With every big life change, we encounter challenges.
Sometimes, we’re prepared for them — as High-Performers, we like to make sure we have the majority of our bases covered before we dive head-first into the deep-end of our career change.
But, sometimes we find challenges where we least expect them.
When we look at career change, we know that taking on this big life change requires a great amount of time, energy, maybe a bit of financial planning, and a solid support system to lean on when the career change process becomes overwhelming.
One of the least-talked about topics of career change is your current and ongoing support system.
Everyone needs a support system as they approach any big life changes.
We have people that care about us and they want to be there to support us in times of need — whether it is to vent about our career change obstacles, seek advice on what to do, or to be the distraction we need from all the mental strength we’ve been exhausting to make our change happen.
As much as our core supporters want to be there for us as we make this career change, many of them aren’t really sure how to approach the issue.
This is where the challenge comes in (where you’d least expect it!).
Unfortunately, the reason many people stay in the same place in their career is often because of the lack of support they get from their core group of friends and family.
But, knowing to have an honest and open conversation with the people closest to you about your career change (if you want their support) is key.
Being able to navigate those relationships in order to remain authentic to yourself and your career goals is just as important as the work you put into your actual career change process.
Let’s dig deeper into your support system and learn ways to better manage those relationships as you go through your career change.
THE SIDE-EFFECTS OF YOUR CAREER CHANGE — IN TERMS OF YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
The reactions of the people closest to you as you explain your career change decision isn’t something a lot of High-Performers calculate beforehand.
The wild card is always going to be other people’s feelings when it comes to your big career change. Why?
People are risk-averse
Everyone deals with change differently.
The majority of people see career change (especially if you don’t have a job lined-up in the immediate future) as risky.
Your career change makes you vulnerable. Ultimately leaving your supporters feeling vulnerable as well, as they care what happens to you as you make this life change.
IT’S AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER ALL-AROUND
- Nobody needs to tell you that changing careers is nerve-racking.
After the initial shock and surprise people may feel as you inform them of your career change decision, people will become nervous for you.
They may then project that nervousness onto you, which is the last thing you want them to do.
- Some people will look through their lens of perspective and unintentionally react in a way that this career change would effect them personally.
It is almost a natural reaction to immediately think about how your decision would change their lives – oftentimes, this isn’t a positive reaction.
- People may react with anger and frustration.
They’ll comment with:
“You’re making a mistake.”
“Is all this trouble really worth it?”
Again, this leads back to people taking your decision personally and thinking in terms of how your decision will change their lives.
THE BIGGEST DISCONNECT IS THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING
Your loved ones want what’s best for you, but also may just be thrown off by this new change and can’t wrap their heads around it.
It may even be because when they think of you, they think of you in a certain way, and this change is completely out of the oridinary.
The emotional impact of others not understanding your career change can throw off your mindset and ultimately put the breaks on your career change.
Don’t let that stop you.
Knowing how your career change can effect your support system can help you be proactive in your communications with them.
WHAT YOU CAN TO DO TO BRIDGE THE KNOWLEDGE-GAP BETWEEN YOUR CAREER GOALS AND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
If you need support to help you achieve your goals, move forward, or deal with anything challenging that comes your way, you need to:
1. KNOW WHO IS SUPPORTING YOU
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THOSE PEOPLE
3. CHECK-IN WITH THOSE PEOPLE
MAXIMIZING YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
Family and Friends
The family and friends that you keep the closest only want to see you succeed, so having the conversations about your new career intentions should be open and honest.
Be clear about what it is you need from them in support — advice, comfort during the hard times, respecting your plans to save more money, trust in your skills, etc.
If you’re struggling with some people that are having a hard time processing your career change, here is a sample script you can use to start that conversation:
Whether it is your former professor, boss, or other professional in your network, a mentor is a great form of support during your career change process.
Maybe they’ve experienced this type of change before, or maybe they know someone that can share their story.
Your mentor is there to help guide you through your career and provide suggestions on next steps as they may know your skills, experience, and where you excel.
Approach them with the same straightforward conversation on how they can best support you.
Just like your mentor, your colleagues can help you expand your network.
They also know your work ethic and can understand what it will take to break through to something new.
An outside perspective might be necessary to further your progress to your career change.
You may reach a point in your career change where you begin to feel stuck.
You can lose your focus, motivation, or let your mindset get the best of you.
A career coach is a great way to incorporate someone that is impartial to your work history.
A coach is someone that doesn’t carry any predispositions of you as a family member, friend, coworker, or employee.
Having a career coach by your side as you continue down your career change path will help support you with structured guidance on that dreded question of “What next?”
High Performers know that surrounding themselves with the people that encourage and support them and their goals is necessary to make things happen according to their values.
You don’t have to stop your career change when one of your core supporters reacts to change negatively. With a career coach and a community of like-minded career-changers, you can get the support you need.
Once you are able to step away from your current situation to regain perspective on what you need to do to continue with your career transition, you will be able to find the resources you need to reach your career goals.
If you’re struggling to find the way to your new career, Career Change Bootcamp can help steer you in the right direction, too.
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