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  • Writer's pictureNat Harrison

Time to change careers? How to have a painless transition

Career changes are much more common than they used to be. With over 70% of people unhappy in their current jobs, and the pensionable age rising, people are increasingly having two or three careers during their working lives. Career breaks are becoming more common earlier in life, with flexible working hours, sabbaticals and shared parental leave growing in popularity.


Sometimes, a career move is forced upon us with downsizing, redundancy and restructuring/closure affecting the private and public sectors alike. Often, these occurrences are a blessing in disguise, and an ideal time to totally change what you do, go back to college or start your own business.


With that said, the transition can be difficult with so many possible routes to choose from and factors such as training, finances and the support that's available to you.


Here are some things to think about to make your career transition as painless as possible:

=> Are you onboard? Why are you in your current career? What choices did you make or not make? Did you fall into your current/previous job? Do you hate what you are doing now?


Understand the factors driving your desire for a career change or business start-up, and ensure that you actually want to take the step. If you aren’t committed, chances are the transition will be painful and not a great success.


=> Get your finances in order. If you are planning a transition, ahead of time, could you put some money away for a few years to finance your training/start-up? How long will the transition take?


Put a plan together and see how much you will need to live on while you may not be earning. You may want to rearrange some of your finances – e.g. fix the mortgage, take some equity from your property, cash in some premium bonds – or maybe your partner can take more of the responsibility for a while. This step is really important; it will aid your confidence about the transition and make you feel more certain during a period of uncertainty. Maybe you could go part-time in your current role, to ease the transition.


=> Enlist support. Let all your family and friends know about your career plans and ask for their support.


When you are making a major change, you need positive, possibility-minded people on your side, and to keep the fear-mongers at bay: they are the ones who will never choose to live their dream lives; it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. What’s really important is that your partner is onboard. If they are, you will have someone readily available to refocus you when your doubts creep in.


To Summarise

These are just a few examples you can implement yourself to make changing careers as easy as possible. It can be daunting, particularly if it's your first career transition, but it is another part of this thing we call life which can bring so much positive change.

By figuring out what you really want, creating actionable steps to get there, including financials and seeking support, you can make the entire journey a pain-free experience so you can thrive.


Going back to my point on support, the best person to join you through this transition is a mentor (someone who has already followed the path you are about to embark upon), or a coach, who can keep you focused and accountable for the steps forward, and act as a sounding board.


As a coach myself, this is something I can most definitely support you with so why not consider booking a free consultation with me to discuss how I can help you move forward on your new adventure.

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