How to Think Better: career change

Not a week goes by someone doesn’t confide in me they’re unhappy in their work.

Alongside the woe of work, I frequently hear some version of but I can’t change careers.

  • I’m 10 years in. I can’t waste the time I’ve already invested.
  • It’s what my degree is in.
  • It’s too late for me to change careers.
  • I’m not happy in this field, but don’t know what else I would do.
  • I’m too old to start over.
  • I have a family and a mortgage, so I can’t change careers.

Quite simply, your mindset becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe it’s not possible to make a career change, then it isn’t possible.

Know this: Mindset either opens you up to or cuts you off from possibility. 

Which means what you believe matters.

It’s not the only thing that’s going to factor in, but it’s foundational. Because without belief, you’re not going to even entertain possibilities. You’re not able to access the creative, resourceful side of yourself. And you’re not even going to try.

What if you believed (I mean, really believed)‚ it were possible to make a successful, satisfying career change?

So let’s take these limiting mindsets again.

  • I’m 10 years in. I can’t waste the time I’ve already invested. How about this instead: I’ve learned, grown, and evolved over the last ten years. Nothing has been wasted. I’ve come to a place in my life where I’m ready for something different.
  • It’s what my degree is in. How about this instead: I made the decision to get that degree when I was 18 years old and picked my major. I’m choosing not to define the rest of my life by that single decision, especially when it no longer fits who I am today.
  • It’s too late for me to change careers. Says who? And what if it’s not? What baffles me is I’ve heard “It’s too late for me to change careers” from those in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60, and 70s. Doesn’t the fact that this sentiment spans generations suggest it’s faulty?
  • I’m not happy in this field, but don’t know what else I would do. Then figure it out. Not knowing what would bring you engagement, fulfillment, and joy is not an excuse to stick with what doesn’t. Stop using not knowing as an excuse to stay stuck.
  • I’m too old to start over. You need only look around to see examples of individuals doing extraordinary things at all ages and stages of life. Our passions and strengths become clearer the longer we’re on this planet. So what if you looked at your age—whatever it happens to be—and the fact that you know yourself better now than you did X years ago as an advantage?
  • I have a family and a mortgage, so I can’t change careers. I have compassion for this mindset, but little patience. Changing careers can be done in a responsible way that still means you love your family and doesn’t risk the roof over their head. Cut the cord between the erroneous belief that family and mortgage can only mean the status quo.

If you were to embrace a successful, satisfying career change is possible, how does that empower your thoughts and actions?

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