If you are currently thinking about changing your career then you are not alone, almost half of all UK workers say they would like to switch careers. A report produced by the London School of Business and Finance confirmed that 47% of workers surveyed want to change career, with 21% wanting to change in the next 12 months. The driving forces for change were better work life balance and improved job satisfaction.
But what if you want to change but self-doubt is holding you back. Fear of failure was cited as a reason many people hadn’t yet made the change. Let’s face it fear can be paralysing, so here’s how to beat it:
Work out what’s holding you back
Self-doubt is complex, crippling and often has roots in early life experiences. It’s important to understand the beliefs you hold about yourself that are holding you back. When you were younger what messages did you receive from your parents, from school and from society about what was possible? Did those messages expand or contract your dreams? Did they leave you thinking ‘Am I good enough? Am I worth it?’
The thing with the beliefs we hold about ourselves is that they most likely have no foundation but we have chosen to give them power. We actively look for evidence to support them. However, you can choose to call out your belief in relation to your career change and to start to change it. Look for evidence to counter the limiting belief and start to build a belief that you are capable of making the change and being successful.
Become the Director of your Future
When we are scared of something we can create a movie in our head depicting all the things that could go wrong, and it can become a career change horror movie! It’s important not to let your ‘inner critic’ call the shots. Remember, you are the Director of this movie. That means you can rewrite the script and edit the content at any time.
Create a new story in your head that allows you to imagine a positive outcome where your change goes well, leads to exciting opportunities and where you are feeling happy and fulfilled in your job. Play this movie in your head daily to ‘rewire’ how you feel when you think about change, and dump the old negative movie – don’t be tempted to watch it.
Find a Role Model
Find other people who have changed careers, even if it’s in a different field to you. Knowing that other people have successfully made a switch can help you believe that you can do it too. Talk to them about their change and review what you can learn from their experience both negative and positive. Knowing what obstacles you might have to overcome can help you anticipate and prepare for them. By arming yourself with knowledge you can combat doubts – check out what else you might need to know to change career.
If you don’t know any roles models to speak to then find career confident people to study – research how they have achieved what they have – observe how they behave, the way they talk, notice their characteristics – what can you learn from them?
Find some Cheerleaders
Surrounding yourself with positive people who support what you are trying to do can make a huge difference to both your motivation and your success. They can act as a sounding board or as a buddy to help you stay focused and on track. Choose wisely though as some friends and family may not be supportive of what you want to do. Their negative vibes can bring you down and make you question yourself. Worrying what other people think can feed self-doubt and stop you making progress. Make sure your cheerleaders are people you trust and have positive energy.
Make a Plan
‘Action conquers fear’ – This anonymous quotes sums it up. The best way to counter your fear is to do something! And that’s where your planning skills come in. You know what you want to achieve and having visualised your success through your ‘career movie’ you now need to document the steps. Dividing it into easily managed chunks within a plan can help avoid procrastination and make you feel positive about what you need to do.
Your plan may include things like getting experience in some key areas through volunteering for projects, attending training courses in a specific area or doing some self-study, making connections through networking internally or externally, writing your CV, working on self-promotion and talking about yourself positively. While some of these may still feel scary, by breaking them down you can focus on one area at a time so it is less overwhelming, and you can ask for support and help when you need it.
So take control and don’t let fear or self-doubt prevent you from having the career of your dreams. Build your confidence by taking action, working on your limiting beliefs and surrounding yourself with positivity. Make your career change happen.
This article was originally written for CV Library
Photo courtesy of Kaboompics.com
Join my FREE 10 day Career Change challenge
If you're unhappy in your career or at a crossroads but feel stuck, take part in my CHALLENGE to move closer to a career you can love.