Dear Career Changer - This is What I’d Wished You’d Known About Career Change Before You Got Stuck in a Job That Consumed You.

You are the author of your own life and it’s never too late to rewrite your story. Realising that you’re on the wrong career path may be tough, however by adapting your mindset in these positive ways you’ll be ready to take the first bold steps towards your dream career:

Avoid endlessly delaying action with the hope that your feelings about your career might change. If you've been experiencing negative feelings for a while, the chances are your emotions will not reverse. Life is too short to be consumed by unfulfilling or unproductive work, with the enduring conflict, friction and frustration that slows you down each day. Why half-heartedly grind away your working life in an unsatisfying career when you could follow an alternative path that offers drive, fulfillment and accomplishment? Don’t live a life in constant doubt - change your career before it changes you.  
 
Separate your fears from your dreams.  By all means you can continue your “comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life, but you will be dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and your natural default setting.” (D.F. Wallace). You must confront your fear-driven energy before you can discover what you truly enjoy. Although social and financial factors will naturally impede the transition process, the bottom line is: is the money really worth it? Are you able to carry on struggling through each day, unable to be creative with how you enjoy your personal time or spend your money? Avoid compromising your dreams with fear of a dreadful outcomes that might never happen. 
 
Stuck in the sunk cost fallacy rut? We fall victim to this fallacy because we are emotionally invested in whatever money, time or other resources we have committed in the past.  Admitting to wasting years in the wrong career can be a sickening prospect; however merely basing decisions on sunk cost fallacy offers no happy alternatives either. Imagine the length of a metre ruler: in comparison to the length of your entire potential life span, the past few centimetres of your life that may have been dictated by an unfulfilling career prove to be an insignificant amount of time. Don’t sit back and watch an unsatisfying career rob any more of your precious time. 

Admitting you’re not on the right career track is hard – changing it is harder. However once you've recognised and accepted the change, you’re ready to manage it. By adapting your mind set in these positive ways you can take control of your career change:

Admitting you’re not on the right career track is hard – changing it is harder. However once you've recognised and accepted the change, you’re ready to manage it. By adapting your mind set in these positive ways you can take control of your career change:


Don’t suppress who you really are – live your own dream, not other peoples’. It’s easy to live a life based on expectations from family and peers in fear that you might let them down. To fulfill your own potential you must do what you love and avoid aspiring to someone else’s definition of success.  This is hard, very hard. Slow down, invest some time in yourself, think about who you really are and come to know what’s best for you.
 
Don’t be afraid of risk or failure. As humans one of our biggest impediments  to taking action when contemplating career change is the fear of the unknown. Clinging to a secure career option neither fulfills your potential nor brings happiness. Mistakes teach us important lessons and provide the opportunity for character development. The biggest mistake you can make is to do nothing. There is a real risk you will wake up in 20 years with agonising regret and a looming mid-life crisis. Explore how realistic these fears are (if you fail, your life will not be over) and develop strategies to overcome them. In time you’ll learn to ride feelings of uncertainty and fuel them into motivation for positive change. Action is a great antidote to fear, so find the right opportunity and be excited by the adventure. Thrive on new experiences and quit being a spectator on the lives of others. Taking a calculated risk could result in the happiest outcome of your life. Accept the challenge and embrace the change.

If you’re still reading this, I’m sure you want a career change. And now that all the preparation is underway, it’s time to pull your sleeves up and make it a reality:
 
 

Some new skills are much easier to develop than you think. It’s never too late to learn something new; in fact, once you’ve found a career that you’re passionate about you’ll be eager master an array of new skills. Thoroughly research your chosen field and know the skills and qualifications you need in preparation for your new career. It is crucial that you gain plenty of valuable work experience by undertaking internships or volunteering. With careful planning, perseverance, commitment to your end goal and support of family and friends, you can mould your existing skills and qualifications into the career that suits you best.
 
Be a social butterfly and network with those around you. Find support, reassurance and build your very own dream team by networking with those in your chosen field. Join related professional societies, attend networking events and develop new connections. This way you’ll hear about potential employment and training opportunities first hand and build new friendships with people possessing similar skills and interests.
 
Be a go-getter!  Say YES to everything you’re excited about or afraid of. Don’t wait for approval - go ahead and do it! As clichéd  as it might sound, be attuned to your natural instincts and follow your heart; go getters get what they want and never settle for anything less. Have confidence in everything, maintain a positive self-image, and never feel held back by any difficult challenge you may face. Set your goal, chase your dream and never look back - you are now in control.
 

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
— Nico Qubein

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