Changing careers is exciting. It takes guts and bravery because it’s the conscious choice to leap into the unknown. But, it’s also scary, overwhelming, and at times a lonely path.
So, when things feel like they’re getting out of control, and you start to feel the fear and doubt your choice of the new over the old and comfortable, these are the top five things you can do to inspire and support yourself.
1. Breathe – connecting with your breath and doing simple and short exercises to breathe deeply, counting gently to ten is a proven way to calm and nurture yourself. The best thing about it is that you can do it anywhere at any time. There are lots of guided apps out there to help you, like Headspace if you want to have the comfort of being guided through the exercises.
2. Remember why you started – making a change is many things, but easy isn’t one of them. Keep reminding yourself of why you started in the first place. Share that vision of your future on a post-it, in your journal on your laptop’s notes. Anywhere you’ll see it and be reminded. It’ll help anchor you in your hope for the future.
3. Take time out to be by yourself – Giving yourself time to reflect, rest, and reengage is essential with any big change. Allowing yourself the space to think objectively about things is a crucial part of the change. Build it into your weekly schedule, an hour, a morning a day, whatever works. Just use the time to step back and think calmly.
4. Surround yourself with positive influences – Family, friends, pets, anyone, and anything that is always in your corner and who will help lift you up on the days when things feel hard or overwhelming. We all need a network of people who’ll help us get up when things feel on top of us.
5. Take time off – This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s essential to give yourself a break. Whether it’s an afternoon pamper or a week’s holiday. Switch off, unwind. Turn the volume down on the world and let your brain rest. Change is turbulent and challenging; giving yourself a proper break will help you cope. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
It’s so easy to get carried away when you instigate a big career change. It’s exciting and all-consuming, and there’s usually a tiny nugget of fear that propels you to keep going. But taking time to rest, recharge, and quietly consider everything you’d already done and the positive changes still to come is a major part of positively handling change over a longer-term. Embrace it and keep going. You’ve got this.