Tips for Navigating Career Change

I thought it might be helpful to connect some of the dots that we covered at our April 3rd panel on navigating career change. While we had several entrepreneurs on the panel the themes are the same for anyone making career changes.
– Have a vision of what you want, or let a vision develop. Life tends to be a series of accidents, and often they are happy accidents, if you let them be. That means stay aware of what you’d like to have happen and then be open to when it does. Things rarely happen as we expect them to!
– FEAR: Making any kind of change – looking for a new job, making a step towards a change, calling a potential contact to let them know what you’re looking for – can bring up fear for anybody, and everybody. You just have to do it.
– Having a support network of some sort is important. They can encourage you when you’re down or scared, and they can connect you to others when you reach out. 99.9% of the time people are willing to be helpful. *Sometimes knowing what you want to ask for is hard – we didn’t discuss this last night very much, and I see that that was an important omission. This is where we have to get out of our way and let the ideas come forward. This is where it can be helpful to work with someone to get clarity and see what you do want. I recommend that you talk with people about what you specifically love to do if you don’t know the title of what it is you’re looking for. Just talking about what you are good at and enjoy doing helps others begin to connect the dots for and with you. We will be talking more about this at the Net(not)working? Event on May 7th and June 12th which will include how to talk about yourself, how to do research to find what you might want, and what recruiters really do and if they are a good resource for you.
– If you hold back on doing something you want to do you could be robbing people of something they need! If you see a need or an idea that nobody has done, do it! Your book idea, your project idea of your department or boss, your creative project of any kind could turn out to be something that takes your life in a whole new direction that you hadn’t anticipated. Let yourself hear what people encourage you to try. Of course you have to listen to your gut, but sometimes you can do so much more than you think you can – others often see our potential more than we do.
– If you are burned out and tired of working the way you are, take a stand for yourself and look for another way to live your life. There is another way. You do have a choice. The panelists you heard all struggle with balance. Everybody does. If you are working now, at a JOB or a career job that gobbles up all of your time and you want to change that you need to make a commitment to yourself to find some time to have different conversations with people, or to take some sort of ‘baby steps’ to have something change. Little steps get things moving and it’s important to recognize that these little steps can add up to big change. If you look too far ahead of you, you can become paralyzed. So look to the little things that can be done now.
– You don’t need a big fancy degree to do something that has an impact on the world and on your world. Your own creativity and willingness can make the impact that you choose to make – you can surprise yourself and others! Think of who needs what you have to give and take those baby steps to make it happen. If you need help from a professional or a friend to do what you want to do consider it an investment in you. You are your best, and first, resource.
– Get out and attend conferences or meetings where you can meet others like you to find ‘your people’. Yes, it means looking for those events and actually getting to them, but the reward can be huge – even if you only get to know one person, this can have a great net effect on your life, and on others’.
Clearly life is an adventure, or can be if we let it be, and while losing our ‘security’ can be scary, we can always find a way to make things work somehow when we just ‘do it’.