When that moment finally arises that you know you want to make change in your career, what is the first thing you think? Do you think “Absolutely, I can do this!” or do you waiver and question if you actually can?
What’s truly stopping you from making that choice to move forward? Is it your lack of faith in your ability to succeed in a role with more responsibility and pressure? Is it that you don’t think you have the right skills or enough experience yet? Do you fear the potential of rejection?
In order to make a successful career move you need to do two things: Have confidence in yourself and be willing to take risks. Without these, you’ll end up sitting at the same desk for the next ten years grumbling about your job and daydreaming about something more.
Creating Your Confidence
You are unique. Not in the snowflake, everyone is special kind of way. Rather, you in your career. The way you perform on the job, what motivates you, what brings you satisfaction, how you interact with people, and your view on what work means to you. Every person approaches their role with their own perspective and carries on in their own way. This is what makes you unique, and this is how you can start to recognize the value that you have brought to each position you’ve held.
Take stock of your current position. If I asked you to write out a list right now of 5 things you do in your role, what would you write? (See the free download below to help you track your successes!) Would you provide me with a list of very duties-based tasks? Your day-to-day actions? Or would you instead tell me about projects you’ve completed, positive interactions with clients, and the great level of accuracy with which you display in all of your reports? I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say that I’d be more impressed with the latter version of this list.
We can support our career confidence by evaluating and better understanding what it is we do well at work. Simple weekly reflections on what went well, what we learned, what we completed can be an amazing activity to help us move forward. It might sound a little selfish to spend that much time thinking about how wonderful we are, but honestly, no one else is going to tell us how great we did at work this week. Over the course of time you’ll start to see themes appears that highlight our strengths and talents, and fodder for creating stories around accomplishments. At the end of each month, look back through your notes and recognize the value that you brought to your position. Give yourself a pat on the back; you did an awesome job.
Change isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter if you know what kind of change you want or not, or if the change is even big or small. It’s still change. Change can mean loss of control and uncertainty. Not many people are truly comfortable with it. But if we want change, we have to accept the risk that comes with it.
What’s the worst thing that can happen when you pursue a new opportunity? You don’t get it? That’s fine. Failure is a step on the ladder of success. We have to keep trying. There are opportunities abound out there. If the first one flops, you move to the next.
(Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I suppose the worst thing that could happen when you are looking for a new role would be that you lose your current one, like Rachel in that episode of Friends…you know the one. If that happens, yikes. Call me, I’ll help you!)
When it comes time for you to embrace your desire for change, craft your plan carefully. Don’t just rush ahead full steam and pounce on everything you see. Instead, take the time to understand what it is you want, acknowledge what you can do and how your experiences and skills support you, and strategically move forward in a way to mitigate the risk of failing (or getting fired like Rachel).
You can make change. You can make successful career moves that move you up the ladder and that even take you from one profession or the other. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to take the risk.