Back to Back Issues Page
Change Career or Change Yourself? The 5 Minute Career Coach April 2010 Update
April 15, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

April 2010 Update


I had a lovely email recently from a reader of the 5 Minute Career Coach who has used many of the exercises on the How To Change Careers website. He told me how much the exercises had helped him to sort out the frustration he was feeling in his work, even though they had forced him to ask himself some tough questions at times. But he felt he had made a great breakthrough with his career.

So what was this big career transformation he had achieved, I hear you ask? Was it a fantastic new career? A decision to downshift and work for less? A determination to set up his own business?

No, none of these.

He realised that he is actually committed to the work he is doing, but had just let himself get ground down by it. So he has chosen to refresh his approach, build new relationships and re-commit to the underlying value of the work.

For him, it is the same job, but with a new beginning and a whole new outlook.

Is career change the answer?

Now this may sound a bit radical coming from someone with a website called How To Change Careers, but actually sometimes you can really transform a situation – at work and elsewhere in your life - by challenging and changing what is going on inside you, your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, rather than by thinking the solution lies in changing the external factors around you.

Could the answer be for you to change your approach to your career rather than change the career itself?

Take a look at these tips and ideas and see if they could make a difference to your working life.

Take a fresh look at why you went into your job in the first place

In most cases, you will have started a new job in a positive frame of mind. Take yourself back to that point and remind yourself what the original attractions of the job were.

Don't expect your job to be perfect & meet all your needs

Acknowledge that no job is perfect and check that you are not living with unrealistic expectations of what it can offer.

Get feedback – and give it!

If you do not feel you are getting enough acknowledgement for your work, ask for it! But then remember to give encouragement to others too – you may find that if you give first, you'll start receiving more.

Build relationships

You won't find that everyone you work with will turn into a friend for life, but commit to being proactive in building positive connections with your colleagues and avoid getting sucked into back stabbing and gossip.

Be clear what motivates you

Take time to work out what really motivates you at work, what really matters to you. Status, influence, meaning, expertise, creativity...? What ticks your box? Then focus on how your job meets those needs, at least in part.

Count your blessings

Remember the good things about your job, how you benefit from it – or how you could benefit if you chose to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.

Decide to like your job for a day

Try going in to work for just a day with a totally positive attitude. If you did like your job, how would you feel and act? How would you engage with people? How would you tackle each task?

Now I acknowledge that these suggestions will not work for everyone, but if you are uncertain about making a career change and are worried about doing so in the current economic climate, you might find that a change in attitude can make a really big difference.

You can read more on this issue on the How To Change Careers website.

With best wishes

Your Subscription Information

Back to Back Issues Page