DRIVING CAREER CHANGE

Today I finally saw Million Dollar Baby, this year’s Oscar-winning movie. Waitress turned boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, made her career change happen with pure self-determination. Sure, she had talent and the smarts, but without her drive and self-confidence, she wouldn’t have succeeded. For the past 20 years, I’ve had a simple saying posted above my desk, "Believe in yourself and everything is possible." It’s worked for me. What will motivate your career change?

CAREER CHANGE – MORE THAN A DREAM?

If you dream of changing careers, what are you actually doing about it? Career coaches and career counselors are trained to help. Your dream can become a reality – but first you have to name it.

How sad to see so many stuck in a rut at work and think they have to stay there. Does that sound like you? With a little help, you could be on your way to a fulfilling career – in other words, "working your passion."

I found this article written by Margo Frey, a Career Counselor, that advises you to start the career transition process by indulging your fantasies: Fantasies can lead to realistic job expectations. Sweet dreams!

RADICAL CAREER CHANGE – WHY NOT?

So far this blog has been uncharacteristically non-controversial. That stops now!

I hope you’ve seen here that career change CAN happen. No one has to stay bound to a career not of his choosing. You have what it takes to proactively choose to change – just start to make it happen!

However, not every careers industry talking head agrees with this philosophy. Marty Nemko of "Cool Careers for Dummies" fame claims that "most aspiring career changers usually end up deciding to stay in their old career." Is that true? If so, why?

In his "Making a Radical Career Change," I claim he’s way off base. Focused on more of what is than what’s possible, Nemko offers some old-school advice and concludes, "try to get your job description changed to suit your strengths."

What do you think? Is it the job that’s lacking, or is it your inner self that’s crying for more?

MASTERING CHANGE

When contemplating a career change, create a plan to organize the process. Change is never easy – yet improvement always requires change. Check out The Top 10 Steps to Mastering Change for tips on how to become more accepting of change. My favorite tip is the first one listed: Accept that change is inevitable.

No job remains static, no career lasts forever. How many job or career changes have you had? Would you believe that most of us will change jobs about every 3 years during our lives?

BURNED OUT? CHANGE CAREERS?

Are you one of the 70% of all U.S. employees unhappy at work? Does your job meet your employer’s needs but not yours?

From every career corner, I hear the roar of burned out workers – so many people want to quit but not sure how. Can you relate?

Before walking out, speak up. Perhaps your boss could help – is he really that bad? Of course, there was a Gallup poll done that showed 75% of employees left because of their manager, not the job. BUT,  "career development is a whole new topic in the boardrooms aroung the country." (Take This Job and Love It!).

Don’t quit on whim. Weigh the pros and cons carefully. Know what you want to do and where you want to go. Planning is the key for your choosing the career instead of letting the career choosing you.

CAREER CHANGES: HOW NOW?

Economy experts say things are improving. Yet, layoffs abound, companies are still closing, whole industries are declining…AND…workdays are becoming longer, benefits are being cut, retirement dreams are crumbling…what can one do to cope?

Maybe you are just plain burned out or no longer interested in the work you do. What would it take to switch careers and find a way to work your passion? How can you shift career gears to create career satisfaction with work/life balance? Total fulfillment?

There is no one perfect answer for everyone. More than anything else, a healthy mindset about the concept of change can do the most to motivate positive action leading to your desired results. How do you view change? Do you fear it, ignore it or embrace it?

By making change your ally, you can grab opportunities and convert them into realities…realities that will create a happier, more rewarding career for you and enhance your overall quality of life.

To develop a positive attitude toward change, consider working with a career coach to help you focus on your goals and create an action plan to attain them. What specifically do you want to change…your career, industry, employer, or way of life? Do you want to explore self-employment possibilities? How do you answer the question – what is most important?

The answer is within your grasp. Just take that first step to define how you want to spend the rest of your life. Create the vision of what you want your life to look like and then make it happen!