It happens to me all the time. I meet potential clients who are ‘thinking’ about a possible career change. Then they discover how focused the coaching process is and that at the end of it they will very likely have a new job or a business. All of a sudden, they are not so keen to continue. Why? They are simply not ready. If you are sitting on the fence and contemplating a career change, perhaps it would be helpful to understand just how ready you are at the moment.
You are ready when:
1) No matter what the future holds in your current work environment, you want out. If they come with a promotion, an offer to work on a cool project or want to send you to Hawaii, you still want to get out of there. You don’t need to know where you are going; you just feel you can’t stay where you are any longer. Believe it or not, there are lots of people who do this every day; they leave behind a warm seat and a steady income and throw themselves into exploring the unknown future. They bet on a simple mathematical formula: there is a 50% chance that I am heading for disaster, but there is also a 50% chance that I will be much happier than before. And so, off they go and take their chances.
2) Perhaps you are not such an adventurous type; there is nothing wrong with a more cautious approach. If you increasingly spend more and more free time exploring other options and making plans how to transition from where you are to where you ideally want to be, you can also consider yourself ready. In this case, you need to make sure that those plans don’t stay where they are—on a piece of paper—forever. Give yourself deadlines and make sure you work towards them. Theoretically, your career transition should be much smoother than for the risk-taking group above, but until you back your plans with action, you will not move an inch, while they have been around the world, enjoyed their savings and got a new job as a bodyguard to Madonna. Yeah, sometimes waiting can be a long and lonely way of moving forward, so make sure your approach is not too overcautious.
3) You know yourself well enough and are realistic enough to understand that you can’t make your career change by yourself. You go to workshops, read books, talk to people who have been through it successfully and generally gather enough information to know what to do. Hiring a coach on top of that is an excellent idea; he keeps you accountable and follows the timetable you have established. Your approach is probably the most likely to help you succeed in a career change because it has structure, involves experience and most importantly, you are not doing it alone!
After reading this article, if you feel you are ready and belong to the third group of career-changing wannabes, get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can make it happen.