How to change career without making those 5 mistakes

Having changed career myself 3 times over the last 4 years, I know a thing or two what it takes to succeed but also why people fail (and don't worry - I did plenty of those mistakes myself).


1.)   What got you where you are, won’t get you to where you want to get.

People often base decisions on previous experience as it means safety and most likely, disappointment. No one loves to fail, right?

By doing the same things over and over, we know the outcome. Only issue: it doesn’t get us outside this little safe bubble.


If you want to change direction, you need to look outside the known whilst taking past experience and expertise in consideration – just from a more holistic point of view. What is it that you enjoy doing in your current role/industry and what it is that you want to do. Where are overlaps and how can you use your current experience in your new career?




2.) Overthink it.

Thinking is great. It’s important. Taking time to consider your skills, desires, and what you might enjoy is a key part of discovering what you’d love to do.


But with career-change, thinking and action must go hand in hand.

You can’t just visualize and imagine how good of a career you will have without doing anything about it.


It’s about experiencing what feels right or wrong. You can only course correct when you are in motion and by standing still, nothing will change.


Creating a career you really love is a journey and a process that you need to enjoy.

Don’t just focus on the end result but on the process to get there. You will see that you most likely get exposed to even more opportunities that way that you initially thought of.


So get up and active - start talking to people. Volunteer your time for causes you are passionate about. Join network events and functions to expand your circle….


3.) Aim for perfection.

‘I just need an MBA to get to exec level.’

‘I only need another 2 years experience in a smaller organization before I can lead a bigger company.’


Whilst sometimes you may need more technical skills and experience, more often it’s the confidence you need to go for it.

No one ever can be perfect and by spending too much time on the back-end of things, we forget the front-end and lose track.

What if you find out that after 5 years studying, the first few days in that field you wanted to go into is actually not what you thought it would be.

Take smaller actions now and minimize the risk. It may be through internships during studies or through volunteering for projects in another department so you get a feel for what it’s like doing this type of work.


4.) Listening to the nay-sayers in your head

The brain is wired to predict future situations based in previous experiences.

However, how can you predict the outcome of things that you haven’t happened yet?


I bet you have got excited about an idea you want to pursue to only give it up before you started the little voices in your head came up with a gazillion reasons why you will fail.

Safety first response.


Doing something new requires you to do something you have never done which is the exciting part of it.

Whilst you cannot prepare for what you don’t know yet what it is, you can prepare for how to think about it and tackle it.

This is through reflection of what it is that makes you you and has gotten through various situations – your super power that always pops up when it gets tricky.


If you have the confidence in yourself as you know you can draw on the powers you already have, you will be able to go into a new situation with ease and not only gain the competence in a new area but are able to excel in it.

Reflect on your one unique trait what has always gotten you through tough situations. What is it that you can rely on when it's tough and how can you apply that to any new situations?


5.) Flying solo

 Doing something new is never easy as it requires us to do something we don’t know (yet) how to do it.

It’s a challenging process as it means we have to take on a new identity: mentally, emotionally, and often financially.

Thinking you have to do it all by yourself is often too overwhelming and scary, so most people never actually do it as the self-doubt is creeping up quicker than you can say ‘doubt’.

Whether it’s friends, family, peers, an online community or professional support through a coach, having people around to help you finding your strengths and keep you on track when things get tough makes the entire process less daunting, more effective and also way more enjoyable.

If you feel that you have reached the level where it's time to step up or out, start having conversations. Turn to people you trust and can relate to as they have been through it and learn from them. No point in wasting time when you can speed up the process.


Not sure where to start and what career you might want to change into?

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