Turbulent times in working life challenge our sense of familiarity, security, safety and certainty. In this increasingly competitive and fast-paced world living in one’s own professional comfort zone, where all activities and behaviours fit a well-established daily routine, is not necessarily possible anymore. Those of us, who can step into the discomfort of uncertainty by taking risks and moving to new directions, will not only reap the biggest rewards, but will be able to survive professionally.
The best you can do is always to be interested in developing yourself professionally. Entering new avenues in working life is much easier, when you systematically maintain a good and solid level of employability. Remaining employable throughout life means that you have the overall capacity to function in a job and be able to move smoothly between jobs and careers.
Yet the biggest obstacle for most people is self-doubt and fear of failure in relation to new professional challenges. Needless to say, any job or career change normally results in some stress and anxiety as we are not familiar with the new circumstances and may fear of losing control over the situation. This feeling of fear is only humane and will subside gradually.
For initiating a career change, you may consider these points:
What do you like doing and what are the things you do well? Make a list of your strengths and another list of your passions. Also discover what gives you joy in life, then determine your goals accordingly. Research career fields that would fulfil your passion and strengths. Maybe you have transferable skills that you can apply in a creative way to an area other than you are currently involved in.
What are your future career aspirations? Define the steps that are required to bring you to the desired job or career path. Maybe you need to broaden or deepen your skills and thus pursuing further studies will be high on the agenda. For this you may wish to consult a professional guidance counsellor or a vocational psychologist.
Is your professional profile recognizable? A good way to articulate your skills, experience, knowledge, and overall value in the eyes of potential future employers is to create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the crowd. Make an effort to put your achievements forward in a concrete and transparent manner (e.g. your CV/LinkedIn profile, your personal website).
How do your networks look like? Expand your personal and professional networks to include a wide range of different people as through them you can discover completely new career opportunities and get a broader overview of what is actually happening in the labour market. These days up to 80 % of jobs are gained through networking instead of any other job search strategy. Also see how your network contacts could support you in promoting and marketing yourself.
Are you 100 % committed to what you want to do? If not, simply go on staying in your comfort zone! But if you really want to redesign your career, accept the fact that reinvention at any age can be a little frightening and it may call you to leap empty-handed into the unknown. But always remember, giving up the old and obsolete will bring you something much more valuable in the long run.