Make More Time for Your Career Change
PRACTICAL TIME MANAGEMENT > THE TACTICS
In Part 1 I suggested how you can get super clear about what your push and pull factors for your career change are and how to grow your vision of what exactly it is that you’re seeking. This sets up the right conditions for your career change and makes time-making so much easier!
Now down to the nitty gritty. How can you make the most of the time you have?
1. How much career change time do you have in your week? This includes any time that isn’t dedicated to work or commitments that are essential. No, that doesn’t include watching Game of Thrones! Add up the hours in your week when you could decide to focus on the changes you want to make. I bet the total is more than you expected.
2. Ring fence at least one hour every week for the next 3 months. Put it in your diary and do everything you can to keep this hour safe from ‘life’. You can choose two 30-minute slots if that’s easier, and of course do more if you can. Progress will be quicker that way.
3. List topics that you want to work on as part of your shift strategy (e.g. research alternative roles within my organization; discover what freelancing involves etc.) and choose the one broad topic you’re going to focus on first. Now we’ll break that down.
3. Set 2-3 things you’ll work on this week as part of your chosen topic and put them in your diary. Give them a day and a time- just writing it down makes a commitment.
4. Set firmer boundaries at work. Say NO when you need to – this is nothing to do with people-pleasing and it’s everything to do with honouring yourself.
5. Set similar boundaries at home, with wider family and with friends. This doesn’t mean cutting out your whole social life, but it does mean making choices consciously about where you are going to ‘spend’ your time.
6. Also diary ‘do nothing’ time – you have full permission to daydream, procrastinate and relax. In the bigger picture, this unstructured time is important to your wellbeing, and is often when the best ideas emerge. If you want to practise giving yourself permission, try this article.
7. Which activities in your week do you want to let go? Think about which tasks or activities drain you most and how you can cut them out. You might have to be creative or call in favours. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Think of your personal vision and this will be easier.
8. Small consistent steps will get you there, so just keep at it. Use the time you have created wisely and celebrate your progress. Who amongst your friends and family will you trust to share this journey with you?
ENERGY MANAGEMENT > THE FUEL
The other resource that’s limited, is your energy, so making choices about how you can boost your energy and limit the drains is going to really set you up to succeed.
1. Create time for something that energises you – it might be as simple as a walk in the park, doing some yoga, a mindfulness exercise, or losing yourself in your favourite hobby. Keeping your mood buoyant ramps up your reserves of energy.
2. Diary time each week with people who boost your energy – you know who they are! Let them in on your plans and seek them out for a vital boost when you need it – chances are you do the same for them.
3. Work with a career change buddy, a career coach, or a professional or business mentor to keep you on track. Choose someone who is able to place your agenda centre stage, not someone who will tell you what you should be doing because it fulfills their world view. This is all about your vision of a fulfilling future.
4. Limit social media time. If you complete a quick audit of the time you spend on Instagram, facebook, Pinterest or twitter, you’ll probably have a shock. How can you reduce this time? Try halving it! Then decide what you’ll do with the time you’ve created. While on social media, try to stick to people who inspire you or places you can source valuable information for your shift.
5. Sleep well. Health professionals seem to agree that adults need 7-9 hours a night to function well. Having enough exercise, reducing screen time, increasing down time and creating the right environment for sleep will all help. You can find out more in ‘The Thrive List – Deeper’, my guide that comes along with The Thrive List. Developing a routine that suits your lifestyle will really help.
MYTH MANAGEMENT > THE MINDSET
1. Managing your Gremlins
It can be a long road to creating change in our lives and one thing I can assure you of – you’re going to have a head full of nay-sayers at some point in the journey! Our inner critics are all too ready to pipe up in favour of the status quo because their role is to keep us safely inside our comfort zone.
Step one to managing these critical voices is to be aware of them. Just notice their voices and know that what they are telling you is not based on fact, but on fear. Creating a space between the real you and these voices is an important step and will help you see them for what they are. I’ve explored the most common fears we face as creators of change in this article.
One of the important elements of my Quickstep Career Change Programme is getting to know your Powerful Self. This is you at your best, confident and strong. Being able to tap into this part of yourself is a vital way of managing the negative voices that crop up along the way.
2. Fear of failure
This is a natural fear for us all. But it’s incredibly dangerous when it stops us from seeking out something more authentic for ourselves. Make friends with this fear by flipping it to: what can I learn from this setback?
3. I’m too busy
This is a close relation of ‘I don’t have time’ and ‘it’s not the right time’. If you follow my earlier advice on time management, you will now know exactly how much time you really have. What you choose to do with that time is up to you.
4. Any other belief that keeps you stuck
The most common of these involve the word ‘enough’. Common beliefs that can torpedo your hopes for a brighter future include:
I’m not clever enough
I’m not experienced enough
I’m not young enough (aka I’m too old)
I’m not resilient enough
I’m not creative enough
I’m sure you can fill in the list with your own! Others involve the idea that we shouldn’t expect work to be fulfilling and we’re totally unreasonable / stupid if we believe differently.
With all these beliefs, one strategy to defuse them is very simple:
1. Write the belief down
2. Ask – where’s the evidence for this belief?
3. Ask – where’s the evidence for the contrary belief?
4. What is the truth?
My Top Tips
If you’re looking for a quick takeaway to help you create time for your career shift, here are my top 5 tips:
1. Grow the vision of your target future - make it as clear as possible and very visible to you on a daily basis. A vision board would be ideal. You can get my free guide to creating a vision board on the resources page.
2. Know WHY this change is necessary – what will it offer that you prize deeply? Link your shift to these important values.
3. Be realistic but ambitious about your progress – diary small consistent steps and stick to them.
4. Schedule weekly actions and guard that time with all you’ve got. This matters!
5. Don’t believe your gremlins – they’re compulsive liars.
Good luck in expanding time enough to accommodate your biggest, most expansive dreams. This is really you and this is really possible!
And here’s a round up of all the resources mentioned in this article:
https://www.freestyle-careers.com/resources < Vision Board guide; Joining the Dots in Your Career Transitions; Wheel of
https://www.freestyle-careers.com/new-blog/2018/6/27/changing-mindsets-and-changing-careers << Giving yourself permission
https://www.freestyle-careers.com/new-blog/2018/6/27/changing-mindsets-and-changing-careers << fears and how to manage them