Tips for exploring a career change

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Like so many, when I first started thinking about a different career, the first thing I did was to scroll job sites searching for similar job titles to the one I already had. Searching for roles and responsibilities like my existing ones. I was hoping to find the answer there. I didn’t.

A theme coming up during this year is that people are re-evaluating all areas of life, including their career. They want to do something different but not sure what ‘different’ looks like.

As I did, people start their search by trawling job sites for their existing job title, in similar industries to the one they have decided is no longer right for them. This soon becomes frustrating, tedious and hope wanes when the ‘different’ job opportunities you find are all too similar to your current one.

Changing careers is a big deal if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In my experience, looking for clues outwardly is not the best place to start. Look within. Listen to your instinct. Take time to explore. Remember that it is a process. Remind yourself of what’s important to you. Stay curious.

Without fixating on the reasons why not to change careers, spend some time on these questions:

  • What are your values? What is important to you? When do you feel most at ease?

  • What do you love about your existing role (the work itself, the environment, the company)?

  • What is it specifically about your existing role that you do not enjoy?

  • What lifestyle do you want to create for yourself (your partner, your family)?

  • What are you passionate about? What fills you with joy? What would you do if money was no issue?

  • What are your strengths? What is unique about you? What do you do with ease that others find difficult? What do you get positive feedback about?

  • Who do you see and think ‘I would love to do what they do?’

  • In ten years time, what do you want to look back and see?

It is quite natural for your inner critic to pop up and give you hundreds of reasons why you shouldn’t / can’t do something different. For now, let yourself be immersed in all the reasons why you should!

Create your own ‘career change’ notebook and capture all the answers to these questions. This is exploration. This is part of the process of working it out.

Get in touch if you would like to start working through your fears to find your next career move.

Gemma Brown Coaching, Cambridge
Gemma Brown Coaching

Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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