Are you feeling like it might be time to hit the reset button on your career?
If you’re tired of the career path you are on and find yourself daydreaming all the time about a different career, it’s probably time for a career fresh start.
Change is inevitable. As we grow, we can’t help but have moments where the only way forward is to let go of something else. New jobs, promotions, or even added job responsibility all become defining moments in your career and represent a fresh start in many ways. But maybe you want to make a completely fresh start. Moving into a new industry, perhaps. Or even more significant, moving into a completely new profession. Whatever your career dreams, there is nothing more exciting than a fresh start!
But, deciding that you want a fresh start and actually achieving that are two different things. What can you do to make the transition easier? Here are some tips:
Know Your Values & Motivation
This might seem like a strange place to start, but the reasons that many people burn out in their careers are that their careers do not reflect their personal values and do not support the lifestyle they wish to lead. Knowing your core values is the first step and will help in the process of defining the career fresh start that you wish to make. For example, if one of your core values is all about environmental sustainability, you should look for a job, industry, or company that will support this rather than directly oppose it.
Your motivations are equally important. For example, you might think your motivation is to make more money. But when someone asks why, you respond if you had money, you wouldn’t have to work so hard, and you’d have more time with your kids. Now you’ve discovered what you actually want and what truly motivates you: time with your family. It probably wouldn’t be wise to choose a fresh start career that required you to travel 75% of the time no matter how high the salary is, because it would be in direct opposition to your real motivation.
Figure Out Your Career Fresh Start Goal
What do you want? On the surface, this question seems pretty easy. But, especially if your fresh start career goals involve any sort of profession or industry change, you need to be as specific as possible. Why? Because if you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Also, on a practical level, you will need to write a career change resume which is often one of the most challenging types of resumes to write. At just a glance, the employer will need to know that you are the perfect fit for the job they are hoping to fill. This means that your career change resume needs to be precisely focused and emphasize all your transferable skills that will be of value to the employer in your target profession.
The best way to be prepared for any situation is to face it practically. Taking a step back from the overwhelm of everything you will need to do to achieve your fresh start career goal so you can create a sound plan is smart. Having a plan in place will give you the recipe to follow and makes pivotal changes a little less scary. Be sure to break down the significant steps you will need to take into SMART goals and smaller action steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. A solid, practical career change plan will also give you a blueprint to refer back to when you find yourself lost in the midst of all the new.
Gather Your Support System
Very few people undergo major career changes entirely on their own. Great for those people that make it through, but do not let that be your default plan on this journey. Gather a support system around you. Professional resume writers to help you create the career change resume you need and career coaches to support you in developing and working your career fresh start plan can be invaluable. Rally the support of your friends and family too. Let these people know the change you are making and why and ask for their help or support along the way. Teamwork makes the dream work after all.
Keep What Worked
A career fresh start is an opportunity to start over. A fresh start can be your pathway to the realization of your fullest potential. But, just because you’re starting over doesn’t mean you have to let go of every aspect of your old career. Maybe you love the sales aspect of your current job responsibilities but are bored by the industry. This might be a sign that you should look for a sales job in an industry more in line with your core values. If there are positive aspects of your current career that served you well, by all means, pull those tools into the new.
Give Yourself Time
No major career change happens overnight. Neither does even a more minor transition from one stage of your career to the next. There’s going to be a process you’ll have to go through. Many times, this involves deep reflection, honing your vision and career change goals, mentally preparing yourself to let go, pursuing any pre-work steps that are necessary to qualify yourself for your new career, creating a job search plan, and then implementing. All of this takes time. Shortchanging yourself on any step will only prolong the process. More importantly, setting unrealistic expectations for yourself will cause letdowns and hurt your motivation to persevere. Be patient and give yourself time to achieve success.
Rewrite the Script
What are you telling yourself? No matter how well prepared you seem, if the little voice in your head is putting you down, telling you that you are doomed to fail and not worthy, you will. If you find this happening, it’s time to switch out the dialogue. Look for a positive spin on your inner dialogue. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and treat yourself the way you’d treat your best friend. In other words, if you wouldn’t say it to them, why are you telling it to yourself?
As exciting as the prospect of a career fresh start can be, changes can also be intimidating and scary. However, taking these seven steps before making the leap will help. Approaching a major change with practicality, a plan that precisely outlines your goal, and a support system in place can make all the difference. Not only the difference between succeeding or failing in your career fresh start, but in enjoying the process rather than slogging through the trenches only to give up when it becomes difficult.