Am I too old to change career?

When we’re young we want to be older and when we’re old we want to be younger! There never seems to be a perfect age, especially when it comes to your career. There’s a common misconception that by a certain age you should have it sorted and be settled in your career. But what if you’re in a career that doesn’t fulfil or stretch you, or that makes you unhappy? It doesn’t matter what age you are, career change will be on your radar. So if at 30, 40 or 50 you’re worried that you may be too old to change career, think again.

Our age should not define us, and certainly has no bearing on your ability  to actually change career, or anything else in your life for that matter. Try these tips to break free from any age-limiting beliefs:

Who says ‘you’re too old’ to change career?

Is this belief yours or someone else’s? Are you letting yourself be influenced by other people’s prejudices or expectations? If your best friend told you that he or she was going to change their career, what would you say to them? It’s unlikely you’d say ‘what! you’re too old’.

Give yourself permission to follow what you feel is right for you regardless of your age. Some people are able to work out their career path at a young age, but for many it is a process of exploration and experimentation. And if this takes 10 or more years so be it.

How many years?

When do you want to retire? I’m guessing it’s age 65-70? Now minus your current age from your desired retirement age, and you’ll get the rest of your working life. This could be another 20 or 30 years. If your goal is to have a fulfilling and happy career then why, when you have that amount of time left to work, wouldn’t you change careers?

This can also help you to see that the investment and time in any retraining or studying will be short compared to the time in your new job. Don’t ask yourself ‘am I too old to change career at 30 or 40 or 50?’, instead ask yourself ‘How would I feel if I spend another 10 or 20 years doing a job I don’t love?’

Look for role models

Knowing other people, who may be the same age or older, have changed career successfully can be inspiring and reassuring. Find someone in your network who has done this and talk to them about their experience. If you don’t know anyone, check out LinkedIn and look at people’s career stories.

Many of my clients have changed career mid life or in later life. My oldest client was 60 when she changed career. Society is obsessed with youth. Youth is seen as being vigorous and full of potential, and so it can be hard to see career changers who are older and who are still fulfilling their potential.

There are celebrity role models who can help. Vera Wang didn’t start designing clothes until age 40. Harrison Ford was a cabinet maker for 15 years before  becoming an actor, almost by chance. Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at 50. Martha Stewart was a model and stockbroker before branching into gourmet cooking in  her thirties and then developing her lifestyle brand. Spanx founder Sara Blakely sold office supplies door to door before quitting at 30 to run her business full time. Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet was a sports journalist for several years before creating Mumsnet.

Challenge your beliefs

Do some hard thinking about your own beliefs about age, and be prepared to challenge your thinking. We collect beliefs through our life from many different sources, and they can form part of our identity so it may feel particularly challenging to let a belief go. Do some free writing to unearth your belief and then consider the truth of what you have discovered. Ask yourself  ‘What am I saying ‘no’ to by sticking with this belief?’ and ‘What am I saying ‘yes’ to if I change my belief?’

It won’t necessarily be easy to change how you feel about age and career change but working at it will give you the freedom and motivation to find a career that enables you to fulfill your potential at any stage in your life.

I firmly believe that age should not hold us back from finding and doing work that we love. As one of my clients said to me today ‘it’s never too late to start living the life you want to live’.

If you want help to start living the life you want to by having the career you want get in touch for a free clarity call or join my 10 day career change challenge. Be happy always - Am I too old to change career?

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Retraining For A Career Change. Is It Necessary?

Career change is complex and can throw up lots of questions, both practical and emotional. One of the most common is will I need retraining for a career change?

And of course, the answer is going to be complex too!

What is retraining for a career change?

This can vary hugely. It could be:

  • undertaking a degree or postgraduate qualification
  • taking short courses to update your technical or business skills
  • developing sector knowledge or skills for the role

How will I know what I need to do?

As you research your new career path, you’ll gather information to help you decide whether you need to retrain. It will be very straightforward for some careers, as you will need a qualification in order to practice, for example, becoming a midwife or a teacher. With others, it may feel less clear. For example, if you want to be a nutritionist you need a degree, but to become a nutritional therapist or coach you can do a shorter diploma.

