Do You Have What It Takes To Change Careers?

Blog 10-27-15 career change

You say you are determined to live up to your career potential, and changing careers is the way to make it happen. Great! Then, prepare to be a high-flier – someone who does not settle for less, pushes boundaries, and is motivated by goals that others nay-say as unrealistic or unachievable. High-fliers constantly stretch themselves. They set high goals, and are not afraid to ask others for help.

If you are changing careers as opposed to jobs in the same career, steel yourself to be that high-flier, because there will be folks who will think what you’re trying to do isn’t doable. You’ll face barriers and roadblocks. Wondering if you’re that high-flier, ready to launch a new career? Here are some questions to consider:

1.    What are you willing to invest?

It takes a huge amount of time, effort, and energy to be a high-flier. When clients tell me they want to change careers, they often ask, “How long will this take?” I answer with overall statistics, with the caveat of “It takes as long as it takes.” It’s a legitimate question, but honestly, so much depends on your answer to my question. “What are you willing to invest?” A high-flier’s natural response is, “I’m willing to invest whatever it takes.”

2.    How much are you willing to tolerate?  

Many steps of your career-change journey might be beleaguered with roadblocks or difficulties. Those who are high-fliers learn to persist despite any hitches confronting them, and they transform difficulties into opportunities. So to this question, the high-flier replies: “Whatever I must tolerate!”  

3.    What are you willing to give up?  

Most of us like to be comfortable. But if you put your mind to being a high-flier, you may well have to prepare mentally to push out of that comfort zone to reach your long-term goals. You may need to give up things that cost you more money than you can afford while going back to school or doing an internship. You may need to sacrifice time with something else you like – making top priority whatever it is that will help you reach your long-term goal.

4.    Are you willing to start where you are?

My client, Peg, was moving from software programmer, to a degree in global logistics. She realized she needed to learn about manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain management in a real-world setting. She was willing to do an unpaid internship to get it. You can always get where you want to go, providing you’re willing to start from where you are. And your high goal can only become real when you’re willing to take the first small step.

High goals – including complete career change – can be reached. In the process, high-fliers don’t focus on what they’ve done, but what they are becoming. The bonus is that in doing so, they have the steady delight of grasping progressively higher intermediate goals in the daily experience and preparation.  

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