It’s difficult enough making the decision that you need to change jobs, let alone actually beginning the task. It can be almost as if someone hears you’ve made the decision and then is seeking to throw everything at you to prevent it happening.
Perhaps you find your boss gives you an extra workload, your partner announces the news of pregnancy or your best friend asks for your help, big time, in their hour of need.
The simple truth is that these kinds of things come along every day but now they are potentially blocking your desire and need to move your career on to a new level. And so they come into sharp focus.
So how can you overcome these barriers to change? Well, here are three simple steps which can unlock you from your situation and allow you to move on:
Set the bar at the right level – don’t announce you are going to change your career and exactly what you will be doing and when. Set the bar lower and start small, and take the initial step to get you on the right road. Then you can follow up, and make further progress. For instance, simply decide initially to make a list of the Employers you are motivated to work for. Then set a new goal: to research the types and range of roles available within them for your skillset. Then make a further step: make a written plan of how you might access and gain one of those roles, taking into account your current circumstances. Breaking up the task will make it more achievable.
Don’t do it alone – making this journey is hard. You may well love your current colleagues, even your boss, but you know it’s time to move on to fresh challenges. Sharing the experience with a trusted friend can make it more likely to happen. Sharing it has two effects: firstly, it commits you to action. There is someone else who now knows what you want to do. They can both encourage you and admonish you when you don’t do what should (choose someone who will not be afraid to challenge you – maybe not your best friend or your partner). Secondly, the need for confidentiality in the job seeking process can make you feel isolated. Having someone with whom you can share the ups and downs, triumphs and disasters, will make it easier to maintain your momentum.
Don’t be afraid to stop – if it really isn’t the right time to attempt a move, recognise and accept it BUT set a time to review this and also have a potential job search restart time, written down. Share this with your career search ‘buddy’ (see above) so they can remind you and review things with you when that time comes. Save your energy and impetus for the right moment. There will be more opportunities in the future. If you know this from the outset, then you will actually be more likely to start the process. The barrier of ‘I’ll probably fail – it’s not worth starting’ is removed.
Changing to a new role or just finding the next step up with your current employer can seem like taking on an extra part time job. So follow the above steps for greater chances of success. Let us know how you get on!