And for other roles, there may be no specific requirement to complete any training before you change career. But you may feel you want to take a course to make you more marketable, boost your CV and demonstrate your commitment to your new career. Plus it can make you feel more confident in applying for jobs.

Where can I find out what retraining I need?

This is where your research comes in handy again. Job descriptions and person specifications will tell you what training and qualifications are essential and what is desirable. Plus, industry bodies and associations will provide guidance on what training and qualifications are needed.

Some employers will be more flexible than others about what is needed for the role. Talk to people in the industry.  You can often find them on LinkedIn, so be brave and contact them to chat about their career and what is needed. This will help you work out a retraining plan to make your career change successful.

How can I fund retraining?

The financial cost of retraining can be off-putting, but you don’t necessarily have to fund it yourself. There are various options to consider:

  • Career development loans
  • Adult learning and Higher Education grants
  • Self-funding – doing some financial planning to see if you can save enough to fund your courses, or whether you need to work part-time while you study.
  • Employer funding – explore whether your existing employer would fund specific courses or whether your potential new employer would be open to funding some training when you join. Always have a business plan to justify the expense and show where the return on investment will come in.
  • Returnships – some employers offer returnships to experienced professionals who have been on a career break which can include retraining as well as support with career change and confidence.
  • Apprenticeships – some careers may offer adult apprenticeships for people over 18. There is no upper age limit, and these can give you access an advanced level apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship.

Do your research and work out what you actually need to train in to have your dream career, and whether you have to do it before you change career. Make a retraining plan, work out how you can fund it and take the first step to your new career.

Need some help working it out or developing a ‘retraining for a career change’ plan? Get in touch to discover how career change coaching can support your first steps. Be happy always - Retraining For A Career Change. Is It Necessary?

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How to change career without changing companies

Ok, this is a tricky situation to be in, how do you change career without changing companies? You absolutely love the company you work for – the people are amazing, the culture has a great vibe and it ticks all your boxes in terms of the work it does. The problem is you hate the role you have there and a career change is definitely on the cards. But you don’t want to leave, it’s your dream company.

Maybe you’re a journalist who secretly wants to be a graphic designer,  or a web developer  who wants to be a buyer, whatever your secret passion, all is not lost! Flip things on their head and you can realise you have an advantage in making your career change a reality because you’re already an asset to your dream company. And here’s how to capitalise on that:

Find some champions

Talk to your current boss and/ or HR about what you want to do and ask for help to make it a reality. Companies would rather retain good staff if they can – it’s expensive to recruit, induct and train new people. Make a business case for a move – it’s much easier for management to say yes if there are good business reasons for the change, rather than personal drivers. Your boss will be able to give you a good steer on the possibility and advocate on your behalf to make it happen.

And talk to the person doing the job you want to do and/or their boss. Find out what the skills are you’d need to demonstrate, identify what you need to learn and  where you’d  need to excel. Consider role models in other companies – what do they do exceptionally well? Be inspired.

Work out the Gaps

Assess how much you need to learn or know in order to make the change, and build a plan to fill the gaps including qualifications (check out online courses you can do in your spare time). But don’t forget to recognise all your transferable skills too, and your current experience means you have a lot to offer, especially your company knowledge and relationships.

Be proactive

Volunteer to take on extra projects to get experience in the team you want to move to . This might mean having to work harder or longer in the short term but will be a chance for your new team  to see what you can offer.

Regularly check out the company jobs board and stay open to possibilities – it could be a sideways move into the new team can be the first step to getting the role you want .

Build your Reputation

It may take a while to make your change happen depending on vacancies so in the meantime manage your reputation. Become known for someone who is engaged and enthusiastic, is ‘on it’ and brings a positive impact to teams.

And start networking and identifying the people in the organisation you need to impress. These are the key decision makers who will help you reach your destination. This kind of strategic networking can lead to mentoring opportunities and position you well for the future. Remember jobs can be created for someone that has potential and that the organisation doesn’t want to lose.

Check if you can fast track

Research if your current company offers sabbaticals, as this could be a way to speed up your career change. You could use a 3 or 6 month sabbatical to retrain, upskill, volunteer and get the experience you need for the new career. Then when you return from your break you will be a great position to move teams as soon as an opportunity is there.

