It would be all too simple (and nice) if you could simply decide to change jobs and it just happened. But it doesn’t.
You know where you are is no longer right, but you aren’t really closer to something else. Why? Because you haven’t taken the actions. And why is this? Because deep down you are afraid, unclear or a whole range of uneasy emotions in between. At the core of all of this are your current thoughts. They are the real driver of everything that is (or isn’t) happening.
So let me focus here on those thoughts, which are in essence opinions, beliefs, impressions. They are made up by your brain, whose main goal is to keep you safe – rather than thriving (sadly). I want to list all the main beliefs women like you have when it comes to changing their career direction. You might recognise some of those thoughts and start questioning them, looking at them differently.
Why bother you with the chatter that is already going on in your head? Because it isn’t true most of the time. I want to show you how, hoping that in turn it will shift or dissolve a thought you are having that is keeping you away from a much better next step. Are you with me? Here are the common beliefs when looking at changing your job situation:
- ‘I need to go back to study, and I can’t afford it right now’ : have you actually researched the need to study? Asked people in the field how critical the degree is? Can you study whilst working? If studies are necessary, have you researched funding options? This belief often tucks under its wing the story that you don’t know enough about that field to deserve to work in it. This can be answered by looking at how much exposure or experience you’ve had. Sometimes you have that experience in a non-paid work context so you discard it. Or you think it isn’t enough. Where is the exact point where you have enoughexperience? Where is the marker of experience? Who decides on this?
- ‘I will do it when <insert circumstances>’. When my kids are at school, my partner gets a new job, my colleague is ready to launch with me, I have my visa, or I have saved X dollars. When I have relocated/renovated, have a website/degree/job title, when I have sold my shares, or received my bonus. What is your excuse, your reason for doing it later? Whilst capacity is an important factor, readiness is a different question. How do other people or events make you more ready? Is it actually easier when kids are at school? It depends on the kids, the school, where you live etc. You don’t know what your life will be then. So why make a decision now based on assumptions? There will always be circumstances in your life. You are only pushing the goal post. And it’s not intrinsically preventing you from taking some action now.
- ‘I have been at my job so long, it will be hard to shift’. You think you forgot how to sell yourself, that your longevity might be a burden or a bad sign. You doubt that you can adjust to a different environment, culture and pace easily. Losing all your current work relationships is a scary thing. How much does the longevity has to do with the ease of change? Do you know people who changed jobs really quickly and found it hard? Or are you using the longevity as an excuse to hide under just a little longer, because the unfamiliarity creates discomfort? Accept the discomfort and move on, before it gets even longer and you are forced to shift. It’s the decision that is hard when you have been somewhere long. Not the longevity itself.
- ‘I don’t know what I want to do’. This is a big one. I will offer that 99% of the time you do know deep down. But you are not letting yourself think about it. Because you have already made a judgment about it and squashed it down before it could properly come to your logical brain. You already think it won’t work, or fear others’ reaction that it disappears as quickly as it came. The question becomes: ‘if you knew, or if you could do anything you want without anybody watching, what would you do?’. Ponder that one instead.
- ‘This is selfish’.The guilt of putting yourself first. ‘I can’t’, because others need me, or have to come first. Or that it’s not OK to prioritise your own needs. Why is selfish bad? Does selfish mean you become rude or completely ignorant of others? It just means you focus on yourself at times. Selfish means honouring yourself, your talents, your calling and ultimately your heart. Who else will do this for you? So selfish is good, beneficial even.
- ‘I don’t deserve a perfect job’. So at what point would you be deserving? What do you still need to do or gain in order to feel worthy? Do some people deserve it, whilst others don’t? What makes the difference? You deserve it because you are a human being, full stop. Like any other person around you. If you don’t believe it, you are taking that chance away from you, whilst someone next to you will take it. The difference is that they decided they were worth it. Consider this innate. If you are looking for an external proof of worthiness, it will not come.
- ‘I don’t know where to start’. Even if this can actually be true, why is that a reason for doing nothing? Don’t most people figure things out as they go? And does it actually matter if what you start with isn’t right? You can always try something else. Is there a perfect manual with the steps to follow? Why is messy not OK? If you don’t know, then start with anything. Action brings clarity. Not the other way around.
I will stop here because your eyes have probably read enough. But I hope the above examples can assist you in your current thinking, or trigger some further reflection into what is really stopping you. Whatever those thoughts are, they are skewed and mostly inaccurate. And because they aren’t true, they are optional. Meaning you can get rid of them. So once you’ve reviewed your thoughts, watch how you are feel instead and take the very first action that pops into your mind. Let me know how it goes!
This blog was first published by Cecile Fery.
About Cecile Fery
Cecile Fery believes women don’t have to choose between professional and personal happiness.
She helps women at mid-career who are ready for a shift in their work life. They want to spend their time in a more fulfilling role, and in a way that works with the rest of their lifestyle. Cecile is passionate about helping them being the best version of themselves by leveraging their mindset, personal confidence and their strengths.