Four Small Steps to Help You Change Jobs or Careers

Obstacles. Risk. Fear. Change.  These are some of the words that often apply to why we get held back from making positive and necessary changes in our lives. But most of these are things we simply believe. Are our beliefs always accurate or is it possible that at least some of what holds us back is more about self-limiting beliefs and less on actual facts? There is a big difference between the two and you really owe it to yourself to find out the truth before settling for anything less than happiness in your life.

Time seems to fly by faster and faster, and before we know it, a new year is upon us once again. Now, many people reflect about their lives and begin thinking about areas they might be able to make big changes in the New Year.

Do You Want a Different Job in the New Year?

One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to ‘get a better job’. And if that is one of yours, then clearly something is missing from your current job. Wouldn’t changing that be one of the most positive changes you can make in your life considering how much time you spend there?

I think many people in this situation would agree, but changing jobs (and especially careers) seems almost impossible to some when they weigh the perceived obstacles and risks against the benefits. But there comes a time when we really should step back and challenge our beliefs, especially if they are self-limiting. Beliefs are not facts. They are based upon what we might have been told or on our life experiences.

If you have some fears attached to changing jobs or careers, why not break that down and just take the time to discover what is holding you back and learning whether or not those items have merit? Why not make that process your New Year resolution instead? Otherwise, you will go on assuming your beliefs are true, you won’t take action, and therefore you will never allow yourself to embrace all of the possibilities opportunities that could be in front of you. You still have the option of staying put so there is nothing to lose but there is the possibility that you have everything to gain.

You don’t have to commit to changing jobs, you just need commit to research and learning about your options.

Assessing your Career Goals

Below is a good exercise that you can go through that will help you become more clear about your career goals and what it truly takes to meet them. Just take the time to evaluate and assess where you currently are and where you want to be. And then just see what happens from there.  Grab some paper and let’s get started:

1) Do I know exactly what I want to do, and am I doing it? If you know what you want to be doing (write that down) but you aren’t doing it, list all the reasons why that is the case (ex: can’t afford to take a pay cut, don’t have the skills, don’t have the experience, can’t afford to go back to school, don’t know how to make a career change, etc). If you don’t really know what you want to be doing then now really IS the time to help yourself with that question. Don’t stay in the dark. Consider taking a career assessment and then come back and do this exercise.  Always be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and talents when you are planning for your future.

2) Write down all the ways that life could be different if you just had your ideal job. Then write down the reasons why you want those things to be different.(ex: I would not have to dread going to work or live only for the weekends. And why do I want that to be different?  Because I want to wake up excited about my life and I want to come home in a good mood and not take my frustrations out on my family.)

3) Review and evaluate your answers. Look at what you want and then look over the reasons you believe you can’t attain it. Look at all the ways your life could be different and the reasons why you want it to be different. It’s a very powerful and motivating exercise to see, on paper, what your like could look like if you were just doing the things that made you the happiest.

4) Research, Learn, and Network. Research industries and careers that are of interest to you. Go to job boards and learn the requirements for the type of job you want and think about creative ways you might be able to meet them.  Do you really need a degree? How else can you gain knowledge? Remember, you don’t always need to meet all the requirements. Google ways to overcome your self limiting beliefs so you learn all the options that are there. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. Seek out and subscribe to industry/career related blogs. Comment on posts you find interesting and get to know the authors. Build your network. Add those people to your LinkedIn page. Join related LinkedIn or Facebook groups and read, ask questions, and participate. Build your knowledge and build your network. Set career goals for yourself in a realistic time frame and just start taking small action steps like this by researching, learning, and networking.

Knowledge is power and building your network can open doors you may have never thought possible. Maybe you feel you can’t change jobs now and maybe you will find that you are right. But this process can help you understand how to get there and even open doors up along the way – maybe not to ideal job but it may be a step closer. Take action. You owe it to yourself to live your life on your own terms and not by chance or circumstance.

Have a GREAT New Year! Make this the year that makes the difference!

Jessica Simko is a seasoned senior level Human Resources professional with over 15 years experience in all facets of Human Resources Management. She is a Career Coach and Consultant specializing in helping all levels of professionals create, build, and sustain a strong career brand. She strives to help connect people to their passions and to leverage their brands in their job search and in their careers. Utilizing the career branding model, she offers job search and career branding articles as well as a variety of coaching services at the Career Branding Guide.  Feel free to connect with her on:

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