Be strategic, remember your current value and steer your career deliberately but with patience as ultimately this will be rewarding to both you and your dream company. It is possible to change your career without changing your company.

This post originally appeared in The Ambition Plan

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Are you having a mid life career crisis?

It’s completely normal to experience times when you question what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Often it can be around a milestone birthday or a particular life event – births, deaths or marriage can all make us question our choices in life so far. Listen to your inner voice – is it shouting ‘Is this it? Is this all there is? or ‘what am I doing with my life?’ This existential exploration can be described as a crisis, where we feel everything must change, or as a glitch where we need to tweak things a bit to get more satisfaction. The key is to turn either the crisis or the glitch into a career opportunity.

Questioning where you are is good!

If we didn’t check in every now and then with where we are heading, things can become stagnant, and your career can plateau. So don’t beat yourself up about the fact you are questioning your direction of travel, instead praise yourself for taking a moment to reflect on where you are and what you want.

To avoid rumination and overthinking ask yourself the following and write down the answers. Writing things down is a very positive way to manage your thoughts and keep things in perspective:

  • Where am I right now in my career – what’s working and what’s not so good anymore?
  • What are the 3 accomplishments that I am most proud of? (this is a good question to ask as it helps to get perspective and also spot your key strengths)
  • Where do I want to be – when you imagine yourself in the future what do you see?

Check in with your values

Your values are your compass and help you navigate your choices, both in life and career. What is important to you?

Your values are evident in the way you do things.  Values can range from a belief in hard work or punctuality to deeper principles such as self-reliance, concern for others or harmony with the environment. Consider autonomy, freedom, creativity, achievement, family, independence, security.

Being true to your values makes you authentic and helps you stand out from the crowd.  You become like a magnet, attracting people who hold similar values, whether they are employers, customers, colleagues or suppliers. If you feel like your career and your values are out of line then think about what it would take to address this? Is it salvageable or irredeemable?

The answers will reveal whether what you’re experiencing is a glitch or more of a crisis. This is important as it will determine the level of change you need to make – a full blown career change, a move to a new organisation or approaching your current job in a different way.

Turn it into a career opportunity

Having had time to reflect and examine your career, now you can plan what action you need to take to achieve your ideal career. It doesn’t matter whether you are considering a radical pivot or a shift in your existing career, you are going to be moving, changing or doing something differently. The certainty is is that nothing will stay exactly the same. And taking action will reduce anxiety over any change you need to make, and help you feel in control of your situation, rather than it controlling you. Of course, you may need to enlist some help here, either a coach or a trusted friend, or work through the following on your own:

  • What goal(s) am I setting myself for my career? – break these down into 3 year, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months and 1 month
  • Who can help me? Identify the key people who will support or assist you in achieving your goal
  • What are the first steps I need to take to begin?
  • What is the difference my changes will make to how I feel about my career? This is important to tap into your motivation ad understand what will drive you forward.

Your career matters – it gives you a sense of identity, purpose and confidence. Don’t underestimate the value of doing work that gives you meaning and satisfaction. It’s worth a period of introspection if the outcome is a deep feeling of fulfillment and joy in what you do!

If you feel stuck in your career crisis, get in touch for a FREE consultation on how you can move closer to achieving career happiness. Be happy always - Are you having a mid life career crisis?

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5 times where it’s ok to quit your job without another one lined up

Have you ever fantasised about just quitting your job? It can be very tempting but leaving a job without another one to go to is one of the hardest things to do. People will say you’re mad to leave a good job, but a good job isn’t always the right job. Sometimes resigning can be the only way to move forward. So when is it ok to leave without a job offer?

You’re so stressed you can’t think straight

The pressure of your job and your workload can be so big that you may feel you don’t have the time or the headspace to make a choice about what next. In fact you may feel you can’t even work out whether it’s your job making you unhappy or the stress that you’re carrying around. Staying means you risk burnout or might never leave because you just don’t have the energy to look for something else, let alone apply for it.

