Making a bold life / career change: where to start?


Big gulpI have, both in the past and at present, made some bold life and career choices. It has taken me down an interesting path, and also prompted me to start a journal. The two things ended up being connected, and I wanted to share what I had learned.

  • Are you a person that is not quite happy with the job you have, but are not sure where to start with actually considering a career change?
  • Do you often think how jealous you are of other people that make bold moves, and think there is no way you could do that?

Then this blog is for you. 

Tough questions: the significance of change.

I did this whole exercise as an expanding mind map, but obviously, the way you deal with it is entirely up to you. You may prefer to create lists, or a table/ graph. Whatever works for you.

  1. Either as a mind map or a table, create a list of dangers and a list of opportunities that you would face if you went through with a career or life change. A danger is a threat to a positive outcome, and an opportunity is something positive that might happen as a result.
  2. For each of the opportunities on your list, you are now going to go one step towards making the opportunity a reality. For each one, write an action point for yourself to enable it to be a reality.
  3. For each of the dangers that you identified, now identify at least three ways to overcome each one. CAB might also be worth a visit too, on this topic.

Self talk

  1. Make a note of all the things that you are thinking right now. Again I mind mapped this, but your recording method is up to you.
  2. Place a tick next to each one that you are thinking that is positive.
  3. Place a cross next to each of the things that you are thinking that are negative.

How does your list look? Is your glass currently half empty or is it half full? By exploring your self talk patterns you can start to recognise when you are being negative, and take steps to rectify it.

Dream life model

looking at your dream life, just like your dream job can help you to assess the main areas of your life, and to plan any changes that are necessary.

Create a wheel or a mind map. Give it these 8 sections:

  • Time and balance: how you feel about the 24 hours that you have each day?
  • Home environment – where you live and how you are living
  • Finances – your disposable income, savings pensions, etc.
  • Fun and hobbies – what you do in your spare time, how you nurture your hobbies and interests
  • Close relationships – with people who are most special to you
  • Other relationships – e.g. Friends and wider family
  • Work and career – the way in which you earn money or spend your working hours
  • Health and fitness – how well you look after yourself including diet and exercise

For each section of your wheel give it a score between 0 (low) and 10 (high) depending on your level of satisfaction with each area.

Which section is of greatest concern to you?

What do you wish the section looked like instead? What do you need to change to make it a 10/10?

What ideas do you have for increasing your scores in these sections?

What obstacles or constraints might you face?

Where to from here?

Make a mind map with NOW in the centre. Here are your 6 sections:

  • Self employment
  • Different job, similar organisation
  • Similar job, similar organisation
  • Similar job, bigger or smaller organisation
  • Different job, bigger or smaller organisation
  • Other?

On the next layer of your map, add all the advantages and disadvantages for each option.

Look at the whole map now. Do any options look more attractive than others? Do any Loki less attractive than others? If you really want to pursue one option but there are some disadvantages, what action could you take to overcome these?

You should now be well on the way towards seeing where your path is leading, and what action and options there are for you to help make it happen for you.

These pages, with illustrations, became pages in my journal. I will blog about that separately, and explain how that is helping me, and could also help you.

References: 

You don’t make a leap without a gulp: finding the courage to change careers and live again – Beckford and Fitzsimmons

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