Have you been thinking about changing your job or career? As the New Year arrives, the opportunity to take the bull by the horns and make it happen is too good to miss.
The new year is the perfect time for renewal and change. So even though you might feel as if you’re stuck in a rut, you’re not. You can change yourself and your situation to get what you want.
Now’s the time to get out of the rat race, off your current career ladder and away from earning less than you’re worth.
You can do it!
You just have to step up in your own life. That means taking on your fears, no longer procrastinating and start going for what you want.
Maybe you want to change your career so you can do work that lights you up and brings the zing back into your life. Perhaps it’s time to go for the promotion you’ve always wanted. Or it could be that you’re ready to step off the gravy train and set up on your own.
You can design success any way you wish. But you must commit to the process and start doing what’s necessary to get where you want to go.
This isn’t easy, though.
It takes a bit more than a gung-ho leap of faith or burst of energy to achieve your deepest desires. Change is more challenging than that. It begins by digging deep into your own psyche to find answers to difficult questions.
Ask yourself the right questions
Most people don’t change because they don’t ask themselves the right questions. Where there’s no self-analysis or self-correction, there are rarely any shifts either. If you want to achieve your goals, you need ask yourself some difficult questions first. The answers may surprise you or reveal truths you’ve been trying to hide from yourself.
Find a quiet moment where you can sit comfortably and think. Get a notebook and then read through the questions below. Write down your answers. You can’t get wrong answers, so dive in and see what you can learn.
- What are you willing to release from your working life?
- What do you want to be, do or have that you can’t be, do or have right now?
- What no longer works for you at work?
- What are you holding onto in your job or career that’s holding you back?
- Where are you most content working?
- Where are you being unkind to yourself?
- Who do you want to bring into your work world?
- Who do want to spend your time with at work?
- How do you want this year to be different?
- How do you want to look?
- How healthy would you like to be – in both mind and body?
- How prosperous do you want to feel?
- How much effort are you willing to put into the change process?
- When are you going to start the process of change?
- When will you know you’ve got what you wanted and it’s time to create new goals?
When you’ve gone through these questions and written your answers, put your notes aside and let your mind settle. If possible, wait for at least 24 hours before reading what you’ve written.
- What do you notice about your answers?
- What jumps out at you about what you want?
- Which questions make you think more deeply or bring realisations about your situation?
You may want to go through these questions again another time. That’s fine. Your answers will probably be slightly different as they’ll reflect what you’ve learnt and how you’ve developed and grown as a person.
Relationships are key to change
You‘re not an island. You’re connected to many other people. Some are very close to you and others not so much.
What’s undeniably true is that those who are important to you often have a big impact on your choices and goals.
The desire to please others and win their approval is natural. But if it leads to you setting aside or dismissing your dreams, you’ll find it hard to make anything happen.
Do an audit of the people in your life that really matter to you. This isn’t about being critical of them or rejecting them. It’s about understanding the impact they have on you. The more honest you are now, the easier you’ll find it to handle your relationships and decide whether it’s possible to develop them or whether you need to let go of some of the people in your life.
Ask yourself the following questions. Write your answers in your notebook as you did before.
1. What relationships do you have that are draining you?
2. Who’s holding you back or putting you down?
3. Can you see where your energy is being siphoned off?
4. Can you see where you’re being dependent on another? (These types of relationships require a great deal of work and effort.)
From answering these questions, you’ll discover how different relationships support or drain you. Some relationships will keep you stuck, while others will energise and release you. It’s all a matter of knowing which is which and then deciding who to spend your time with.
Energy dependent relationships
These relationships are built upon you each meeting each other’s needs and maintaining the status quo. They’re often based on an unwritten agreement where you each agree to fulfil the needs of the other. It’s an equal exchange: “You do this for me and I do that for you.”
These relationships can be pleasant and reassuring, but at the same time, they lack excitement and adventure. They’re worse than simply being a bit dull. That’s because they’re set up to maintain balance and equilibrium. Change disrupts this balance and when that happens, these relationships feel restrictive.
If you’re ready for change and the other person isn’t, it can destroy the relationship. As you try to pull away from them, your attempt to separate yourself will be interpreted as rejection and criticism. Then they’ll let you know they’re offended and hurt, thus bringing guilt and a sense of obligation into play. It’s this emotional bind that will hold you back.
Looking at your current relationships, can you see anyone with whom you have the kind of relationship that depends on you each meeting the other’s needs and keeping everything in balance?
If so, you might need to disentangle yourself from that person. But what if that person is your oldest friend? That will definitely be very uncomfortable and could mean you hesitate to make a change in your career.
But here’s the kicker…
Although drawing away from a good friend might be painful, the difficulty will be escalated a thousand-fold if you have that kind of relationship your spouse or partner. In this instance, withdrawing from this relationship would be very daunting because it would have such an enormous impact on your whole life.
Changing your job was already looking challenging enough, demanding energy, determination and resilience, but if it means ending your marriage or leaving your partner, it becomes almost impossible to contemplate.
It’s easy to believe that change is simple, but from this, you can see that there can be many factors that unconsciously influence your choices. If changing your job or career could lead to the disintegration of your most precious relationships, it’s not surprising that you hesitate and hold back.
But all this proves is that making a change in one area of your life lead to change in other areas too. Whenever we gain something, we lose something. Whenever you contemplate change you also need to work out what you’re prepared to lose to have it.
Although this sounds harsh, it can also be liberating. A relationship that’s been holding you in stasis for a long time might fade, but it’s important to hold on to what will replace it. Of course, ideally you’ll take others with you when you make a change. You can do this if you explain what you need and why you want it.
Don’t assume the other person is unwilling to change. They may be as eager to be released as you. Even if they don’t start off being happy, they may soon realise the opportunity they have to make their own changes. That can lead to a healthier and more energising relationship for you both.
Energy exchange relationships
Unlike energy dependent relationships, energy exchange relationships are like rocket fuel.
When there is a powerful exchange of energy between two people, you can be more creative and have more energy. It’s far easier to make things happen. Both of you are equal in this relationship, so one isn’t stealing energy from the other and that means there’s enough energy for both of you.
- Who helps you develop your ideas and make them a reality?
- Who inspires you to do, be and have more in all areas of your life?
- Which part of you do you get in touch with when you’re with someone who energises you?
- What does this person bring out in you that usually lays dormant?
Making it happen
Change isn’t all about action, sometimes it’s about playing your inner game at a higher level. This isn’t easy but it can a life-enhancing and confidence-boosting process.
There’s nothing stopping you from making a move in your career this year as long as you acknowledge that change might mean leaving behind some of those you love. Only you know whether this is possible or if what you’ll gain will be worth the sacrifice.
Don’t underestimate your relationships with others. It’s what makes the difference between success and failure.
If you don’t believe you’ll get the support and encouragement you need to change your career, hire a career coach. At Career Consultants, we offer high-quality coaching that will help you refine your vision of what you want, create a plan for getting it and preparing you emotionally for change. Whatever you do, don’t try to go it alone. Isolation will defeat you as readily as a lack of support.
When it comes down to it, the only person standing in your way is you. To find the blocks to your success, you need to look inside and ask yourself some difficult questions. It’s hard but it’s the only way to lighten the load and give yourself the freedom to fly.
Do reach out to us at Career Consultants so that we can help make it all happen for you this year.