How to Work Up the Stress to Change Career Path
“Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…Let me see what spring is like on a-Jupiter and Mars”.
Over our lifetime, we learn the importance of pursuing a career in a field we are interested in. While it is expected that many people at a certain point of their lives will switch careers, it is still a challenging process that comes with uncertainty, fear, stress, stigma and doubts.
Although individuals might be unhappy at their current workplace environments, they still remain in their positions, either of the fear that they are too old to make a change, will disappoint significant others or for the status of their job, the reputation of the organization, the salary or other benefits and the bias of the time and the energy they wasted.
It definitely needs tons of courage, confidence, and competence to do the next step. Unfortunately, most of the people will make the change when they will be desperately unhappy or they cannot run away anymore from their daily desperate voice of “one more day at work”...
How can you reduce this stress and uncertainty and make the next big step?
1. Build your competence and gain your confidence.
As a general rule you need confidence to go out of your comfort zone. However, it is not always the case. When you are stressed or unsure, you are less confident. Confidence can be a charisma or gained through practice throughout the years. If you do not have this genuine charisma you need to gain it. Believing in yourself is a difficult journey, however, if you start working on your competencies, abilities, knowledge and skills, you will create a solid ground to gain and/or regain your confidence. If you want to be in a new field, then read, observe, collect information, find a mentor, set clear goals on what you would like to achieve, identify your current strengths, and look for opportunities in your daily environment. Finding the confidence to move on is achievable. At the end of the day, you work for yourself, to improve yourself, to make happy yourself!
2. STOP looking constantly the job descriptions.
You need to have 10+ years of experience on … You have to be fluent in…. You need to have a proven track- record of… Tailor your CV… Be more specific… Although it is good to have an idea of the skills and the experience you need to have for your next career step, however, it seems that this kind of job description will make you feel inadequate! Honestly speaking, if you had 10 years’ experience on something, why would you want to move on? If it is just for the general working environment and not the work per se, then it is fine! Change means do something different and bring some fresh air into your life. Doing something different doesn’t always mean having the experience, but also the passion and the enthusiasm to learn. We all know that when we do something with a reckless enthusiasm, we will always thrive or at least we will have the satisfaction of trying. Let your excitement and desire to change career path to be a great fuel to convince recruiters. Do not forget recruiters are just people who were also in your position once… Be honest and clear on what you can offer and let your enthusiasm be your support!
3. Be Mindful and Meditate.
Although I believe that meditation is not for everyone, there is a considerable research of the impact of meditation on our stress level. Meditation is nothing else than listening and understand your mind. Prepare yourself for the next step by calming it down. Use meditation to focus on the outcomes of your action. You will change your career path because you want it, or you feel it, or you desire it and this step will have a great impact on your personal and professional level. If meditation doesn’t work for you, find alternative ways to release your stress. Exercise, volunteer, walk, write, talk and express how you feel, or put a pause of 10 minutes starring the ceiling!
4. Acknowledge your next step and stop the “what if…”.
It is easy to dream and say “what if” than taking action. Taking action requires double energy and is much easier to stay secure in your insecurity than stepping out your comfort zone. However, only if you acknowledge the things you’ve always wanted to do, you can actually stop thinking the “what if” and start identifying the tools and the resources that will help you move on. Acknowledging means sit down and name my thoughts. It means to create a road-map on how to go there. Sit down, write out your goal and bring your dreams into the reality. Think about it, plan it, work for it, talk about it and make it happen!
5. Forget the time.
1 year has 365 days and 31.536.000 seconds. Imagine you will live for 80 years, this will be calculated to 29.200 dates and 2.522.880.000 seconds. Now, start calculating how many seconds you have spent on something that is not fulfilling you anymore and how much time is actually left with the things that will make you happy. You might have calculated 10 years or 3650 days or 31.536.0000 on something you do not like in comparison to 20 or 30 years on something you like and the opposite. Quite impressive right? Being biased that just because you invested 10 years of your life in one position will keep you away from 20 or 30 years of what you actually would make you happy, is just inaccurate! You can’t get the years you’ve spent back: and certainly by continuing you will waste more. You cannot ignore the past, but you can think your present and act for your future. Time is just a number and countless examples show us that is never late!
“We were never meant to worry … The way that people do… And I don't need to hurry… We'll take it nice and easy… And use my simple plan… I'm glad that we are different…We've better things to do…..”