Today employees are more likely to change their career path than any of the previous generations. There’s a lot of factors contributing to that – from curiosity and the desire to try out new jobs to the unstable labour market and the rapid development of previously non-existent occupations. According to research, we will change careers between three and seven times during our lifetime. Every career change has its challenges. Here are a few career change obstacles you should be prepared for and a few tips on how to overcome them.
Not Sure which Career to Pick
We’ve all been there – dissatisfied with our current job and desperate for a career change, yet unsure where to go next. Choosing the right professional path is a life-changing decision for every individual. Get it right and your life will improve overnight. Get it wrong and you are destined to fail. If you are having trouble picking the right career for yourself, consider hiring a career change coach. Career change coaches will use their expertise to help you create a reasonable list of career goals and an actionable plan that will help you achieve these goals.
Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the unknown is the number one reason why people fear changing jobs. Every new career carries a set of challenges and people aren’t sure whether they’ll manage to adapt. But just because you entered a new profession, it doesn’t mean that you are completely clueless about your new job. Make sure to do your research and find out exactly what your job is. Then find the similarities between your new and your old job. Soon you’ll realise that you have a set of skills that you can use at your new job as well. This will help you feel more confident in your new role and reduce the fear of the unknown.
The “Imposter Syndrome”
Though the imposter syndrome can happen at any job, job change is the most fertile ground for developing this pattern of behaviour. Imposter syndrome is a severe form of self-doubt where people doubt their achievements and fear that they will be exposed as frauds. Medical researches show that 70% of people suffer from imposter syndrome at least once in their career.
Luckily there are a few ways you can use to deal with your sudden lack of confidence. Write down the list of your achievements. This will help you see how valuable you can be to your new employer. Talk to former colleagues about how they feel about you and your skills. Read out loud your letters of recommendation and focus on your positive skills. This should help you feel more at ease about transferring to a new position.
Feeling Overwhelmed at Your New Job
When changing jobs, many people feel the pressure of making a huge break right away. However, it usually takes time to achieve success. The desire to get instant success can inspire people to take on more tasks than they can handle and end up feeling overwhelmed.
Researchers show that almost half of the working population suffer from burnout once in a while, which significantly affects both their health and their professional achievements. That’s why when changing careers it’s important to give yourself some time to succeed. Take some time to listen and learn from your colleagues. You will get there eventually.
Fitting into a new team is not an easy task. Many people are uncomfortable about talking to strangers and fitting in. To solve this problem you should start by having short work-related conversations once in a while and then move on to casual topics during the breaks. Little by little, you’ll find a new friend at work. Pretty soon you might end up meeting your colleagues for yoga or drinks after work.
Fear of Competition
We live in a very competitive world. When changing careers you will probably meet fierce competition from both recent graduates and experts in the field. But experience and skills aren’t everything. Show your new employer that you are highly motivated and willing to learn. If you are a quick and enthusiastic learner you will easily compensate for the lack of formal education and experience in the field. Also, remember that there’s competition wherever you go and that it is something you dealt with successfully at your previous job as well.
Changing a career is an important decision. It is demanding, stressful and time-consuming. But it’s a decision that most of us will have to make at one point in our lives. Make sure to prepare yourself for these career change obstacles and explore different ways of overcoming them with ease.