Career Changes Are Tough – Here’s How to Manage the Emotions
Making a career change can be daunting – especially for adults who have already established themselves in a particular field. Family commitments, financial responsibilities, and the state of the labor market are just a few of the factors that impact these decisions.
As you consider your options, it’s easy to get stuck in your own thoughts and fears, convincing yourself that change is not an option. However, it is important to recognize the emotions that come with change and to apply a set of work skills to help manage those emotions.
Recognize the Emotions of Change
Change, even when desired, can bring up a range of emotions. Here are some common ones to keep in mind:
1. Fear of the Unknown
Humans tend to prefer safety and comfort, making the unknown feel uncomfortable and scary. Some common thoughts may include:
– What if I fail?
– I’ll need to go back to school.
– It’s too late to make a change now.
2. Frustration and Anxiety
The thought of changing careers can be anxiety-provoking, leading to self-doubt and behaviors that stall progress. Common thoughts may include:
– I can’t take a pay cut.
– My family depends on me.
– I’ll need to start from scratch.
3. Know Your Emotional Triggers
Resistance to change often arises within ourselves, and it is important to address these feelings. Take time to understand your thought patterns and challenge your own beliefs. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– What are you telling yourself, and why?
– Check your assumptions – challenge preconceived notions of yourself and others.
– Look inward and be honest with yourself to move forward confidently.
Work Skills to Manage Change
Here are six work skills that can help you manage your emotions during a career change:
Develop skills that allow you to adapt to changing circumstances with ease. Sleep, slow down, and be deliberate with your actions.
Focus on your strengths and what is important to you. When feelings become uncomfortable, give yourself time to reflect and be compassionate with yourself.
You, and only you, need to live with your career choices. Reflect on your confidence level and strike a balance between being confident, assertive, aggressive, or arrogant.
Embrace a beginner’s mindset and take time to learn about the changes ahead. Talk to people working in the industry that you are interested in and remain open to trial and error.
Pay attention to what is happening around you, including your workplace culture, colleagues work styles, team dynamics, and communication channels used.
6. Critical Thinking
Be adaptable, think creatively, and constantly learn new skills. Ask questions to clarify, show that you are listening and paying attention to your work. Be confident in articulating your value to support business needs.
Making a career change takes time, effort, and mental resilience. By developing these work skills, you will be better equipped to manage your emotions and make the transition with confidence.