Congratulations! You have decided to take charge of your future. You have what it takes to engage and thrive in a new professional development. So why are you feeling stuck and discouraged? Why is your project not coming to fruition? What happened to your once-unstoppable motivation? In this article, I discuss three common reasons why your career transition may not go as planned and what you can do to get back on track.
1. You lack flexibility
We never give enough praise to the virtue of having a plan and, well, actually sticking to it. I am a big fan of planning, don’t get me wrong. I just know that real life is what happens while we obsess over completing our plans. Especially in a period of career transition, several things can happen. You will meet resistance. Ask yourself, is this a hurdle you can bypass, or is it a major no-go sign? If so, what does it tell you?
Life is what happens while we are making plans. Did something major happen in your life? Maybe your partner found a unicorn job in a different country. Maybe you are disappointed by a lead that looked promising but fell through. Maybe a baby is born. You may need surgery that will immobilise you for several weeks. Or you receive an unexpected proposition to partner in a startup…
Whatever the circumstances, the way to negotiate your next step is to go with the flow without losing sight of your ultimate goals. One of the first things I do with my clients is to mine their values. I help them shine a light on what is most important to them and to envision the life they want, a fulfilling life that includes a career they love.
Once you get clear on your ultimate vision, you are more prone to accept sudden changes and turn them into opportunities, which may come from unexpected sources. When you stand in your values, you increase your capacity to adapt, make the best of each situation, and evaluate offers with clarity and purpose. In following your WHY, you become healthily unattached to the HOW.
Do you feel like you are currently lacking clarity and direction? Then download my free Compass Coordinates Workbook. It’s a great starting point to help you get back on track.
2. You are lonely
It is not easy to acknowledge when we feel lonely. Especially if you are blessed with a partner, a family, and a bunch of good friends. You have made the bold decision to change careers, you have shared it with the people who are important to you, and received their support. Nevertheless, your journey to change your career can be a lonely one. The daily tête-à-tête with your computer screen is all but romantic. Motivation is a resource that has a limited lifespan. Discipline works until it fades and gives in to anxiety…
It is time, dear brave career transitioner, to change the dynamic and get help from people who understand what it is you are doing. A vast range of free or inexpensive options are available to you: Join peer groups locally (oh the joy of meeting in person again!) and online. Forums, industry experts, discussions, entrepreneur associations, alumni, mastermind, or other peer support groups. Are you enrolled in a training program? Connect with your co-students and create a support group with them.
The core message here is, find your tribe and engage! The positive effects are many:
- You gain perspective and advice from peers
- You become an educated resource for others who value your expertise
- You will fuel your self-confidence
- You enlarge your network through meaningful exchanges
- You get back to your project with fresh eyes and renewed energy
If you are on LinkedIn or Facebook, feel free to connect with me. I would love to follow your journey into a career you love!
3. You are in a pit
You started out like a champion, tackling the first steps of your transition like the kick-ass professional you are. Then things started to slow down, hurdles began to accumulate and your energy started lacking. Self-doubt and guilt are center-stage, draining your emotions and clouding your skies. Positive thinking doesn’t help when the fear of failure is running the show.
The first truth to keep in mind: A career transition always takes more time than expected. Resistance is what you meet most, starting with your own human inclination to cling to the status quo. A change of perspective is needed.
The prescription? Radical honesty and self-compassion.
Radical honesty means a 360°, non-judgemental assessment of your situation at this moment. Including revisiting your objectives to see if you are still aligned with everything you decided at some point in the past. Acknowledge your achievements. You have come a long way, so give yourself credit.
Now assess your current situation. What is stopping you? Are you in a perspective where you believe you have only black and white choices or no choice at all? One of my clients tortured herself to decide if she would quit her corporate job in order to find a more fulfilling career, or stay and stagnate. She ended up keeping her job (now fueled with renewed energy, knowing it is temporary) and pursued not one, but two professional opportunities, corporate and free-lance. As she signed her first paying clients, fresh and exciting perspectives started to show up. Self-compassion is about giving yourself a break. At this point in your life, you don’t have to prove that you are an overachiever. Try to be a better achiever instead, the kind of achiever who values their physical and emotional health at the same level as their professional success?
What do you think is holding you back from transitioning into a fulfilling second act of life? I have made it my mission to help talented executives and high-achievers transition into a more meaningful, fulfilling career. If you would like to have a chat about your plans, book a complimentary discovery coversation with me.
It’s time to break through any obstacles and make it happen!