Many of the people I counsel have the same concern: they’re dissatisfied with the life they’ve created and are unsure how to change it. Most tell me they would like to make a career change but don’t know how. Since we spend most of our waking hours involved with our jobs it only makes sense that if one is unhappy at work, one is probably unhappy in life.
I usually ask people with life dissatisfaction to complete an exercise in visioning. They are to fantasize the different parts of their life if they were exactly as they wanted them to be so they can know where to start. They are to do this without censoring themselves or considering obstacles. This turns out to be very challenging for people who’ve spent their lives trying to please others and do the “right” thing. The idea of setting aside their inner critic and other voices that tell them how to live is difficult. They want to be practical first, and hope that the dream life will come along without them having to upset anyone.
It’s especially hard when one’s career has been cultivated over many years, and when one is making a pretty decent salary and all their friends and family are proud of them. How does a person just up and decide they’re going to leave their stable banking job and become the dancer they always wanted to become? What would people think?
I often work with people for quite a while to help them silence the inner critic and take small, baby steps in the direction of their dreams. Since I’m not a career coach I don’t advise people on how to find a career to fit their skills and I don’t advise them how to get hired. I only help them listen to their inner voice and follow that voice toward their bliss.
With my own limitations in mind, this morning I spent some time perusing articles on “how to make a career change”. I was disappointed to find most of the articles offering more cautions than encouragement. Most talk about considering finances, ageism, how long you’ll be in school, and whether you’ll be supported in making a change. From my experience, most people are already thinking about those things and that’s what stops them from going further in making a change.
So, I kept looking. I finally found the attached little gem of an article. It offers practical advice on how to get started with a career change when you don’t know what to do. It suggests that one stop overanalyzing their life and instead get in conversation with others about careers. It suggests trying things out – take an interesting class, shadow a friend at their job, visit different offices. In doing so, one has a chance to step into their dreams and discover what really moves them. I recommend the article if you’re having trouble knowing where to start. It is attached here: https://www.careershifters.org/expert-advice/how-to-change-career-when-you-have-no-idea-what-youre-doing.
For more help in defining your dreams and creating transformative life change, I welcome you to come see me for an assessment. For more information about counseling for life transitions click here: https://compatiblecounseling.com/individual-counseling/