How to make a career change
For many of us, a change in career will happen organically as roles gradually shift or we are offered an exciting new opportunity. But what about those of us who want a complete career overhaul, or who know only that they aren’t happy or fulfilled in their current profession? We hear what some experts have to say…
How can someone identify if they are unhappy in their career overall, or just their current role?
Emma Donaldson-Feilder, Occupational Psychologist, Director of Affinity Health at Work and Principal Coach at Career Psychologists: “When I work with people, one of the first things that I ask of them is to think about the values that are the most important to them in a work situation. The key is to then see whether these align with their industry. If they don’t, if there’s a mismatch, then it might be that they need to think about changing careers. If their values in general align with what they are doing in a professional capacity but they are still unhappy, then perhaps they just need to move to another company.’
What if someone is finding it hard to identify what their values are?
Nina Gunfeld, CEO of Life Clubs: “It’s about noticing what’s important to you and digging down deep to establish why. Say for example you love lying in bed. Ask yourself why, what’s important about that to you. Perhaps it’s that it’s peaceful. Why is feeling peaceful important to you? Do this enough times and you’ll discover your own core values, even if you didn’t know that you had any!’
Emma: “It’s about extracting rather than formulating. There are exercises that people can do to help with this, like looking at lists of values and instinctively picking which ones are most important to you. That’s a good start.
“It’s also important to think about your strengths. Too often we focus on what we’re not good at, but instead think about what motivates and energises you, and about situations when you’ve been at your best. Why was that, what made you thrive?”
What are the most common pitfalls and problems that people will encounter when changing career? How can someone overcome these?
Emma: “Making big changes is always going to feel intimidating and this will more often than not bring up uncomfortable feelings and emotions. The key is to remember that this is part of the process. You will get scared and may question what you are doing but this is normal; you can break the cycle by being aware of it and understanding that it doesn’t mean that you are doing the wrong thing.”
Nina: “A lack of confidence is what usually stops people in this situation. The best way to counter this is to set yourself a small task every day and really stick to it. It’s important to understand that this won’t happen overnight; it’s about baby steps. Changing careers is a big undertaking and it will take time, especially if you are starting from scratch and figuring out what you want to do. So slow down and really enjoy it!”
If you’re ready to make a change, search from thousands of roles on brightpeoplesolutions.my today.