January 22

Top 3 career change mistakes


In this article I’ll share with you my top three most common mistakes I see being made when people want to change career. We'll also talk about what you could do instead!

Number #1 career change mistakes: Using job sites as a starting point for your career change 

If you know what you’re looking for, great. But if you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, they can leave you more confused than ever, or put off by the long list of requirements to even apply. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, one great thing you can do is talk to people about their work. Express curiosity, ask questions, get a feel for what it’s really like and whether it sounds interesting. You’ll find out so much more than trawling the web and losing days of your life.

Number #2 career change mistakes: Trying to work it all out in your head 

Do you love to solve problems? Are you proud of your ability to figure out the answer without input from others? Then this might be you. I’ve been guilty of both of these at times!

A career change isn’t an intellectual problem to solve. It requires you to stretch outside what you know, and leave your zone of expertise. To accept that others will know more than you do and to be ok with seeking advice and information. You need new inputs, new experiences that will help you learn about your options and how to make the change you want.

Number #3 career change mistakes: Trying to work it all out in your head 

Talking yourself out of ideas before you’ve even started.

This is my favourite of the career change mistakes. It’s so easily done. You have an idea, something you’re interested in. If it’s an idea you’ve held onto for a long time, or maybe something you come across that looks exciting.

Then the doubts start. “That wouldn’t work because…”

“Yes, but….”

“I don’t know how to do that.”

“I couldn’t earn enough money doing that.”

“But I’d have to retrain.”

“What would X think?”

Before you know it, the idea is dust. So you move onto the next one, only to do the same thing again.

If you trap yourself in “yes, but…” thinking, nothing will ever change. There’s time to cast a critical eye at a later stage, but don’t do it at the beginning when your ideas are tender shoots that need a bit of nurturing. Give yourself time and space to have ideas, to dream a little.

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For over 15 years I've helped professionals who feel stuck in their career to find work they love. Find out more about how I can help you.


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