In a job you hate,
but feeling stuck?


Know you need a change
but just can’t get started?
                               ...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
                                  http://www.how-...
To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to:
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  1. 1. In a job you hate, but feeling stuck? Know you need a change but just can’t get started? © iStockphoto.com/Randolph Pamphrey Then it’s time to get the show on the road with… 11¾ Ways to Kick Start Your Career Change from Cherry Douglas Your Career Change Guide
  2. 2. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Copyright Notice © 2008 Copyright Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide All Rights Reserved No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without the express written, dated and signed permission from the author and copyright holder. Disclaimer This ebook and its contents are provided for informational purposes only and all information and ideas are provided in good faith by the author who believes such information to be true and honest to the best of the authors’ knowledge and belief. Any and all opinions expressed by the author represent the views and opinions of the author at the time of writing. The author reserves the right to vary or change any such opinions subsequently. It is impossible to provide comprehensive information and advice tailored to each individual situation within an ebook such as this and it should not to be regarded as any kind of substitute for appropriate and personalised professional advice. Nothing in this ebook can be considered to be any form of promise or guarantee. Adoption, implementation or trial of any of the information, ideas, methods or systems mention in this ebook and on the associated How To Change Careers website are entirely at the reader’s own risk. The reader is totally responsible for the choices and decisions they make, and for any and all consequences of those decisions. The author apologises for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies that may be found in this document. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 2
  3. 3. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Table of contents Want to change careers, but just can’t get started?.................................................4 So what’s the best way to approach career change?................................................4 What this ebook offers..........................................................................................5 Using the Ideas.....................................................................................................6 And finally…..........................................................................................................7 1. Plan your retirement celebration......................................................................8 2. What would someone else do?.......................................................................10 3. Become a collector........................................................................................12 4. What are the safest and scariest options?.......................................................14 5. Check your drains and radiators.....................................................................16 6. Try on De Bono’s Thinking Hats.....................................................................18 7. …and this time next year?..............................................................................20 8. Challenge the Demon Dollar...........................................................................22 9. Do something different..................................................................................24 10. Ask for a reference.......................................................................................26 11. What do you think you ‘should’ be doing?.....................................................28 11¾ What do you mean, ¾ of an idea?..............................................................30 What next?.........................................................................................................32 Take action!........................................................................................................33 Still feeling stuck?...............................................................................................33 Help me to help you............................................................................................33 Good luck...........................................................................................................34 About the Author.................................................................................................35 © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 3
  4. 4. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Want to change careers but just can’t get started? Tell me about it! As an experienced career coach, I know that there are literally thousands of you out there – all thinking how much you hate your job, how ground down you feel with the daily routine, how there has got to be more to life than this… And yet somehow, you stay stuck, stuck, stuck. Another day, week, month goes past and you have not done anything to get yourself out of this rut. It is always going to start tomorrow and you know what they say about tomorrow! Does that sound familiar? Well, relax, because this is where this short ebook comes in. I guess you may well have downloaded it because you have got round to that familiar place again where you say to yourself, ‘this time I will really do something, this time I really will make this change happen.’ But do you just feel you need a little encouragement to get you off the starting blocks? If the answer is ‘Yes!’, read on to find out how 11¾ Ways To Kick Start Your Career Change can help. So what’s the best way to approach career change? We are all different and are all coming to the career change process from very different places, so this means there is no one place to start from. In fact, the best place to start is whatever works the best for you! Many career change books follow the well worn path of suggesting that you start by making a list of your skills and interests and perhaps review the experience you have had. This is absolutely fine and I would encourage any career changer to include these exercises in their career change process. You can find help with these kinds of exercises on the How To Change Careers website © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 4