Leaving will give you time to take a break to recharge, maybe book a retreat to get some reflection time and work out what you really want from your career.

You seriously hate your job and/or your boss

When work makes you really unhappy it can affect both your confidence and self-belief, especially if your boss is unsupportive or you don’t get on. Make sure you’ve tried everything to make your current career work – build relationships, develop new skills and giving 100%. But if you know deep down you’re in the wrong job then feeling negative about your career can spill out into any job applications you’re making, decreasing your chance of success.

Leaving means you can channel all that energy and resourcefulness into finding something new. Before you go secure strong referees in your current company, start letting recruiters know you’re on the market, update your LinkedIn profile and get networking.

You’ve got a financial reserve and an idea

A good salary can become a golden cage and worrying about money is often what stops people from leaving a job they’re not happy in. But if you can save between 3-6 month of funds to cover your basic needs then you’ll have freedom to make your career change a reality, retrain, upskill or start your own business.

Set yourself a deadline for being in your next role, keep contacts and networks warm and design a job search plan. Having a  financial backup means all your focus can go into your new direction rather than worrying about how to cover your bills for the next month.

Your job makes you ill

Your health is too important to risk, and if you feel that your current company isn’t willing to change anything then you may have no option but to leave before it becomes worse.

If you feel too ill to go in to the office then see your GP and take some sick leave.  It’ s important to keep your morale high so reflect on what you did well and identify what support you need from your next role. Then update your CV and plan out your job search.

You’ve got a side hustle that’s ready to grow

You’ve been working 5-9 to develop your passion project, but now feel that your 9-5 job is getting in the way of your side hustle’s growth. Make sure you’ve got a robust business plan to check you’re being realistic about income and growth. Consider whether a portfolio career might suit you initially. You can mix freelance or consultancy with your business, and take some of the financial pressure off, while giving you flexibility to get your project truly off the ground.

If you really feel that you can’t carry on in your current career, then don’t hang around hoping things are going to get better, because they probably won’t. Make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to do once you’ve resigned so you’re clear about how to secure a new role or make your career change a reality, and how to support yourself financially and emotionally once you’ve left.

Need help with your plan to leave or your next move, get in touch for a FREE consultation.

This was originally published on The Ambition Plan Be happy always - 5 times where it’s ok to quit your job without another one lined up

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Are you looking for a sign to make a career decision?

When you’re struggling with an important career or life decision, you can wish for something or someone to give you a sign that tells you what you’re going to do is the right thing. Maybe it’s seeing a neon sign in a cafe that spells the word ‘change’, or maybe it’s hearing Oasis’ ‘Don’t look back in anger’ on the radio that reinforces your decision to quit and have no regrets. Now, this isn’t about handing over your autonomy and decision making to some higher power or going a bit ‘woo woo’, it’s about tapping into your intuition in a powerful way.

Intuition or your gut instinct is an innate tool but you have to use it effectively, and it often works best in conjunction with fact and detail. You know it as that compelling feeling that you have about whether something is right or not. You can’t explain it because your unconscious mind is guiding it. It can be triggered by messages or signs that resonate strongly. Critics may argue that you can give anything meaning if you want to, but sometimes we can let data rule our decision making and ignore our ‘self’ – our feeling about what is right.

Your conscious reasoning has its place. It allows you to approach a decision rationally and logically and is really helpful at avoiding making rash decisions when you’ve had another disastrous day at work. But it can also talk you out of trying something new by presenting all the pitfalls.  However, both approaches used together are valuable.

Looking for a sign and being able to interpret it can be useful in moving you forward in your career decision making especially when you feel stuck. Try the following approach and see if it works for you:

  • Choose a sign, be specific and choose something you wouldn’t normally see or experience. It can be visual or it could be a song or a number.
  • Give yourself a time frame within which you want to see the sign.
  • Be conscious, pay attention and open up all your senses to the possibility of seeing your sign.
  • When you get a sign or signs, do a check in with your conscious reasoning and see what happens.

I’d love to know about your experience of tuning into your intuition, and whether using signs works for you or if you would like some 1-2-1 coaching around your career decision making get in touch. Be happy always - Are you looking for a sign to make a career decision?

