One of the scariest decisions you may ever make is deciding to switch careers.
For many, the thought of walking away from the safety and security of their job prevents them from pursuing their true passion in life. For others, feelings of self doubt and uncertainty have kept them from making the leap.
While changing careers can be big and scary, there are steps you can take, such as setting clear goals, shifting your mindset, choosing a mentor, and committing to action, that will help you build your belief and make the switch with confidence.
Table of Contents
Set Clear Goals
Before you can take any action toward learning how to change to a new career, it’s important to be clear on your goals. When I was still working full time as a teacher and desperately wanting to leave my career, I knew that I had to be patient and clarify my goals before I made any big decisions.
Had I left my career without some sort of plan for the future, I would have added to my stress and further delayed the promises that lay ahead. By taking the time to outline my short and long term goals, I was able to begin visualizing my next steps and working on a clear plan of action.
When thinking about your goals, you may want to have a journal as a companion. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a never ending list of thoughts and questions that seem to come up during this time.
By having a place to write everything out, you’ll be able to process your thoughts much more effectively, and you’ll be surprised at some of the inspired revelations that come up along the way.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you can start with a few basic questions, such as “What do I really want?”, “What is required of me to get there?”, “Where do I see myself 1 year from now?”
This is a time for you to be brutally bold and honest about your desires. No matter how unrealistic these goals may seem, it’s important to articulate them.
While it took time and patience, I found that this practice was a big help in clarifying my goals and moving me to action. I also realized that by having everything in one place (my journal), I was able to see patterns of thoughts and progress over time.
Work with a Mentor
Studies have shown that those who write out their goals, take action, and work with an accountability partner, have the greatest success.
For months, I struggled with feelings of intense frustration, wondering when I would receive that magical revelation that would lead me out of my teaching career and into the next big thing (and while it sounds like fun, it just wasn’t going to be a lucrative Esports career). Not long after, I decided to hire a life coach who could push me along and serve as a source of accountability.
Prior to working with a coach, I found inspiration and mentorship from many sources, including from books, podcasts, webinars, and more. I was laser focused on learning as much as I could from others and using it to help me propel forward.
After a while, I felt the need to have a more direct experience with someone who had already been through what I was currently experiencing, and that’s when I decided to sign up for my first group coaching program.
That was a game changer.
Being in an environment with others who were on a similar journey, and having opportunities to learn and reflect together was powerful. Not only that, but there was built in accountability. I felt my confidence begin to grow as I became more clear on my goals and desires.
By having a mentor, you save yourself time and effort by learning from other people’s journey. The key is finding someone who is exactly where you want to be.
You may choose to have a complete stranger, such as a public figure, serve as your mentor, or you may opt for a coach, like I did. Either way, you will be much better off than someone who is navigating this journey alone.
Develop a Positive Mindset
If there is one thing I can say about my growth over the last several years, it is that I have experienced a major shift in my mindset. Whereas I used to have a barrage of negative and pessimistic thoughts, today, it is the complete opposite.
What does this have to do with a career change?
Before I started working on my mindset, I had little belief in myself or my ability to survive in any other way than what I already knew. But this bothered me and I knew I needed to change it.
The first thing I did was buy a book that I kept hearing about from all the successful people I was listening to at the time. The book was The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles.
What a boring book.
But! It planted the seed I needed and gave me the desire to keep going on this treasure hunt for greater belief in myself.
Since then, I have read over 50 books on personal development and business, and one thing they all have in common is emphasizing the power of a positive mindset.
Until you can shift your thoughts to be in alignment with your goals and desires, you will stay stuck in a puddle of lack and discouragement. You will not take the first step into a new IT career or Entrepreneurship if you don’t believe you can make it to the next one.
I also began reading and writing positive affirmations, practicing gratitude daily, and paying close attention to my thoughts. I captured every negative thought that appeared and immediately corrected and reframed it to a positive affirmation instead.
If you think enough positive thoughts, your body will start to believe it. Once this happens, you become unstoppable.
Eventually, I rewired my brain and belief. Through this work, I developed confidence, greater desire, and a determination to see my plan through, no matter what.
I believed in myself.
You may read all the books and sign up for all the courses, but if you don’t take action, what good is any of that? Action is the single most important ingredient in making a change.
And you are the change maker.
For me, the first steps of action were small- reading, coaching, researching, journaling… Those things all had value. There came a point, however, where a bigger action was required of me.
I had to make a decision.
In 2021, after much prayer, thought, and consideration, I took scary action and quit my job to work remotely as a writer.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I also knew that it would take time before I felt successful in my new venture. Good things take time and I was prepared for this new reality.
If you find yourself at the brink of massive action but you’re held back by fear, dig deep and look at all the internal shifts you’ve made. You cannot prove that your plan will work until you make the decision to execute.
No matter where you are in life, refuse to put your dreams and desires on hold any longer. You can make the big career change in your 30’s. You can do it in your 40’s, 50’s and onward.
You are the only one able to create a change and your next adventure is one decision away.