Today, I’m happy to share a guest post from my business partner, Hallie Crawford. Do you know you need a career change, but you aren’t sure what path to take? Hallie specializes in helping recent college grads and boomerangs identify their ideal career paths and make it happen. Visit her site to learn more about Hallie!
by Hallie Crawford, MA, CPCC
Does it sometimes seem like as soon as you decide to break the mold in your career and make a positive change, the whole world turns against you and tells you why you can’t do it, it’s not possible or something else that’s not very encouraging?
One of the biggest challenges that people in career transition face is trying to convince their families, friends, coworkers and the people who know them best that change is a good thing. At a time when everything is in flux, it’s tough for us to reassure people we are headed on the path to success despite any obstacles which may surface along the way. We may even be uncertain ourselves! And because we frequently experience the most resistance to our ideas from the people who mean the most to us, it can FEEL like our core support system is caving in.
As a certified career coach who has helped many people overcome obstacles and someone who has paved the way for my own career, I make sure my clients know where to find the best type of career support, at the time when they need it most.
Here are five sources where you can seek out guidance, education– even commiseration– during your career transition period.
1. Career networking – both online and in person.
There are tons of career-focused networks and resources on the internet and in your local area. Do a Google search; Check out your home town paper to find out where the best career focused communities are hiding; Go out and mingle with like-minded professionals who are seeking a change in their own careers or who work in the field you would like to pursue; Participate in workshops; Contact your college alumni office; Attend a networking event.
2. Individual career coaching.
A good career coach will never just hand you instructions, but is there instead to offer expert advice, an objective viewpoint, positive encouragement and suggestions to help manage your goals effectively, in a manner that works for you.
3. A career seeking buddy.
Sometimes it isn’t easy being that “horse of a different color” in your group of friends. If everyone you know is consumed with their corporate job but you have a strong urge to strike out on your own, you may get some resistance from those who can’t relate or are concerned you are making a mistake. The solution is not to try and persuade the naysayers, but instead seek like-minded people or a supportive friend to commiserate with, share experiences with, and bounce ideas off of. It’s so important to feel like you have someone who understands what you’re going through during the sometimes unpredictable yet exhilarating career transition time.
4. A mentor or someone who has “been there.”
Is there someone in your life who you admire because they didn’t follow the status quo, made their own way or just seem to be living out an amazingly full and satisfying life and career? Maybe you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance who started their own business or managed to interweave creativity and flexibility into their professional life in a way that stands out from the crowd. Now is a perfect time to ask for advice and guidance from that person, listen to their story, learn from their mistakes, and apply this knowledge to the changes that you’re going through in your own career. Most people are more than happy to share what they have learned.
5. Career education courses.
Newspapers, career publications, public libraries, online career resources and even my career website, are all great places to discover reasonably-priced career education and transition courses. Become armed with the knowledge needed to begin your journey on the path to a more fulfilling career.
When you’re striving for a positive change in your life, the goal is to seek out experiences that help further along that goal, enhance your knowledge, and offer positive feedback. It’s understandable that our human support group won’t always exist in the places where we’re used to having it… but help is out there. I have confidence that you will receive the guidance and understanding you need to move forward with your dream of the ultimate career for you. Good luck!
photo by thomashawk