  5. 5. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ But for some people, these exercises are not really enough. They may leave you thinking ‘so what?’. In a way, these fact based exercises simply tell you what you already know and where they can fail you is that they do not help you to look outside the box and explore radically different possibilities. Over the years of working with clients on their careers, I have come to recognise that successful career change means using a range of approaches to explore your situation from a variety of perspectives. It is a good idea to start with what feels comfortable, with what feels right for you, but you must then be prepared to challenge yourself by taking some very different approaches too. It is all about using opposites creatively. Use your head and your heart. Collect the facts and use your imagination. Be planful and take risks. Be playful and serious. Be organised and spontaneous. Take a short term view and a long term one. Be both visionary and practical in your approach to your career change. The secret of success lies in the combination of approaches that feel comfortable with those that stretch and challenge you. And staying with the theme of combining opposites, the most crucial pairing for career changers is the combination of reflection and action. What has probably kept you stuck in the past is the fact that you have spent too much time and energy on reflection and never consistently taken action to get you moving forwards. So get ready to act on these Ideas, not just read them. What this ebook offers So what I aim to do with this ebook is to give you a set of Ideas that offer a range of approaches and strategies. I hope that this will encourage you to try a mixture of tactics to get your career change going. You will not be simply asked to make lists of your skills and interests. The Ideas in this ebook are all about nudging you out of the stuck place that has held you in the wrong job for so long. Some of these Ideas may be familiar from other career change books / articles you may have read, some will be new and may seem a bit off-the-wall. Some are obviously connected to your job while some involve looking at the wider picture © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 5
  6. 6. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ of your life. Some may just take a few minutes, while others may get you thinking about things or doing things in a new way for days. You may even think that some of these Ideas are silly – well, in a way, they are meant to be! Perhaps playful is a better choice of word. But if you think they are a bit unusual, then that is all the more reason to give them a go! My objective is to get you to step outside of the serious grown-up box you have got yourself locked into and to free you up to be open to new possibilities. And remember, the great thing about being playful, is that for the time being, it doesn’t involve commitment, so you can be experimental and think the unthinkable. I hope that some of these Ideas will not just help you to think rationally about your career change bit will encourage you to feel inspired to make a bold move. Using the Ideas There are 11¾ Ideas here to help you Kick Start Your Career Change. Don’t feel you have to work through them in order. They are there to inspire you to take the first steps towards your new career, so just dip in and try whatever attracts your attention. Some Ideas may appeal to you more than others, or they may feel more ‘do-able’ – so why not start with them? But then make sure you stretch yourself with a few of the Ideas that seem more challenging to you. Changing careers is a challenge, so it is good to get some practice! After each Idea, I have given you a blank page to jot down your own thoughts and reflections on what you have learned. Allow yourself just to ‘think aloud’ and see what insights come up for you. Do not strive to find a ‘right answer’ – there isn’t one! Everyone will take something different from each Idea. And then make sure you don’t just stay in the reflection stage, but that you also think about what further action steps you might take, either using the Idea directly, or trying something else that has been suggested to you as a result of the Idea. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 6
  7. 7. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ So go on – I challenge you to take a look through these Ideas to Kick Start Your Career Change and don’t just read them, DO them! Commit to taking a mixture of steps, small and large, easy and challenging, comfortable and uncomfortable to get your career change on the move. You never know which one may prove to be the inspiration that really gets you moving. And finally… I expect you may know the old saying… “If you keep on doing what you have always done, you’ll keep on getting what you have always got.” So are you really going to just stay put, doing what you have always done? Or will you take action, change your career and change your life? This ebook may be just the ‘kick’ that you need, so read on! © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 7
