Career Management: What do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
Oh, I guess you did grow up. But is this the grown up you wanted to be when you were a kid? Are you happy with how your career turned out? Most of us aren’t. In fact, huge numbers of us aren’t happy at all with our careers. Despite our unhappiness with our work situation, the biggest reason we don’t change to something else is our own fear.
The fear associated with a reluctance to improve our work has multiple layers to it. I recently polled several groups on Linked In and fear was their number one barrier.
Here is what I heard was getting in our way:
- Fear of change
- Fear of the unknown
- Not knowing how to figure out something better
- Financial obligations that might limit career flexibility
- Excellent benefits; not willing to reduce the coverage
- Fear of failure
- Loss of reputation
I see a correlation to the fear of leaving a bad job to the fear of leaving an abusive relationship. Outsiders to domestic violence often don’t understand why someone would stay in such a bad relationship. Yet, the survivors often relate some of the same reasons as above for not leaving. We can learn some things from how domestic violence survivors prevail to make change. They have three commonalities: a Plan, Support, and Courage. If you’re among the 60% of unhappy workers, here’s what you can do for changing your career in pursuit of happiness:
1. A Plan
a. Make a list of all your concerns; then make a plan to address them. If you have financial obligations, use time and budgeting to reduce them.
b. Start investigating other professions or careers. There are literally close to 100,000 careers and growing. You probably only know about 100 by the time you graduate from high school. As an experienced adult that number has probably grown to 1000, which means you have work to do. Get off the couch and start figuring it out.
a. Change is a process and it will make you feel uncomfortable. Hire someone to help you understand change and the career-change process. You don’t have to face this on your own.
a. How do you tell someone to develop courage? This week I heard the young soldier who just earned the Medal of Honor for courage and heroism. His summation of courage is: “You do it not because you’re not scared; you do it because you are scared and it’s the right thing to do”.
b. Your courage will be easier to muster once you put the first two steps in place.
I’ve written about fear being a habit. Don’t let fear be the driving force in your life. You spend too much time working to be unhappy. Start creating your new better life today. It’s not too late to have a dream job.