A big part of making a big career change is your mindset. Most people give up – or don’t try at all – because they are afraid, they are unwilling to step out of their comfort zone, and they just don’t believe in themselves and their idea enough to keep going until it works. So the first thing you’ll want to do before you move ahead is to address your fears and examine and reframe the beliefs that underpin them. After that, there are three key things that you need in order to have the confidence to move forward: knowing what you want to do, knowing how you’re going to do it, and knowing that you’re going to do it.
Let’s look each of these in turn.
Step 1: Get clear on what you want to do
The number one reason why people don’t achieve their goals is that they don’t know exactly what their goal is, or they don’t know why they have a particular goal and why it’s so important to them. Having clarity on what your goal is, and why it’s meaningful to you, is what will make it possible to achieve it. More than that, this clarity will give you confidence that it’s the right thing for you – because you will have done all that exploration and research, and you will have made an intuitive decision on what feels right.
Discover some of the common signs it's time to re-think your career
Do you fantasise about a world in which you love your job to the point that you jump out of bed in the morning with excitement at the thought of what you’re going to do today? Do you long for more freedom and flexibility in your daily schedule? Do you wish that you were creating something really meaningful, that could make a difference to something that matters?
This will also give you the confidence you need in shutting out the voices of all the naysayers and assertively defending yourself against well-meaning advice. That advice, you must remember, is always about people voicing their own fears – it’s never about you – and your confidence in yourself and your plans will help the people who care about you feel reassured that you know what you’re doing. (Even if you don’t!)
If you don’t have this clarity on what it is you want to do and why, I’d encourage to go back and read those blog posts, starting with: The #1 reason why you’re still getting stuck and not taking action.
Step 2: Work out a plan for how you’ll do it
Once you know what you want to do, you can get to work on the ‘how’. I often see people mixing these two steps together, getting stuck on how difficult something is going to be before they have even decided it’s what they want to do. When you know what you want, and it really feels right, then you will be motivated to find a way to make it work. So it’s important that you get that clarity on your goal first and only then get into how you’re going to do it.
The ‘how’ – your plan – includes a feasible time frame for the end goal as well as milestones along the way. Steps will include information gathering, talking to people, filling any skills gaps you’ve identified, creating a buffer of savings, and so on.
If you’re at this point, if you’re clear on what you want and you now want to figure out what it is you want to do, there’ll be more on this on the blog in the coming weeks.
Step 3: Set yourself up so that you know you’ll do it
Once you know what you want and you have a plan in place, you now need to go ahead and implement that plan. Doing that successfully again starts with your mindset – some people find that meditations or affirmations can really help here, and things like doing a gratitude journal every day to recognise the progress you’re making. It also means anticipating things that can get in the way, and putting in place the support structures that you need to overcome those obstacles.
Setting yourself up for success is about anchoring your ‘big picture’ vision and plan in your day-to-day schedule, being clear on your priorities every week and every day, managing your time effectively, surrounding yourself with people who support you (online and offline), finding an accountability partner, working with a coach… Perhaps most importantly, it means managing your health and wellbeing in the meantime, as this is absolutely fundamental to everything else that you will do.
There’ll be more on this in the coming weeks too. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, you are welcome to join the One Step Outside Facebook group to get you started with a supportive group of like-minded people.
There’ll always be an element of risk when you get out of your comfort zone and try something completely different – but if you work through these three steps, you’ll be equipped to move forward towards your vision with confidence and conviction.