Overcoming Barriers to Career Change

How to Overcome the 5 Biggest (Self Made) Barriers to Career Change

Writing job notesSelf doubt when you are considering a career change is the rule – not the exception. Here’s how to overcome this and the other main barriers (all in your mind) to changing career.

1. Your age is an advantage – if you decide this, rather than thinking that it is a disadvantage, you will be able to find dozens of reasons that it is so. You’ll be more confident, and more persuasive and convincing. If you have the misconception that age is a barrier, then you really need to change your perception. Perception = reality. Change your perception and change your reality.

2. Fail fast, and learn – then move on to find what does work for you. Instant overnight success in a new career is as unrealistic and unlikely as it is in a first career. “Even a thief takes ten years to master his trade”. So don’t be put off by early “failure”. Remember Perception = Reality – so, it is not failure, just a lesson. Learn, don’t fail.

3. You are going to need help – So seek it out and accept it when it is offered. You may be able to do it on your own, but it will be a lot less fun, harder and less likely to succeed. Friends and family are the obvious first choices, but you may need to look for expertise outside of your usual circle. Don’t be shy – most people are delighted to be asked their opinion and advice, and will happily introduce you to the right people once you show that you are genuine, enthusiastic and value their help. Always remember to say thanks.

4. Find people who will encourage you– and spend as much time with them as you can. Try to avoid people who tell you you are crazy to change (or at least avoid the topic if possible, and don’t put too much weight on what they say). Listen to advice with an open mind, but keep talking to as many different people with as many different points of view as you can find. Then make up your own mind, based on what your heart tells you.

5. There is no “one right way” to change career – this is a voyage of discovery, not a guided tour. You can learn from other peoples expeditions into uncharted territory, but you are not going to follow anybody’s exact footsteps. They are unique, and so are you. Use what worked for them, and adapt it to your needs, and don’t be afraid to chuck any dead weight overboard. Look inside their toolbox, and try out all the tools, but don’t be surprised that many won’t work for you, or if you need to make a new tool. When you discover something that may help somebody else, please share it – pass it on, and make the next pilgrims progress slightly easier.

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