How to Navigate a Career Change into Your Dream Job

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Are you ready to navigate a career change into your dream job or are you still letting “I’m not good enough” or “what if I fail” hold you back?

To quote Dr. Seuss in Oh the Places You’ll Go, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Where are you steering your career?  Navigating change can be hard and so many times we allow our negative self-talk to stop us dead in our tracks or leave us playing small in a position we’ve out grown. There are many ways to get in the right mindset to prepare for something like a career change and I’m going to share one of those ways with you. Additionally, knowing your values and your unique super-powers will not only prepare you to navigate this change successfully into the career of your dreams, they will help you be happier in your work and more confident as you move forward. After reading this article, you will feel clarity and confident because you learned how to navigate a career change which will allow you to stop procrastinating and start planning your next move today.

Getting in the Right Mindset

You probably already know this and I think it is worth repeating. The narratives we tell ourselves (aka our self-talk) matters and it makes a huge difference in whether we navigate change well. Some of us dream of working for a different employer or climbing higher on the corporate ladder or even switching career paths altogether. Yet, we sit frozen day after day in the same position. Why?

I coach prominent women executives and rising women leaders. The self-talk narratives are always similar and fall along the lines of “I can’t apply for that job, because I’m not good enough” or “What if I don’t get selected” or “I’m afraid of failing”. Set that negative self-talk aside for a minute and focus on answering this question: What is one example where you grew and became a better person during change? This could be a change in your personal life, like going off to college and having to learn to budget your time and make decisions on your own for the first time. Perhaps you have a recent example in your work life of navigating change with Covid or adjusting to knew demands and expectations as a result of working remotely. 

Do you have that success in mind? Jot down a few notes to remind you of why you were so successful during that time of change. What did you do that helped you navigate that change? Keep those notes handy so that the next time your pesky self-talk tells you that you can’t apply because you aren’t good enough, you talk right back and tell yourself all the reasons why you are a success at navigating change.

Knowing Your Values

One of the questions I ask in the Vision Companion Workbook is what the values are of the organization you want to work for in five years. Why? Well, when we envision our future career and being happy and fulfilled, we often find ourselves in a workplace that aligns with our own values or compliments them well. When our values aren’t aligned, we don’t find it easy to get up and go to work every day.

According to Forbes, 81% of unhappy employees fake being happy at work. There are a lot of unhappy people behind those smiling faces you see every day. And those unhappy people admit to being unproductive for over an hour every day. How about you? Do you find yourself trying to “fake it ‘til you make it” when it comes to being happy at work? Have you drilled down into why that is? If you’re ready for a happy career life and don’t yet know your core values, it’s time to explore them. Your career satisfaction is riding on them.

Identifying Your Value

This is actually different from knowing your values. Identifying your value has everything to do with knowing your unique super-powers that you bring to the table that no one else has. Recently, I was coaching an executive client to help her prepare for a C-suite interview. I asked some questions about her unique skills. At first, she kept responding with, “I lead teams”. As I continued to probe and explore her unique value proposition, she finally burst out, “I’m the turnaround queen!” Yes, yes, she is, and her record tells the tale of the number of times she has transformed offices. We refined her script for her unique value statement to weave in all her unique skills and she ultimately landed the position. It’s often hard to see our own unique value. This is why having a coach can help you identify your value and refine your message.

Conclusion

In what direction are you steering your career? You get to fill your brain with inspiring thoughts about where your career could lead you, memories of your achievements, clarity about your values and the unique way you leverage your super-powers. Will you let yourself do so? When you’re ready, schedule a call with me to talk about how I can help you navigate a career change into your dream job.

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