  8. 8. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Plan your retirement celebration ‘Hang on a minute!’ I hear you say, ‘I said I wanted a change of career, not to give up work entirely. I’m not ready to retire!’. Don’t panic. This is not about actually retiring, it’s about stepping forward in time in your mind’s eye and thinking about what you want to be looking back on if your career runs a new course from now on that will satisfy and fulfil you. This can be a great way of helping you to sort out what is really important to you. This is your chance to assume for a moment that your career has worked out as well as it possibly could. Then you take stock by looking back from the end point to explore what you want your working life to be about. What do you want to know that you have achieved through your work? What will make you feel proud when you see who you have helped or what you have created as a result of your efforts at work? What do you want to be saying to your colleagues? How will you be showing your appreciation of the part they have played? And what about your clients, the people who have benefited from your work? Imagine some of them are there at your retirement celebration. They could be people who you have helped directly with a product or service, or they could be representatives of a wider community you have served. Or maybe there will be letters, emails and other messages from people all over the world who you have reached, say through a book you have written or a website service you have created. Or maybe they have had better lives because you have managed to achieve some economic or political influence over a situation locally, nationally or internationally. Take your time over this one. Don’t feel you have to write out a formal speech if that strikes you as a chore, but make sure you jot down a series of bullet points that summarise the key points of your message. Make a note of who will be there and what they will be saying to you and about you. What does this tell you about what really matters to you personally in relation to your work. What does that tell you about the new career direction you should be exploring next? © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 8
  9. 9. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 1? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 9
  10. 10. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What would someone else do? You know you want a change of direction, but you just can’t see the way out of the current rut you have got into. You have got the blinkers well and truly on. So try this tactic. A great way to liberate ‘stuck’ thinking is to switch your perspective. But what can be especially useful is to switch your perspective to that of someone you admire and respect. We all have ‘heroes’ who we look up to, people who we sometimes wistfully wish we could emulate. They could be real people who you know personally, people you know of who have appeared in the media or they might even be people from history or characters from films you have seen or books you have read. Take a few minutes to think about the people you admire for whatever reason. Then ask yourself – how would they respond in the situation I am in? What would they do? If your ‘hero’ or ‘heroine’ was stuck in a job, how would they deal with it? What steps would they take both in the short term to make the immediate situation more comfortable and in the longer term to make progress towards a better future? How would they challenge themselves to move out of the uncomfortable place where they were stuck? What sort of help and support would they make use of? What options would they perceive as possible? Just take some time to explore how differently your current situation would play out if you were someone else? What can you learn from this? What aspects of your heroes action plan could you try out – even just for a day? Write down when you will try it and then make a note of what difference it made when you have done it. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 10
  11. 11. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 2? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 11
  12. 12. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Become a collector It has been said that the best way to have good ideas is to have lots of them – and I firmly believe that this applies to career change too. One of the problems with the way many of us are educated is that there is an emphasis on getting the right answer. This means that when we are faced with a problem, we go round and round, trying to find our way to the ‘solution’. But for many situations in life, there is not a simple answer that will resolve our difficulties. There are many possibilities and they will all have something to offer. So to get you to break out of the need to find the ‘right’ career for you, a mindset that actually limits your thinking and reduces your options, your task for the next few weeks, maybe months, is to become a collector of ideas. This does not mean simply a collection of possible job titles – though you may wish to include a few. Make is a much broader collection of ideas, themes and concepts that just seem interesting to you. This could take the form of whole job ads or maybe just phrases from them that appeal to you. It could be single words that sum up something important to you. It should certainly include pictures, images, graphics, colours – anything that breaks you away from ideas as words. Flip through magazines and collect clippings of anything that you would somehow like to have associated with your working life. But keep your eyes and ears open too. Be constantly curious. You may see something as you walk along the street that triggers an idea for you or you may see something in a film or on TV or hear an item on the radio. You might even want to include bits of music in your collection if there is a piece that sums up something about your life. You choose what goes into your collection, so anything you fancy is OK. But how do you use your collection? Dip into it, browse through it and let interesting combinations of objects and ideas push your thinking off in new directions. Use it to challenge yourself to come up with lots of possibilities for new careers you might pursue. Keep your mind open and don’t look for the ‘right’ answer! © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 12
