3 Steps to Start A Big Career Change
December 11, 2017
3 Steps to Start A Big Career Change

By Allison Task

Are you unsatisfied or unhappy with your job? Of course you are, that's why you're reading this article.

Lots of people are unhappy about their jobs, or complain about their jobs (just ask their friends and family), but the way to fixing the problem seems elusive. There are lots of reasons for that, but the more important thing is to just get started. 

Here are the very initial steps to take to get out of that I-hate-my-job quicksand, and on to a better situation.

Step 1: Stop talking about why you hate your job. Really. Your current job is so...yesterday's news. You hate it, we know you hate it, and talking about how much you hate it isn't going to help you find a new one. In fact, this reinforces negative thinking patterns in your brain and just makes it even harder to pull out of the quicksand and onto what's next. Find a way to pull out of negative thought patterns, whether that's snapping a rubber band on your wrist (ouch!), or finding another distraction (chew gum), or think about a book or movie you really like. The goal here is to replace your negative thinking with something else.

Step 2: Envision a goal worth going for. This one is a lot of fun, and will literally help you relax your shoulders, put a smile on your face and flood your brain with positivity - all of which will help energize you and make this next thing a reality.  First, pick a date in the future - maybe 1 or 3 years from now, and imagine what could be. Maybe you're working in a vineyard in Sonoma. Maybe you're guiding cycling tours through Italy. Maybe you've got a successfully funded app company in this awesome industrial space downtown. Or maybe it's in a barn. I don't know...this is your vision, not mine. 

To create a successful vision, think it through and write it out. Use a pen and paper, computer screen or even talk into a voice recorder. Make it real...flush out the details of where you work, what you do, who you're working with. Visualize the office, the product you're working on, etc. Visualize your paycheck, even the name of the company. The more details you can put on it, the more tangible it becomes.

Step 3: Figure out your first next step. When setting a goal, there are milestones (big achievements - getting that advanced degree, scoring a job offer) and there are inch pebbles (incremental achievements like sending in that job application or applying to a degree program). In order to get to that goal worth going for (see above), you're going to have to move through lots and lots of steps along the way. This is where you start mapping out that plan. If you want to be a well-regarded painter, you'll need to book some shows to showcase your work. And to book those shows, you need art. So first: get your canvas, paints and brushes ready, and commit to making art.

If you want to be a teacher, and you're currently working retail, you might want to try volunteering or working with kids to make sure it's good for you. Do you want to pursue a master's degree? Some schools let you bypass this step, for others it's a necessity. Time to start the research and ask teachers you know (most people know a teacher, and if you don't, someone you know knows one) if you can volunteer in their classroom.

There you have it -- three steps that will start you moving toward your next (awesome) job. The first step isn't even a step. When you find yourself in that spiral zone and want to snap out of it (step 1), just pick up that description you wrote of that goal worth going for (step 2). And when you start to get super excited (and nervous, let's be honest) about going for that job you really want, make it bite size. I mean, you can't eat a whole pizza at once, but you can get there, one slice at a time. 

Start plotting little inch-pebbles to start moving toward that ambitious goal, step by step. And then commit to them, holding yourself accountable or partnering with a friend or coach who can help hold you accountable. Pebble by pebble, you'll move the mountain.

Allison Task is a career and life coach who helps clients move from insight to action. She has been coaching for more than 10 years, and sees local clients in her Montclair, NJ office and global clients virtually. She is a speaker, best-selling author and on-camera host. Contact Allison for a conversation to establish your goals, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. http://www.allisontask.com/  Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.


Posted by Staff at 10:03 AM