Are you afraid of the career change conversation with your family, friends, coworkers etc? Does it seem like as soon as you decide to make a positive change, the whole world turns against you and tells you why you can’t do it, that it’s not possible or something else that’s not very encouraging?
One of the biggest challenges that people in career transition face is trying to convince their families, friends, coworkers and the people who know them best, that change is a good thing. At a time when everything is in flux, it’s tough for us to reassure people we are headed on the path to success despite any obstacles which may surface along the way. We may even be uncertain ourselves! And because we frequently experience the most resistance to our ideas from the people who mean the most to us, it can FEEL like our core support system is caving in. But don’t worry, it’s not!
Finding a mentor, coach or someone who has “been there” can be a huge asset for your career search.
Because we are often met with resistance, hit with frightening and discouraging “rumors” about the career marketing or industry of our choosing, we can feel like the wind was just knocked out of us. Finding a career can be scary and isolating. This is not a healthy way to feel when trying to break out of established ruts and make a motion for improvement in our careers.
For this reason, if you’re serious about finding a new job that has you springing out of bed each morning, you’ll want to invest in a career coach, or career counselor. Many people who decide to make a bold move in their career, start up their own business or return to school to learn a new skill or trade, do so with the help of a career coach or counselor. A career coach can give much needed practical advice and guidance, while offering an objective viewpoint on your personal situation.
A career coach can help you:
Create and implement a transition plan
Set realistic reachable goals
Network effectively and efficiently
Identify the career path you want
Push gremlins aside and step out of the box and your comfort zone
Find a career that’s right for you (not what other’s think is right for you)
How do you find support?
Professional support from a career coach or career counselor is usually the best place to start. They have the experience and success rates of helping people who have been in your shoes. There are a wide range of career coaches/counselors out there so make sure when you are looking for one to do your homework. Here are some sample questions:
How long have you been a coach?
What is your success rate?
Do you have references I can speak with? (If they are hesitant about this one that is not a good sign)
Do you offer a complimentary consultation where I can get to know you and your style to see if we’d be a fit?
How long does this process usually take?
It isn’t always possible to afford a career coach, especially when you are in transition. Other options include finding a career coach who might offer group coaching, which is cheaper. Can you coach with a buddy and split the price? If those options still don’t fit your budget, the next step is to try to find someone you know of you can point you in the right direction.
Is there someone in your life who you admire because they didn’t follow the status quo, made their own way or just seem to be living out an amazingly full and satisfying life and career? Maybe you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance who started their own business or managed to interweave creativity and flexibility into their professional life in a way that stands out from the crowd. Now is a perfect time to ask for advice and guidance from that person, listen to their story, learn from their mistakes, and apply this knowledge to the changes that you’re going through in your own career. Most people are more than happy to share what they have learned. The experience is sure to be enlightening and you will be making a friend and professional contact in the process.
Hallie Crawford, is a Certified Career Coach and CEO of Create Your Career Path with HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches help people of all ages nurture their career, identify their ideal career path, and navigate their career transition. She is regularly featured as a career expert for Fox Business Network, CNN, Yahoo Hot Jobs, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.