  13. 13. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 3? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 13
  14. 14. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. What are your safest and scariest options? Many people hesitate again and again over career change because they are afraid. Afraid of what might happen if they take a risk, afraid of what people might say, afraid that it might all go wrong. There is a real sense for many that with anything new, they immediately assume the worst will happen. Let me ask you this. When you go on holiday, how much time do you spend thinking about all the things that could go wrong? Yes, I am sure that some worries pass through your mind, but on the whole, you accept that the likelihood of the holiday disaster happening is low. So you go ahead, book your holiday and have a great time. So what can you do to encourage the same more balanced mindset about career change? Try taking a step by step view of the possible options that are open to you. Start with the safest and most undemanding career move at one end of a scale - for example, just making a move within your existing company, or staying in the same job, but moving to a different firm. Then at the other end, describe what the riskiest possible career change is that you might contemplate. For example, it could be something like resigning tomorrow, selling your house and setting off in a camper van, planning to write book about your travels. Maybe you can see other options even scarier than that?! Then start to fill in more options between these two extremes. Fill in as many ideas as you can along the scale. See how many possibilities there are that are actually not as scary as you thought. Open your mind to the idea that there are plenty of career change options that you do not need to feel quite so fearful of. Look at the range of ideas you have come up with and make an assessment of how far you are willing to ‘stretch’ yourself towards the scary end of your scale. You are likely to find that the bigger the stretch, the bigger the rewards. Will you play safe and gain little, or be bold and transform your life? © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 14
  15. 15. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 4? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 15
  16. 16. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Check your drains and radiators You will probably be relieved to hear that this does not mean calling in the plumbers! This strategy is about looking around you and taking note of the people who may help and hinder you in your career change. So what do I mean by drains and radiators? Drains – these are the people around you who sap your energy, who pull you down, who always see the negatives of any situation. When you talk about wanting to change careers, they are likely to tell you not to take the risk, warn you that it is better to play safe, ask you what’ll happen to your pension (even if you are still 30 years off retirement!). They can also be a drain on you by being demanding of your time and wanting you to focus on their problems and issues, so every conversation ends up being about them and how difficult their life is. Radiators – these are the people who leave you feeling encouraged and supported. They are optimists who will always see the benefits however difficult the situation. When you turn to them for help, they are happy to give you time and attention to listen to your concerns and offer constructive advice and suggestions. If they see problems, they will help you find ways round them rather than just see them as insurmountable blocks. Above all, they will encourage you, gently spur you on when you are flagging and celebrate your victories with you, large or small. We all have ‘drains’ and ‘radiators’ in our lives – who are yours? Review the people who you are mixing with at home, at work and in your social life. Consider the impact they are having on you and how they are influencing your ability to change career direction. What will you do to make sure that you maximise your time with the radiators and minimise the time you spend with the drains? © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 16
  17. 17. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 5? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 17
  18. 18. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Try on De Bono’s Thinking Hats Edward de Bono is a leading authority on creative thinking and the six thinking hats are one of the tools he developed to help shift people out of blocked mindsets. This makes it a valuable tool for career changers who are feeling stuck. Basically, it means you approach your problem eg “I want to change career but I don’t know what I want to do or how to do it” by thinking about it in six different ways – represented by wearing six different hats. White hat: What are the facts of my situation? What do I know about myself, my skills, knowledge and experience? What do I know about what is available out there in the world of work? Red hat: What does my instinct tell me about my career change? How do I feel about it? How will other people around me respond if I tell them of my plans to change direction? Black hat: Take the pessimistic view. What is the worst outcome you can imagine if you were to change careers? What pitfalls might you run into? What could you do to be prepared for them in advance? Green hat: This is where you get creative. How many different possibilities can you come up with? If there were no constraints, what might be possible for you in the way of a new career? Challenge yourself to come up with at least 50 options by brainstorming without allowing any ‘yes, buts’. Yellow hat: Take the optimistic view. What will be the positive benefits for you from your career change? What will you and others gain from it? What other opportunities may come up for you when you are in a new career? Blue hat: This is like mission control. When you are feeling stuck, use the blue hat to help you to direct your thinking towards one of the other ‘hats’ to break the log jam. You think about what kind of thinking will be the most helpful for you right now to progress your career change plans. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 18