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Why you should take a risk and change career

Are you a risk avoider or a risk taker? In the search for career happiness, it’s an important trait to understand. Many clients I work with become paralysed when thinking about changing careers. Take Kate, a successful Account Director who was the epitome of corporate success.  She was well respected in her company, good at what she did, loved by her clients and on a great salary with perks and benefits. Kate, however, had a secret that she kept from her boss and her colleagues – she was really unhappy at work.

All her life she had climbed the career ladder, making compromises along the way to get to where she was, and now…. now she no longer wanted to do what she was doing. Having felt that she fell into her job after university and found that she was good at it, she hadn’t questioned the direction in which she was travelling. But now she felt trapped by her success because she was scared. Scared of change, scared of the financial implications such a change might mean and scared of what people would say if she gave up this successful career for something she didn’t yet know the name of. Most of all she was scared of what would happen if she did nothing.

Kate is not alone, academic research reveals people can take between one to two years before they make a career change. That is a long time to stay in a job you don’t enjoy.

What is holding back women like Kate from finding career happiness. It is likely to be one or all of the following:

Feeling too comfortable

If you’re good at your job and getting well paid, even though your heart might not be in what you do every day it’s easy to stay, to put up with things and just continue on the treadmill. However there is a long term cost to this approach and as your dreams of doing something that you are really engaged with get further away, you become more dissatisfied with your job which in turn leads to increased stress and decreased career confidence.

Loss of identity

Work gives us many things and one of these is a sense of identity. We define ourselves by our work – “I am a lawyer/doctor/teacher/senior manager….” This means when we think about changing what we do, particularly if we have invested a lot of working years or studying to obtain that identity it can be very daunting to think about giving it up.

Fear of making the wrong decision

Clients often say to me ‘what if the new career I choose is not right for me or is worse than what I do now?’  These thoughts can be paralysing because, without a crystal ball it is impossible to know the answer.

There are no certainties or guarantees when you change career but to find work that is meaningful and engages you, and that sparks passion and joy you have to be prepared to take a risk.

However, understanding how to manage and mitigate the risks is the key to moving forward:

  • Don’t rush in and just resign because you can’t bear it anymore
  • Do your research and work out what you love doing and what kind of careers might suit you. You can do this by yourself using online resources and books, or you might want to find a career coach to work with you to identify the best match for you.
  • Do some planning and manage the transition. If you are going to need some financial security while you retrain or get some different experiences then you can start saving now, or start investigating ways to get some volunteer experiences in your new career whilst you do your current job.
  • Find a supportive network. Friends and family can be a great resource to help keep you motivated whilst you are on this journey so enlist those that you trust and can help you feel positive about the change.
  • Stay positive. Research shows that you are more open to new experiences, the possibility of change and more likely to take action if you are in a positive frame of mind. Doing a simple exercise every day to find 3 things you are grateful for can increase your well being exponentially.

Anais Nin said “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to your courage” so above all, know in your heart that the risk, however scary it may seem, will be worth it.

This article was originally published in The Guardian, read it here. Be happy always - Why you should take a risk and change career

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What to do when you feel ‘stuck’ in your career

How long have you been in career paralysis? A week, a month, a year? However long it is, that sense of being ‘stuck’ or trapped in your current job can be overwhelming, and well, paralysing. But what to do? How can you move forward when you haven’t a clue about where you are heading?

Many of my clients start working with me from a place of ‘stuckness’ so firstly remind yourself you are not alone. Other people get stuck in their careers too. There are techniques that can move you on:

1. Stop trying to think yourself free

Acknowledge that the paralysis is just a feeling. A feeling triggered by your current situation at work. You hate your job but need to pay the bills, the risk of change is high and you don’t know what you want to do anyway so your only option is to stay. This can feel like the absolute and unequivocal truth of your situation. And when options are limited or non-existent then you can feel trapped. And feeling trapped means your natural stress response can be triggered. If you think of a rabbit in the headlights of a car, it often freezes because it can’t think of options due to the complete overwhelm of its senses, and so feeling stuck can cause you to freeze too. Then thinking about how to become unstuck causes overwhelm.

