Are you longing for a career change that was long overdue? A career change is a big step, and it may not be as easy as we hope it to be. Being a parent holds great responsibilities. Often times, it is impossible to put ourselves first. There are so many things to take into consideration before making a change.
Honestly, I wanted a career change some years ago but somehow it didn’t happen. My sons’ education was always the top priority. Deep down I wanted a career change badly but on a second thought, due to lack of financial security, I’ve to hold onto my job until now.
I’ve been in my line of career for decades and everything seems so mundane even though I have a team of very friendly and supportive colleagues. We work together very well and there was no office politics whatsoever. But somehow I find myself dreading to go to work.
Sometimes, I joked to myself wondering if there’s this thing called “expiry date” when it comes to motivation at work…haha… Imagine, your motivation is draining, no more “yes!” moments at work… every day is just plain boredom…urghh….Can you relate to me?
Well now that I’m more ready (financially and mentally), I’ve finally set foot pursuing my long overdue career change into action!
A career change does not have to be drastic or happen overnight. After all, there is abundance of jobs and business opportunities out there and how can you know which is the ideal one for you?
To embrace career change, often times you have to step out of your comfort zone and be prepared to face some challenges, no matter how big or small they may be.
If you too are planning to take the leap, here I’ve put up a list of pointers to hopefully help you make a smoother transition;
Brainstorm and Soul Searching
Start researching your options by reading on related topics.
There are lots of blogs, websites and even books written on almost every topic on earth. Doing research will help you understand important aspects like why do you need a career change, what to expect during the transition, the pros and cons, and the list goes on.
Make a note of all your findings and screen them through carefully. Are you ready for the change to take place? How badly do you want it?
Brainstorm your ideas with your family members. It is very important to involve them in your decision making as your actions will have an impact on their lives too. Be honest and tell them why you intend to take the leap. Discuss your concerns openly and be ready to accept criticism.
Your family may not support your ideas. It’s important to keep your cool and find out what their worries are. Try your best to let them understand and clear any doubts or feelings of insecurity they may have.
They are more likely to be supportive if you’re being honest and truthful. Change can be scary and they need assurance from you.
Set Your Goals and Time Frame
Once you’re done with researching and brainstorming, you should be able to know what your goals and forward actions are.
Breakdown those actions into small doable steps in order to enhance productivity and keep you focused. Every piece of achievement at this stage no matter how small they may be will give you the extra push and motivation to the next steps ahead.
Be as specific as possible for all the steps that you lined out and set realistic time frame. This is a very important part of the transition. Give yourself ample time to build the framework. Of course, you can and you always will learn as you progress but you definitely do not want to rush into a big mess and nothing gets accomplished.
It’s important to review your steps and make necessary adjustments as you progress but be very careful not to get distracted, ending up giving yourself loads of excuses to defer your goals. Stay committed if you want to see results.
Are you the breadwinner in your family? Do you have other sources of income or a combined household income with your spouse?
Carefully assess your cost of living. Make a list of your income vs expenditures like food, electricity, education funds, insurance etc. You may want to make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover those bills (which I called ‘the parasites’ haha…)
It’s a smart move to cut down on those ‘parasites’ as much as you can. This will give you extra budget especially when you need to invest in some personal development courses in the near future.
As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to have at least 6 months of financial safety blanket but of course the more the better.
This is especially true when you have kids. Sometimes for whatever reasons, there may be some unplanned spending involve. Maybe it’s buying a birthday gift for a classmate or a visit to the doctor…you know, things like that.
So do your math and be prepared.
Skills and Knowledge
Do you need new skillsets or additional knowledge in your chosen field? If the answer is yes, then this is where you should make further adjustments where your lifestyle is a concern.
This means spending less time with your family as you work your way through the transition. Every new endeavor is a learning curve. Stay motivated and always remind yourself why you needed this career change in the first place.
Check out available courses, books, seminars or any resources to help you build your new career. If you do not have the luxury of time to attend classes, consider e-learning instead. This gives you the flexibility and you can do it at your own pace.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
Nothing is more important than an able body and a healthy mind. Stay sharp and focused by eating well and doing exercise regularly.
Bring your family to the park and spend some quality time together. Everyone in the family needs to maintain a strong bonding to welcome the new and rewarding times ahead.
Remember, the journey may be challenging but it is all well worth when you start seeing light at the other side of the tunnel.
Well, what other challenges you face in your quest for a career change? Let’s share your thoughts by commenting below and we can help each other achieve our goals.
Love, Mei N