  19. 19. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 6? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 19
  20. 20. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. …and this time next year? How will you feel this time next year if you have done nothing? Yes, that is intended to be a provocative and uncomfortable question! How long have you been promising yourself that you will make a change? How long has the gradual feeling of frustration or boredom been creeping up on you? How long have you been ignoring that little voice inside you that says – ‘there’s got to be more to it than this?’ It is so easy to keep on having these conversations with yourself, or maybe with your friends and family to, but they somehow just remain conversations and never quite turn into action. So the challenge is to stop for a moment, see the weeks and months stretching out in front of you and just travel forwards in your mind’s eye to this time next year. There you are, still getting on the same train each morning, or still stuck in the same traffic jam. Still putting up with the same moaning colleagues and listening to them droning on in boring meetings? Still struggling to cope with your insensitive and domineering boss? Still staring at the mountain of emails in your inbox and the piles of paper gradually sliding out of your in-tray? Does that sound depressingly familiar? Even if it is not quite like this, I am sure you will have your own variation on this picture, your own workplace misery. How do you feel at the prospect of none of that having changed? Weighed down? Depressed? Angry? Ready to scream? If you feel a strong reaction, that is great, because that is what will energise you into action. So get mad, get angry, vent your frustration (in a safe way, of course and preferably not to your boss or partner!) and then channel that energy into committing to the career change process. Acknowledge that you are the only person who can make change happen in your life. If you do nothing, then you will be in the same place this time next year, just a year older and a bit more worn down. What exactly are you waiting for? So get mad - and then get moving! © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 20
  21. 21. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 7? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 21
  22. 22. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8. Challenge the Demon Dollar One of the reasons that you may be struggling with career change is that you think you just can’t afford it. You may feel that you have a lifestyle that cannot be compromised. You assume that any career change must allow you to keep this standard of living exactly as it is. This is a perfect example of an obstacle to career change that needs to be tackled both practically and imaginatively. Let’s start with the practical stuff. You need to make an accurate audit of your financial situation. Make a commitment to yourself that over the next month, you will keep an accurate record of everything that you spend. This includes all the little things – coffees, newspapers and those ‘bargain offers’ you couldn’t resist. You need to be really honest with yourself about where your money goes. Now review how much of that spend is absolutely essential. I bet you will find that there is a lot you could cut out if you really needed to. Examine all the expenditure categories and work out what the bare minimum is that you could afford to live on. You will probably find that, for a time at least, you could survive on much less than you think. A tough sacrifice, perhaps – but what price career satisfaction? Remember that your income does not need to come from one source. Why not explore some ways of beginning to earn a small supplementary income on the side which will bolster you if your main income drops for a while? The internet provides many opportunities, and I (and many others) have found SiteBuildIt a great way of exploiting this option. Why not take a look? Now the other approach. Time to explore your attitude to money. Spend some time thinking about the following questions: What messages about money did you pick up from your parents and your childhood? How much money do you need to have a fulfilled life? How much of your identity is tied up with financial success? If money were not an issue, what would be your main work driver? Are your attitudes to money making you more fearful than you need to be? What can you do to challenge these ingrained habits of thinking about money? © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 22
  23. 23. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 8? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 23
