One thing that is consistent in the world of work today is that it is continually changing, and that change seems to be getting faster.
It is reckoned that someone joining the workforce today will have three or four different careers, either through choice or because of changes to their organisation or industry. When I started work, had I ever considered the question (which I’m fairly sure I didn’t back then), I probably would have expected to be a cartographer for the whole of my working life, probably with the same government department.
Are you an exception?
So, I’m an exception compared with many of my generation in that I’m on my third career. I loved cartography although I wouldn’t say I had a passion for it. I enjoyed computer systems development: the money was good, the people were nice, the work was fine, but there was something missing. Career Coaching on the other hand - I love it! I have a passion for it, and I can’t think of a better career for me. So what about you?
It's all about what’s right for you.
There’s nothing wrong with either, by-the-way. This is NOT about judging one thing as better than another. After all, it’s all about what is right for you. I have met plenty of people who are very happy in their career and some have been working for the same organisation for many years. Sometimes their whole working life, and they’ve progressed, evolved, loved it all.
But I’ve also worked with many people who are not happy in their career, but think that because that is what they have always done, they can’t do anything else.
Does any of that resonate with you?
Would you desperately like to change career, or at least explore the possibility?
So, if there is any aspect of your career that you are unhappy with, you owe it to yourself, and those around you, to at least explore the possibility of finding something that makes you totally happy.
I’m going to give you five key reasons, relating to the excuses above, why it is never too late to change your career, and then a bonus tip to tell you how to change career without actually changing your role or organisation.
I promised a final tip on how to change careers without changing the name on the top of your pay slip. Sometimes changing career is about changing your mindset and attitude towards your career, not about changing your organisation or even your job.
Sometimes when you work through my W-H-O model and really understand what an ideal job is for you, you realise that it’s actually the one you’re in at the moment and it’s just that you need to look at things a bit differently and maybe make a few tweaks.
For example, I worked with a lady a couple of years ago who was mid-career with some leadership responsibility in the IT industry. The start point for our work together was “I hate my job and I need to leave”. Six sessions later she had all the skills to manage her career and move job or even change career whenever she wanted. But, as she said to me, “I’ve realised that I’m in just the right place now and probably for the next couple of years”.
Another lady I worked with just last year was in an administrator role in the legal world. Her start point was that she was unhappy, felt that there was something more, but wasn’t sure exactly what that was, even though she had a few ideas. We explored those options and others which included her gaining the skills to manage and change her career and even become self-employed if she wanted.
Again, after six sessions (I’m just realising, maybe that’s the magic number), she’d come to the decision that where she is right now is the right place to be because of family and other reasons. But, she has a plan for a career move that she’s already working towards so that in a couple of years when her children are a bit older she’ll be ready to make the career change.
Both these two ladies have changed their career from something they disliked to something they like, just by gaining the skills to manage their career effectively and by changing their mindset around work.
Next Steps - Practical Resources:
Wishing you success in your career.
Top practical tips and inspiration for your career - arriving straight into your inbox.