The 5 Minute Career Coach

Helping Career Changers Around The World

August 2013

Is it your last chance?

This is my last chance to change to a career that fulfils mehe said…

And that really gave me pause for thought. It sounded so final. No wonder the idea of career change seemed daunting with that ultimatum hanging over his head.

If not now, when?

Is this something that has gone through your mind when thinking about career change? ‘Time is ticking on and if I don’t get it right this time, I’ve had it.’

But hang on a minute… Who is it that says this is your last chance?  Where does this idea come from?

It is only you.  You created that thought, that belief, that message.

There is no external rule or law that say It Must Be So.  This is something that you have chosen to impose upon yourself.

So let’s just review this belief

For starters, do you know for a fact that nobody has ever made a successful career change at a later stage in life than where you are now?

What would happen if a career change was forced upon you in say 5 years time through redundancy or layoff? Would you become bankrupt and homeless on the spot?

So is this belief of yours really as final as you are making it out to be?

I’m sure you will agree that we all grow, change and mature as we pass through life, so it makes complete sense to acknowledge that the career that was right for you at 21 may not be such a good fit at 31 or 41. This means that changing your career is a sensible idea, not a risky one.

The idea of a job for life has long gone and it is now the norm that you will do different things as you progress through your working life.  Rather than being worrying, this is actually great news.  It means that you will no longer be looked down on for ‘job hopping’ but you can present your career changes as a totally positive moves.

Actually I think there is another good reason for changing career – it stops you from over identifying with your work.  Too many people have their whole identity bound up with their job – I’m an accountant, a teacher, a designer…  Yes, work is an important part of your life, but there is a whole lot more that really makes you YOU.  Don’t let yourself become uni-dimensional – you are a multi-faceted being. Celebrate everything that makes you special, not just your work skills.

And finally, with any belief that you suspect may be holding you back, just ask ‘how is this belief helping me?’  How does believing that this is your ‘last chance’ actually help you to make the changes in your career that you know you need?  Seems to me that this is a belief that will hinder much more than it will help.

What could you believe instead?

Once you realise that this ‘last chance’ idea is just something you have chosen to believe and you can see that it is not a helpful belief but one that holds you back, it begs the question ‘what belief can you put in its place?’

Try these for size:

  • It is the natural next step for me in an ongoing progression – and there will be many more steps ahead
  • It is a move towards me fulfilling my potential
  • It is just part of me learning and growing and that is a process that will only end when I die.
  • It is a wise move away from something that is draining me or even making me ill.
  • It is an opportunity for me to become more me.
  • It is a chance to show that I have the courage to step up and take action.

What do you have to believe for it NOT to be your last chance?  What needs to change in your mindset to free you from the burden of thinking that this is your last opportunity to change?

That is where you really need to focus your efforts first and then the career change will flow much more easily.

Something to think about

“It is never too late to become what you might have been.”

~ George Eliot ~

Best Reads

Your Best Year Yet

Your Best Year Yet

Jinny Ditzler

This book may sound like it is meant for the beginning of the New Year, but hey, who says that is the only time you can stop and take stock?  There’s no time like the present and if you are feeling inspired to take up a challenge like changing your career, then this book will help you plan it out. It does not focus specifically on careers, but you can choose to make work issues the centre of your Best Year Yet plan.

The Best Year Yet process is built around 10 key questions that start with a stock take and then a look forward to what you will do in the next 12 months.  You choose which areas of your life you want to focus on and then set goals accordingly:

At each step, Jinny explains the reasons behind this particular question and gives you lots to think about. At the end of the book, she has created a series of worksheets for you to fill in as you work through each question.

She suggests that you do your Best Year Yet planning in one session so you need to block out 3 hours just for this process so that you can give it your full attention.

Three hours? Does that sound impossible?

Surely it’s got to be worth not mowing the lawn or doing the laundry at the weekend if it could make a significant impact on the way you live the year ahead. This is your chance to really get to grips with the career change you have been promising yourself. Or will you just carry on dreaming?

Go on, get the book and just do it!

With best wishes for your career change success

5MCC Back Issues from May 2012

About the author

Amy Thomas

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