To clear your mind try and locate the feeling of stuckness in your body. Ask yourself where you feel stuck. Notice where it sits – is it in the tightness of your shoulders, or is it sitting in your stomach. Focus on the physical feeling, and work at relaxing it/letting it go. Use your breath to help. Focusing on the physicality will help free your mind to realise there are always options and choices.

2. Ask yourself this question

“What does my ideal work day look like in 3 years time?”

Answer in detail and consider:

  • how does my day start – am I doing yoga/meditation/exercise before breakfast, do I answer my emails while waiting for my high energy breakfast smoothie, what time do I get down to work?
  • what am I wearing to work – am I in a suit, jeans and a tee, something in between?
  • what is my favourite thing to work on?
  • who are my work colleagues?
  • what is my boss like? do I have one?
  • how often am I in the office?
  • what to I do after work?

Drilling down into the detail, and being specific about what your day could look like can help you refocus on a) what’s missing currently, and b) how can you start moving closer to the ideal.

3. Get some support

Don’t underestimate the power of others. A mentor, coach or a friend can help you make real progress, and avoid getting stuck in overwhelm again. Make a plan and ask them to keep you accountable in your changes.

Believe that change is possible and you can beat the overwhelm and the sensation of paralysis. If you need help then get in touch for a FREE consultation. Be happy always - What to do when you feel 'stuck' in your career

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10 steps for a successful Career Change

Is career change on your mind at the moment? Are you excited but also a bit nervous that you can actually pull it off? It’s big and complicated but it’s also what your heart and gut are telling you is the right thing to do. Based on my work with clients over the last 10 years, these 10 steps are the key to making your career change a success.

1. Embrace the Unknown

You know your current career inside out. You know what you’re going to do on a daily basis and what the future holds. Your change may currently be unknown, you may not even have named what it is. Not knowing can be scary BUT it is part of the process of moving to knowing. So dive in and live with the not knowing for a while, certain that what emerges will be more rewarding and satisfying than the present. How to stop doubting your career change.

2. Create a new Identity

You have probably invested quite a bit of time and money in your current career – training, qualifications and development. Perhaps your identity brings quite a bit of status – you may enjoy describing yourself as a ….. when you meet someone new. The people you love may also quite like your existing identify too. Your ties to it are strong, and it can feel hard to give it up. You have to believe that your new identity will be rewarding so make a list of all the benefits your new identity will bring you, and start to view yourself in a different way.

3. Know your Value

You’ve already accumulated a vast array of skills and experiences which will be useful in your new profession. Don’t feel like you are the equivalent of a brand new graduate because you are starting something new. You will be contributing a lot to your new employer and new career even if your specific competencies may be different. hold onto the value you bring and know your worth. this can allow you to fast track your self in your new career and will also increase your confidence during the change. And don’t let Imposter Syndrome kick in.

4. Turn anxiety into excitement

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel some anxiety about the change. The key is to not let the anxiety paralyse you and prevent you from taking action. The feeling of excitement is very close to the feeling of anxiety so you can reframe it to reflect an excited anticipation of something new rather than a fearful trepidation. You will need to work hard at doing this – click here for extra support.

5. Plan it

“Action conquers fear.” Break your change down into manageable steps with actions that drive you forward and it will appear more achievable and less daunting. Be realistic in your planning and look for someone who can help you stay accountable. Use the technique in Why you need a Road Map for your Career to structure your plans.

6. Plan your finances

A drop in income could be on the cards as a result of your career change, and this may put you off. Some planning around this in the early stages of your change thinking can be really helpful in not letting money become a blocker to your change. Review your current spending and outgoings and look for ways you can save money. Think about what is essential and what you can compromise on. If necessary, work out what you can save now in order to fund your change whether that is to retrain, cushion the initial salary drop or fund qualifications.

7.  Talk to people

Your network could be incredibly useful to your during your career change – some of them might end up being your cheerleaders and giving you moral support, and others may help open doors for you. Stay connected and keep talking to friends, family, colleagues and connections about what you are looking for and what your dream is – you’ll be surprised how many people will be keen to help.

