How to Make Time for your Career Change
When you have a dream for a better future – one that truly expresses who you are - you can feel very vulnerable when you share that dream with the world.
We fear people might laugh, throw scorn on our hopes, be angry that we’re dissatisfied (when we seemingly have so much), or that we’ll be out of step with the people closest to us.
But what if when we gather the courage to speak from our heart about what we want to be different, what if our friends and colleagues, our families and acquaintances are thrilled for us and share our excitement for this inspiring future?
Those fears I spoke about earlier emerge from assumptions based on worst-case scenarios. They are also excuses that mean we don’t have to take any action. Because creating something new is going to be challenging, uncomfortable and demand energy, it’s far easier to sit tight, stay put and not dare to dream, let alone do anything!
But is that the kind of life you really want to live - one that means you have settled for something because it’s a safe choice?
As research professor and author Dr Brené Brown puts it in her book ‘Daring Greatly’:
When we’re 90 we’ll think life is short. For now, we feel we have all the time in the world. If you feel like the time is right to actually do something about creating a more fulfilling working life, there is still the most common cry of all to overcome:
‘But I don’t have time!’
Let’s look at this differently - by getting crystal clear on what we value most highly in life, we can develop a vision that will empower us to create the time we need.
There are 4 clear steps to overcoming the belief we don’t have time for ourselves:
1. THE VISION - will fuel, inspire and focus our efforts
2. THE TACTICS - to actually manage your time
3. THE FUEL - making best use our energy and resources
4. THE MINDSET - flipping those toxic myths of ‘not enough’
In this two-part article we’ll cover all four, but in this part (Part 1) I’m focusing on The Vision
FUEL & INSPIRATION from YOUR VISION
This might come from a deeper understanding of what in your future vision is attracting you (pull factors) or which aspects are making life so uncomfortable you just have to take action (push factors). By growing your PULL factors you will have a reason to keep going and commitment to your more fulfilling future.
1. Know WHY this change means so much to you
This might be about aligning your work with values - what matters most to you (e.g. flexibility, freedom, integrity, creativity). When you identify, activate and live according to those values, you feel empowered and energised. You’re clear about why you’re willing to make this change.
Find about more about values and how to gain a better understanding of your own values here.
The same applies to a deeper purpose you want to start expressing more fully. Understanding the kind of impact we have on those around us and what new contribution we want to make to make in the world are both powerful drivers to fuel your change. Start exploring your purpose with my workbook: Joining the Dots in Your Career Transitions
Being able to use your strengths and follow your interests in the work you do is also a strong motivator in your quest for a more fulfilling life. Getting to know your personal strengths and creating ways you can use these more is a central part of my Quickstep Career Change Programme. A simple way to start the process is to ask one of your colleagues this question:
What do you think I do best?
Finally, take a broad view. This is about life, not just work. What kind of life would you ideally like to live – and how can work deliver that for you? Easy ways into this huge question include imagining your perfect weekend – you’ll find some important clues there!
2. Grow the vision big and magnetic enough
Clarity on WHY you’re seeking this change can be used to amplify your vision for your future. Some people like to create a vision board to capture the different qualities, joys, values and purpose of your future. Try my guide to creating your own vision board on the free resources section of my web site. It will provide a daily reminder that will keep you going through the bad days and setbacks.
If you prefer words to images, do the same in writing. Journal on your ideal life, your ideal working day and most importantly, what this is going to give you.
3. What does success mean to you?
This simple question unlocks amazing ideas. For this to work best, you have to be perfectly truthful. Don’t answer ‘money’ if that really isn’t a high value for you or a powerful motivator. Remember, this is your life and your opportunity to create it authentically. Try this article to get you started.
1. Time to focus on the painful and uncomfortable stresses in your current working life. Try listing everything you really dislike about your work. Then identify any themes; these are very likely to be values that are important to you. Being clear and writing a full list will provide powerful evidence of why this can’t be ignored. Exercise your intuition and learn to listen to the stresses in your body – if you don’t pay attention to early warning signs, it’s most likely they will grow until you HAVE to take notice. It’s so much better to take action before you reach that point.
2. Now imagine 2 years from now and what it will feel like to be exactly where you are today? How will you feel? What will your energy levels be like?
3. It’s also useful to take a wider perspective and carry out a mini audit of your life as a whole. Download my free Wheel of Life resource to identify which areas of your life need attention most urgently. It might not be what you expect!
4. Take an honest look at your health. How are you feeling? How much time have you had to take off work for sickness. How about your mental health – how balanced and happy do you feel each day? What nagging physical ailments just won’t go away? These could all be signs that your dissatisfaction at work is taking its toll on your mental and physical health.
How can you build a routine that enables you to be at your best? Try my free Thrive List to help you make a start on actions and habits to promote your wellbeing.
Don’t miss part 2 of this article in which I’ll be exploring the Tactics, the Fuel and the Mindsets you need to Make Time for Your Career Change. Publishing in the next few days!
To get your free copy of The Thrive List click the orange button below!