Career change isn't easy.
- First, you must want it very much.
- Second, you must make it your top priority.
- Third, you must be willing to take a risk or two to make it happen.
The perception today is that workers have "dramatically lowered their career and retirement aspirations." (Workers Perceive Little Opportunity, Wall Street Journal, 3/16/2010)
Whoa – not so fast! As a career coach, I encounter people every day who want to change careers, hope to change careers, and actually do change careers. But there are some who let fear paralyze them from actually changing careers. People haven't "given up looking for higher pay or better positions" (despite what a recent Towers Waters HR survey claims per WSJ), but they are acting cautiously and discreetly – the same as employed workers have always behaved.
"Employees are overwhelmed and under appreciated" is my quote in today's WSJ article. And, yes, I do believe workers are tolerating "more work discomfort." But why is that? Is it in "gratitude for even having a job" or is it perhaps because they're afraid of being terminated if their true feelings were to be exposed?
I would be out of business if people weren't exploring career changes, as would other career coaches who specialize in helping people find new career paths. Instead, just this year I have helped a financial expert discover his passion for counseling college students, a field sales professional choose his retirement career in lawn and garden retail, and many more. These individuals didn't let recession fears, workplace fears, or even identity fears stop them from discovering how to work their passion. They chose hope over fear. They chose self-reliance.
While fear can become crippling, hope is more powerful. As long as people have hope, they will be able to overcome whatever obstacles are thrown into their career paths.
Wishing you career success in 2010!