• Leah N. Hout

8 Mindset Shifts to Embrace When Changing Careers

When changing careers, you'll need to prepare yourself of what's to come (the known and the unknown) on your journey and then take necessary action steps to accomplish your career goals. There might be internal and external objections you don't expect that will require you to make some mindset shifts.

Today, I am offering 8 mindset shifts to help ensure you have a more successful journey.

  1. Give yourself permission to explore. Do you believe you're here on earth to contribute and make a difference? If so, shouldn't you find out how you can best contribute? Some people are content with living for the paycheck and not feeling invested in their work and they can do a fantastic job too. Maybe they find a deeper joy in something else and that is awesome. Personally, I wanted to get excited about work and really excel in my field. I wanted to know where I fit best. If you feel this too, give yourself permission to fully participate in this journey.

  2. Have determination to keep pursuing. Do you believe that work can be enjoyable and finding work you love is a noble pursuit? When I talked about wanting to like my work, some people close to me would wave me off and tell me that work is not supposed to be enjoyable, it's just something we have to do. That never felt right to me, so I was determined to keep searching.

  3. Loosen your grip on being perfect. Confession: I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser. So, I followed the expectations of my family for college and when choosing my initial career. I don't regret any of it because I value education. But I had to shift my mindset from I was supposed to do, according to society, to what might lead to greater happiness and it was difficult. Are you ready to chart a path to your new career according to how you are designed and not how society says you should be?

  4. Be open and honest with a trusted few. Along with being perfect, I had built walls up that wouldn't allow anyone to know I was struggling. It may sound silly but I was ashamed that I wasn't "all in" on the great job I had. I knew I had to reach out to someone for help, whether it be a career counselor or job club. I needed support. Fortunately, I found a group of 4 friends who were also searching for a new career or ministry. We formed our own committed group and I facilitated the 10-week process. If you're looking for a safe community to support you on your career journey, check out the first resource under "Additional Help" below.

  5. Get ready for some new self realizations. Your career coach or counselor will help you go through a process to identify who you are, what you know, and what you like to do. Along with being honest with your support team, you'll need to be honest with yourself. Even if you are really good at writing, but the task is draining to you, be honest that you don't want to have to write in your next "career life". You may have some "wow" moments too. This is probably the first time you really get to see how you tick on the job front, so make it worthwhile. Otherwise, you will end up right back in a place of discontent in a new job.

  6. Be diligent and accountable. Even if you're a kind of go-with-the-flow person, once you're in a structured program, take all action steps and weekly homework you're asked to complete seriously. Each step builds on the next and if you want to achieve your goals, you have to keep moving in a forward motion. You never know where taking that step will lead you. When I went through my career-transition journey, one of the homework activities was to conduct informational interviews with people in the areas I was interested in. It felt awkward to me to call people and ask job-related questions. After my interview with a meeting planner, I realized I would never like that job even though I though I scored high in that career area due to the amount of sales involved. Another contact I interviewed was excited to know I had a possible interest in her area and requested I send over my resume. Can you guess what area I was able to transfer to 7 months later?

  7. Understand it's a journey, not a destination. I tell my clients that I am their advocate to help them discover a career they love, but at some point they may need to update some skills or knowledge to be successful in that career or at some point may be ready for a whole new career makeover. What if you discover after 2 months of intensive career preparation, a certain position may not be a best fit for you. Would you be okay pivoting to something that does work better for you? There's lots of options in the world of work, select what checks most (or hopefully all) of your boxes for you now and when your interests shift, so may your path.

  8. Stop procrastinating. Not only am I a perfectionist, I am a procrastinator too for fear of making "the wrong choice". I can't tell you how long I researched how to change careers and lurked on discussion boards (pre-Facebook) before I took a step. If you're ready to change, you just have to jump in the pool, with a life jacket of course. Change cannot happen until you take the necessary actions.

I admit, I had no idea what to expect on my journey to find a new career. As I have coached women in their careers, I noticed I wasn't the only one who had to shift my thoughts to be successful in this pursuit. My hope is the questions above will help you determine the unique journey for which you are destined.

Additional resources

Are you ready to begin your journey? Are you once where I was? Endlessly looking for something new, feeling downcast before your feet hit the floor in the morning, praying your way through your workday, feeling like something is missing?

I believe, scratch that, I KNOW you don’t have to live that way. I have helped other women in the same place, discover their identity, dig into their interests, and then develop a real-life strategy in discovering work they love. Allow me to share 2 resources that might help you.

1. The first is the link to my free private career transition Facebook group Connecting our Careers to Christ's Kingdom. This group will offer the community support necessary to help you on your journey. To access the community, just follow the link and request to become a member.

2. The second resource is a Free 10-step Career Plan Worksheet to help you go from dragging yourself to an energy-draining job to creating a practical action plan that leads to a life-fulfilling career. The worksheet is easy to follow through, yet comprehensive to walk you through the entire career-transition process.

Grab your FREE copy of my 10-Step Career Plan Worksheet below.