Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.
This week’s article is written by Tammy Alvarez, CEO and founder of Career Winners Circle. It is a companion piece to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled The Job I Love to Hate: It’s Never Too Late to Upgrade Your Career! which aired on January 3, 2023.
|Short clip from the interview:||Link to the entire interview:|
You’ve worked for years, maybe even decades, and you’ve found yourself stuck in a rut with no idea how to break the cycle and start doing something you love. But the minute you think about making an epic career change you get excited. The butterflies kick in, and you can almost see yourself in the center of all the action doing high-impact work that you love.
Pivoting careers is very different than getting the same job in the same industry. All the things you know about getting a new role won’t work when you want to make an epic career change. You’ve got to do things differently.
Fortunately, these things can be learned and perfected. Your sense of being overwhelmed can be replaced with a new approach so you keep those butterflies of excitement going. If you’re like most people, you believe that an epic career change will require you to take a step back. And nobody wants to do that. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and the thought of having to give anything up and ‘start over’ is soul-crushing. After all, the majority of people who try and make an epic career change do it wrong and end up making the ultimate sacrifice by having to move back a few spaces in the game of life.
You do not have to sacrifice your career happiness for progress.
You have spent a lifetime acquiring skills, perspectives, insights, and experiences that are amazing. Why do they suddenly ‘not count’ just because you start working in a new industry or new role? It sounds kind of ridiculous when you think about it – right?
Again, you can change careers the right way or you can do it the wrong way. When you learn how to leverage all your experiences and skills as an asset to your target career, the thought of taking a step back will be a distant memory.
Making that epic career change doesn’t need to whittle away everything you’ve worked so hard for. You can love your job, be excited about your career, and still have the income, influence, perks, and position you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Doing this isn’t hard, it’s just very different from what you’re used to.
Reinventing Your Career: 3 First Steps
When the time comes to re-invent your career, most people get stuck before they even get started, resulting in too many talented people sitting on the sidelines. If you fall in this category, you know that you’re missing out on your opportunity to make the impact you want and to have the career you’ve always dreamed of. And let’s face it: it gets extremely frustrating when this happens over and over again.
Here’s how the thought cycle goes: I want something different, and I am ready for a change! But…
What am I qualified for?
Who will want me?
Will my skills transfer?
Will I have to take a cut in pay or job title?
What will everyone think?
Do I have what it takes?
These doubts are how you get stuck before you even get started. It doesn’t have to be that way. The reason you’re not able to make that move you’ve always wanted is you’re asking the right questions at the wrong time. These are all excellent questions, but they should not come first. They actually come dead last.
Here are three questions you need to ask yourself before starting to think about how to reinvent your career:
- How much resilience do I have to make a career change? Changing careers is absolutely achievable but it’s not as easy as simply going to work for a competitor or taking a related role in the same industry. Every time you step out to do something you’ve never done before, it requires a ton of resiliency to both get the role and to keep the role. You should check in with yourself and make sure that now is the right time for you based on how resilient you are able to be at this stage of your career.
- What are you most passionate about? Have you fallen into the trap of chasing jobs for money, title, status, social expectations, and the like? If you suddenly find every day to be soul crushing, then it’s time to step back and re-evaluate what is most important to you. Take your whole self into consideration and narrow in on the things that really matter to you. This will not only guide your future decisions: it will give you the fuel you need for the long haul.
- How far and fast do you want to grow? If you’re not growing, you’re not reaching your fullest potential. Regardless of how much you do or don’t like change, falling into the mundane rut of the status-quo is a mind-numbing experience. Nobody wants that. Take stock of your growth trajectory both personally and professionally. Get really clear on the pace of growth you can sustain at this point in your career, and put yourself in situations where you can grow at a comfortable pace all the time.
Answering these questions is the first step in climbing out of the darkness of an unsatisfying job, and into a renewed career that lights you up!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Meet Tammy Alvarez, CEO, and founder of Career Winners Circle. A comprehensive collection of coaching and training programs designed to strengthen leaders to grow their careers quickly and sustainably.
Her spirited “Break all the Rules” approach blends decades of C-Suite experience on Wall Street with a pragmatic, results-based coaching style. She helps business professionals like you create impact so you can love every Monday morning again!
She is an inspirational coach, trainer, and epic storyteller who delivers transformative learning experiences for her global client base. She believes the heart of every successful business is leaders who inspire courage.
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Additional Resources offered by our trusted colleagues and partners
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will be hosting an 8-week Mindfulness in Motion Program for Busy Adults starting January 11. The program, designed by Maryanna Klatt, PhD, Ohio State University College of Medicine, is for adults to learn practical strategies for stress reduction. For more information, click here.
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