How the career change journey takes the pressure off escaping your current job.

Looking out towards a beach nestled between cliffs with buildings on in Italy.

Deciding to take the plunge and invest in exploring a career change is rather like deciding to see a therapist.

You’ve been hoping the symptoms will magically go away, that you won’t have to open up your vulnerabilities to a complete stranger. 

You imagine going to talk to someone only for them to lift an eyebrow and calmly tell you you’re a weirdo. 

You knew that already, thanks. 

You ruminate on the pros and cons of starting to address what you’re experiencing, clinging on to the hope that somehow everything will resolve itself, but no such luck – it’s all there lurking at every turn. 

Then, courage surges, the desperation for change propelling you to take action and you finally book to see a therapist. 

This is swiftly followed by worrying about what you’ll say, what they’ll say and you wonder if you can cancel or at least reschedule. 

A few sessions in and you calm a little and realise unpicking things may take a while and although this is somewhat disappointing, somehow not having the pressure to fix everything right away and that what you’re experiencing is also experienced by many others, helps you feel a little better and in control.

In the same way, beginning the journey to discovering a new career takes the pressure of fixing your current job situation. Quite a helpful and convenient benefit I’d say, and here’s how:

Gaining clarity.

Spending a good amount of time focussing on understanding who you are today will have you unpacking all sorts of forgotten elements of yourself. 

As you spread this all out in front of you to get a good view of your skills, strengths, motivators, values, achievements and experience, you realise what’s important to you and that you have much to draw on as you shape the type of career you want. 

This process is a wonderful antidote to feeling like a square peg in a round hole and will give you a great big dollop of hope which eases the pain and frustration of feeling stuck in your current job.

Understanding where the sticking points in your current career REALLY are.

Is it to do with the culture or the size of the company? 

Maybe it’s because you can’t use the skills you enjoy as much as you’d like. 

Maybe it’s your leader. 

Maybe the need for structure is stifling your creativity. 

Maybe all this virtual working has taken away the connection element that you used to enjoy being in the office.

As the pressure eases to escape your current job, it should reduce some of the emotion that’s been bubbling away, so instead of not seeing much that’s good in the situation, you can begin to appraise the different elements and understand exactly which are having a negative impact on you and why. 

As you unpack this, you can build a picture of what energises you and what drains you so you can make an informed choice in your next career move, rather than a reactionary one.

How’s that for some empowerment?

Recognising what you can take with you.

This follows on nicely from the last point. 

There are things that work well for you in your current job situation and as you recognise them, it’s not only helpful for your future career (you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater) but also for being able to keep handling your current role. 

You will realise that the choices that led you here have, and are, yielding some useful skills and experience, some of which you might even enjoy, which will be really helpful as you transition to a different career. 

You may not be getting the results you want with them yet, but applied in a different career, you will be grateful you have them!

Taking action positively affects other areas of your life.

Action begets action, and the emerging possibilities that unfold as you move through the career change journey will ripple out into your current work and other areas of your life. 

When you’re frustrated, unsure and feeling stuck in your career (I don’t need to remind you how many hours you spend working 🙈) this can drain everything around you and if you’re not getting the movement you want in your finances, your relationship or your living arrangements it can be overwhelming with no clue where to start (read this recent blogpost for more on that). 

Taking action to begin bringing some order to the chaos of figuring out a new career will bring calm, hope and maybe even some crossover strategies to help you chip away at the areas of your life that you want to focus on. 

These, in turn, will give you a little more resilience to hang on in there in your current job. 

I hope these insights bring a little sigh of relief because there is some immediate benefit to be had when beginning the new career journey; it goes beyond being about just the destination.  

It can help you cope with a difficult work situation and gently diffuses the urgency to make a premature move to escape a job and career you feel stuck in.

Here’s to this lesser known positive impact of choosing to discover a new career.

Photo by Agi Szczerbinska.