What do we do when we need to have career transitions? How should we approach career transitions? Do we end up confused and unsure? Are we having a hard time coping with the changes? Reality is, there will always be shifts in our lives that we need to undertake. How we respond in a transition determines the outcomes.
Whatever career path we choose can be either be seen as a career, a calling or a job which is just the best option at the time. You may be in a career that once felt exciting, but now feels unfulfilling. You may feel that there is another path calling you.
Do you yearn to do something different with your life, but feel too hesitant to do so? Do you feel an urge to make a career shift but you feel scared to take the risk? Having a career change requires our full physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves. It often requires a transformation in order to make the change.
Tal Ben Shahar, the founder of the Happiness Studies Academy, writer, and teacher of Positive Psychology states that lasting change is rare. Because to transform is to change our internal interpretation, and in doing so, we change our external reality. Through a review of the research on transformation, he has created a Transformational Change Model that shows the path to growth and development.
Transformation is often required of someone making a career transition, especially when they are seeking meaning and purpose. If you want to make this kind of move, let me share with you some principles from the Transformational Change Model that may help in making this career transition:
Career path fit
The first step is to determine and build on your strengths, including your passion strengths and your performance strengths. Passion strengths are those things you love to do, while performance strengths are your natural talents. Often we believe that we can make a living using one but not both of these types of strengths. Your most fulfilling work will be found at the intersection of both.
The writer Arthur Miller said “Giftedness is the only means I know of for the ordinary person to make sense out of life. Each one is given a purpose and the drive and competitiveness to achieve that purpose. Meaning is thereby built into the adventure of living for everyone.” Our gifts or skills aid us in pursuing our purpose. Each one of us has different talents. When we focus and develop these talents, we turn them into skills we can apply in our careers.
There are no short cuts to mastery. It takes an investment of time and effort. Honing your strengths is as important as recognizing what they are. Raw talent can only take you so far. Once you have determined the gifts and talents that you want to master, you have to practice, practice, practice, again and again, thereby increasing your skill and confidence levels.
Do not do it alone
While fit and hard work provide the willpower to make a change, having guidance through the transition will give you a sense of way power. Career transitions are tough and complicated. When you feel that it is just too overwhelming, seek help from a coach who works with people in career transitions. Know that when help is needed, your coach will be able to guide, mentor, and help you as you move through these transitions.
Believe that change is possible
Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist coined what she calls fixed and growth mindsets. People with fixed mindsets believe that their character and intelligence is fixed at birth and cannot change. People with a growth mindset believe that they can change and get smarter through hard work and perseverance.
These beliefs shape our attitudes about success and failure. And what we are willing to attempt and perhaps fail at, versus playing it safe. Brain research shows that new neural pathways can be created. And that merely the belief that this is possible is enough to do it.
Reinvention is not only possible but sometimes advisable if we want to change and transition into a new career path in order to find more meaning and purpose in our work. To do this, get clear on what you want to reinvent in yourself by concentrating on your gifts, skills, and natural abilities.
Be prepared to start again. There are no shortcuts as reinvention takes time and effort, however, if you believe change is possible for yourself, you can prevail. You don’t need to go it alone. Seek support and guidance.
The greatest reward is experiencing great joy. As you become successful in your career transition through mastery of the journey itself.