Deciding to take the plunge and change your career can be daunting. It means moving away from what you know and have experience in, to pursue something that has no guarantees for success. Essentially, it’s stepping out of your comfort zone, which is the only way to truly grow and develop. To prepare yourself for this big change and to make the transition easier and more enjoyable, it’s vital that you build up your confidence. Here’s a look at some practical ways that you can build your confidence to take on a change in your career.
People tend to put you in a box based on the experience and skills related to your recent roles. But don’t forget about all the transferable skills you have learnt along the way that are applicable across multiple industries! Documenting these skills is often a useful exercise, whether for yourself or to show to a potential employer. Think about the soft skills that you use in your day-to-day activities; presentation, management, negotiation and sales skills for example can be extremely useful across various industries and jobs.
Identify All Your Strengths
Everyone has certain strengths that are unique to them. To build your confidence it’s worth analysing what your strengths are and how these can be applied to your new career. Think beyond hard and soft skills and focus on personality traits that set you apart in the workplace. You can even ask your current colleagues their opinion, to give you another perspective.
Preparation and Planning
Being prepared for something is the best way to build confidence around it. Perhaps this means coming up with a contingency plan for the worst-case scenarios, or building up savings that can serve as a safety net in the changeover period. Instead of rushing into a new career, allow yourself the time to explore your options and learn all you can about your new industry and role. Take a short course, talk to people who have made similar transitions, read articles and listen to podcasts. It won’t be long before you’re confident enough to make the big leap!
One Step at a Time
Often, simply taking action, even if it’s in a small way, can help you build your confidence and keep you motivated to keep moving forward. This doesn’t mean you should make a drastic change like quitting your job or signing up for a new degree. But taking a small step, even if it’s simply sending an email, connecting with someone on LinkedIn or doing some research into your new career choice, can often leave you feeling more confident as you start moving and building momentum in the right direction.
Find Your Support
Changing careers can often leave you feeling quite alone, as the people around you may not understand why you want to move in a new direction. To feel confident in your decision it’s important to find people who are supportive of you and that can help keep you motivated. Whether this support comes in the form of an online or offline community, a mentor in your career of choice, a good friend or an encouraging family member, the main thing is that you have someone you can talk to about your journey.
Do you feel it is time for a career change but still feeling a bit daunted about it all, then make sure to get your hands on our free Career Change Toolkit that will help you avoid the most common mistakes and also gives you the strategies to focus on to make sure you create a career that is truly engaging and a perfect fit with your life. Get the toolkit here.
Have a fantastic day!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.