Change is scary. It is also something that sometimes we try not to let happen due to the level of fear associated with it… and consequently miss out on amazing opportunities.
The reality is, change is inevitable. The more we can plan and be prepared for the next step, the easier change and transitioning will be. When it comes to professional and personal change, it’s important to commit to life-long learning. This doesn’t mean becoming a professional student, but it does mean committing a great deal to understanding and knowing what it is we need to learn to stay employable, and to keep developing.
The world is in a dynamic period of change. No one has the ability to predict exactly what tomorrow will look like, which roles might become redundant and the types of jobs that will be created. With this being the case, committing to up skilling and regularly reviewing the market is necessary to remain in control of your career and to a degree, your life.
There are a number of things we need to do to achieve this:
Consistently review the validity of our education
Gone are the days where a single qualification was all we needed. With the rate of economic and workplace change, the need to update our education is more imperative than ever. This might mean undertaking formal qualifications through college or university, or simply looking into single certifications or short courses. Either way, it’s necessary to stay qualified and educated at the level required to remain employable.
Have a plan
We are not all natural planners, however, we all need some form of plan to understand what we would like our career to look like. With a plan, we have the opportunity of setting goals, which act as a natural motivator. The reality is that without a plan to achieve goals, they probably won’t happen. Developing a plan that is constantly reviewed and updated is important to continually reflect the dynamic nature of life.
As your priorities and needs change, so will your plan. It is important to not do this without qualified advice though. If you are seeking to make a complete transition, undertake formal assessments with a qualified and accredited Career Coach. Tools such as the Strong Interest Inventory are a great foundation to getting a holistic picture of who you are professionally, personally and as a learner whilst also identifying pathways based on your core interests.
Experience new things
It is very hard to make a decision without having an understanding or experience relevant to the decision. For this reason, you need to commit to experiencing new things, testing the waters, so to speak. This can be achieved by working with your current organisation to experience different work environments or roles, or by volunteering to try new industries and test out new skills. This such experience is undeniably supportive in being able to make the right decision.
Have confidence in who you are
I was talking with someone who has undertaken a large scale transition of late, both professionally and personally. Their concern was that they felt that just couldn’t relate to who they were anymore and what they needed to do, given this new person and new environment was unknown. My advice to them was to start acknowledging and accepting the new them, and being proud of themselves for what they had been through to make this transition. By building confidence in who you are or who you become, you have a greater chance of achieving great things with this new you.
Have a support network
Whether you engage with a Career Coach throughout this transition, or use your friends and family, a support network is imperative to assisting you through this time. You will have periods of highs and lows, doubts in your decisions and questions, but with the right support network in place, you can focus on getting assistance in working through the outcomes of each scenario.
Change is inevitable but it doesn’t always have to be scary. We all have the opportunity of owning what our future looks like as long as we stay committed to what we want.