8. Learn and grow

Take opportunities to upskill or gain new experiences that will help you move closer to your dream role. Think widely about what could help or what gaps you may need to fill. Perhaps taking on a Trustee role, doing some volunteering, taking a course, reading or work shadowing could help you feel more confident that you can make this change happen.

9. Don’t settle for less

Follow your dream and stay connected to why you are making this change, and what you want it to give you. Don’t take the easy route – make sure your decision is robust and that your new career will give you the meaning, enjoyment and happiness you are looking for.

10. No regrets

You won’t regret changing your career, but you will regret staying in a career you don’t enjoy. Live your life in the way you want to. Be happy always - 10 steps for a successful Career Change

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5 reasons to change careers

I bet you’ve been wondering for a while whether there is more to life than this. Knowing that what you do for a living at the moment just isn’t right. It doesn’t make you happy or give you a buzz, and let’s not even mention how you feel about it on a Monday morning!

But the thought of changing careers, of finding something that does excite you, brings you joy, makes your heart sing is kind of scary. Giving up on what you’ve built over the last few years, the perceived success, the value other people place on your profession for something unknown, well that would be mad, wouldn’t it?

Well no, it wouldn’t. Lots of people change careers, and according to the Financial Times, we should be planning for 5 possible careers in our lifetime. It can be done, so don’t feel guilty for wanting more, and enjoy exploring what could be.

Besides if you recognise one of the following scenarios then you definitely need to start taking action:

You fell into your current career

Early in your career, you may have taken a job because it seemed a good idea at the time, someone suggested it to you, it seemed prestigious or paid well. You may be actually very good at it. The thing is you didn’t choose it and you can’t see yourself doing it for the next 10 years.

In this situation, you may feel like you are trapped in a golden cage, where you are successful, well paid and don’t actively hate what you do, you just know it’s not right for you. Start daydreaming and imagining what your life might be like if you were doing something you were passionate about. Don’t push yourself for an answer just start to notice what you’re excited by and interested in. Read 5 ways to change career when you have no idea what you want to do.

 You’re really unhappy at work

You dread going into work, you feel stressed, overwhelmed, maybe even close to burnout. You don’t enjoy what you do, and you’ve been contemplating change for a while.

It’s hard to make changes effectively when your frame of mind is less than positive so it’s important to work out what the best options are for you when in this situation. Do you stay and become clearer about your change or do you leave now and focus your energy on finding something new. For help with this dilemma, read my blog on Deciding whether to stay or go.

Your profession is changing

You can see that your profession or industry has a lack of opportunities, maybe due to advances in technology or the economy. While you could stay and see what happens, being proactive and taking control now means you can plan your change at your pace rather than having it forced on you by redundancy.

Do some research, consider your transferable skills, and look at where people in your profession have moved to (LinkedIn is great for finding this out). Think about what training or qualifications you might need to move and how you can upskill while still in your existing role. Do some due diligence on the new industry you’re interested in to make sure it has longevity. Read my blog on being at a Career Crossroads for more tips on how to research a new career path.

Something has made you rethink where you’re going

Life events and milestones can make you rethink what you want from life. Maybe becoming a parent, losing a parent, experiencing illness or simply turning 30,40 or 50 can make you reconsider if your career path is still the right one.

Take your time and think through what you enjoy about your work and what you don’t, and how they balance out. It could mean a change in career or a change in the way you approach your existing career.

Your core values aren’t aligned with your current career

Your core values guide the way you live your life, and if your current career or industry don’t support or align with your values then this can result in internal conflict. Your values may include wanting to make a difference, being creative, developing expertise, having influence or autonomy and being independent. You will feel fulfilled if you are able to express your values and develop them in your job.

Be clear about your own core values and review whether they are being met in your current job, whether there is an opportunity to express them more, and if not then start researching what kind of work would allow you to express your top 3 values.

Changing careers will require commitment and motivation, and may take time to effect but the result will be rewarding. Imagine having a career that excites you, that you enjoy and that fits with your lifestyle and your core values. Now that is worth working hard to achieve!

For more support on changing careers, get in touch for a FREE clarity call or join my Career Change challenge. Be happy always - 5 reasons to change careers

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