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How to be confident in your new career choice (before you make the leap).

How to be confident in your new career choice (before you make the leap). Photo of a view looking through open double doors over an outside space to the sea.

There are 3 key measurements to take notice of when assessing the viability of a new career option, and viability is a good indicator for success (and by success, I mean what success is for you).

Resonance.

Competence.

Sustainability.

You can only get honest readings on each of these when you start to do some work connected with your new career options.

This may feel a bit chicken and egg.

After all, how do you gain experience without getting a job?

And how do you get a job that you more than likely don’t have the experience for (at first glance anyway)?

Enter stage left, the shift project.

The shift project process is where you begin to explore the reality of a career and it’s where you apply a little rigor to the process of appraising its long-term viability. 

For example, if you’re interested in wine and event management, you could undertake a number of quick shift projects for each of these themes and maybe some shift projects which combine them:

  • Hosting a wine tasting evening for friends.
  • Charging £10 per person for a second themed wine tasting evening with nibbles.
  • Choosing, buying and serving the wine at a friend’s birthday celebration.
  • Organising a monthly wine club and charging a subscription of £20 per person, per month.
  • Writing a few blogposts about wine.
  • Finding an events company that will allow you to shadow them for a day.
  • Organising an event for a friend for a nominal fee.

You are looking to experience all the aspects of the career you are interested in and then observe how much you enjoyed it and how fulfilling it was (resonance), how good you were at it (competence) and with the information and experience you now have, to what extent you could earn an income and build a career in this field (sustainability).

To keep it simple use the scale low, medium or high to rate each of the 3 measurements.

The examples above allow for experiencing variations on a theme and this is important.

As long as a career area continues to interest you, keep trying out new shift projects that build on the knowledge you are gaining.

Wine tasting went well for friends, would they now pay for it?

Would they enjoy and pay for wine tasting each month?

What about going bigger and offering a wine service for events?

And so on.

Each shift project gives an opportunity to explore more fully the resonance, competence and sustainability of a potential career so you can identify what you want to focus on and what is truly viable, with very little risk and all before you make the official leap into your new career.

In fact, at some point the shift project journey morphs into your new career, so there probably won’t be any leaping… 

For more on shift projects, take a look at these 2 blog posts: Try before you buy: how to test your new career options and 5 ways to explore a new career idea.

Here’s to confidently knowing, through exploration, that your new career is right for you.

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash.