able to move forward faster and build up your career.
However, bear in mind that changes take time and things don’t happen overnight. Give yourself time to adapt to the transition, be patient and avoid jumping to pessimistic conclusions.
Ask for help
If you have any doubts or insecurities, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s useful and reassuring to talk to a person you can trust. You can find support through your family, friends, mentors or career coaches. Career advisors, in particular, can help by answering your questions and clearing all doubts and fears you might have about switching industries and starting anew.
Finally, don’t be afraid of the unknown. Conquering your fears is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. Do your best to be adaptable, have a positive mindset, embrace the change and take that leap of faith. Trust your strength and abilities and keep pushing forward.