Does “successful” career change mean I have to start all over??!!

What would “successful” career change look like for you?

Think it means throwing away everything familiar and starting all over in a whole new area? Not necessarily! That could be one path to getting there, but there are other paths, too.

My clients are often relieved to hear this because a huge overhaul feels too overwhelming given the complexity of their lives. And a much smaller tweak may be all that’s needed for them to feel much better about their work and themselves.

Before figuring out the path, we need to define what successful change gives you that you don’t have now. Clients come to me because they’re not happy / not fulfilled / not engaged in their work, or because they are looking to enter / re-enter the workforce.

A “successful” career change simply means … figuring out how to be happier, more fulfilled, or more engaged at work.

But we all know, that’s not so simple to do!

What’s the first step? If you’re currently employed, we would explore:

  • What’s working and what’s not?
  • What’s missing? What do you need that you don’t have now to feel better about your work? To have more recognition from your boss? To feel like you make a difference? To have more opportunities to advance? To have less conflict on the job?
  • What does a really good day look like? What keeps you up at night?

Whether you’re in the workforce or not – perhaps you recently finished school, or maybe you’re re-entering after caring for family members – we’ll explore:

  • What has interested you in the past?
  • What type of material do you find yourself reading? What podcasts or tv shows or movies are you drawn to?
  • What makes you angry? What makes you proud?

What are the paths? Once we see some clarity emerging, we can decide on the path to get there. These include:

  1. Starting all over in a completely new area, a business executive goes to work for a design-build firm, or a social worker becomes a medical technologist,
  2. Finding similar work but in a new organization, an accountant moves from one firm to another, or an IT manager moves from the corporate world to higher ed,
  3. Figuring out a new way to re-connect in one’s current role. Importantly, this is NOT giving up! It’s figuring out new ways to engage: perhaps it’s forging a more positive relationship with one’s manager, or defining one’s role to include more of what one enjoys doing, or figuring out how to deal with difficult colleagues.

So what is “successful” career change? No matter which path you choose, “success” means finding a career path or re-entry point that feels better than what you had before, and feels lined up with who you are.

How happy / fulfilled / engaged are you? Want to move that needle? Give me a call!

career coaching with Freda Marver

  Career, Life Change
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