  24. 24. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 9. Do something different One of the main reasons people get stuck is because their life becomes locked into habitual patterns, day in day out. This has such a strong influence that you just can’t imagine yourself doing or being anything different. Your whole identity may be bound up with your job title and your fixed sense of the other roles you may play in your life eg parent, carer, organiser, older brother. So by doing something different, you are taking the first tiny chip out of the rigid sense of self that is holding you back. Now, I don’t necessarily mean doing something drastically different that will be a major challenge for you and that will make your friends and family think you have finally lost it (though you can give that a try by all means if you are up for it!). You may want to start with something very small and manageable. Take a different route to work in the morning. Get an earlier or later train. Sit in a different carriage. Read a different newspaper. Take your lunch break at a different time and don’t go to the staff canteen – go out to a local café and try something you have not had for lunch before. Go to the library and get out a book from a totally different section from the one you would normally select. Go and see a film you would not usually pick out. Take a look at the evening classes that are available and sign up for something new. Go clothes shopping and buy an outfit that is not typical for you. Get your hair cut in a new style. Have a complete makeover with an image consultant. OK, so what has this got to do with career change? It is about showing yourself and those around you that the self image you have built up is not totally fixed and unchangeable. You can break the mould – especially if you start with very small things. You can challenge the little voice inside your head that rejects new career ideas with – ‘I am just not that kind of person’. If you gradually accept that your identity is changeable and that you can control that change, then a much wider world of career opportunities opens up for you. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 24
  25. 25. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 9? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 25
  26. 26. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10. Ask for a reference No, I don’t mean the kind of reference you get when you are applying for a new job, I mean something much less formal – but quite challenging nevertheless. As a rule, many of us tend not to give enough praise and encouragement to our children, our nearest and dearest and to our staff at work. And we find it even harder to ask for that feedback for ourselves. But that is precisely what I want you to do in this Idea. Think carefully and select at least five people who know you well, who you respect and who you can trust to be open and honest with you and ask them to make a list of the top three to five personal qualities or strengths that they see in you. They might like to imagine that somebody else has asked them about inviting you to join a big project and they want to know what you would bring to it. Encourage them to think of both personal and professional strengths and qualities. Give them a few days to think about this, so that they give you a thoughtful response. It is up to you and them whether they write their responses down or come and tell you personally. Collect up the feedback you get and have a careful look through the responses you have been given. Your initial reaction may be one of awkwardness and embarrassment, and you may find yourself playing it down, or half shrugging it off as unimportant. But put these thoughts and feelings to one side and acknowledge that this is truly how you are seen and valued by others who you know well. You might even like to try repeating some of the feedback out loud. ‘I am a great organiser’; ‘I am good at making people feel at ease’; ‘I am always able to come up with new ways of doing things’. Just let this praise settle gently into your mind and accept it as a true reflection of who you are. Knowing these things about yourself, what career possibilities open up for you that will allow you to really use these strengths? © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 26
  27. 27. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea10? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 27
  28. 28. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 11. What do you think you ‘should’ be doing? We all get trapped by the tyranny of the word ‘should’ (and I include ‘must’ and ‘ought’ too). Over the years, we gradually absorb a set of rules and expectations about what our life and our career ‘should’ be like. These rules come particularly from our parents and siblings, but also from friends and colleagues and from society at large. We pick up messages from stories in the press, films we watch, advertising we are exposed to. And the worst thing about these messages is that often, we are not really aware of them and of their influence on us. So it’s time to get familiar with the ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘oughts’ of your life. Bring them into the light where you can really see them. Try just completing the sentence ‘I must…’ or ‘I should…’ at least 10 times, thinking in particular of the expectations you have of yourself about your work and career. Then complete the opposite sentence - ‘I can’t…’ and complete that 10 times too. What are the ‘shoulds’ that you are carrying around with you? How valid are they to your current life and situation? Take some time to question these ‘rules’. Ask yourself: • ‘Who says? • ‘What makes it essential that I do this?’ or ‘what makes me think I can’t?’ • ‘Where does that message come from?’ …and then move on to: • ‘What would happen if I did not do x, y or z?’ • ‘What stops me (from doing the things I think I can’t do)?’ Start to get into the habit of using these challenging questions whenever you can feel the habitual ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘can’ts’ being played in your head. Be aware that you may well be carrying outdated ‘rules’ around with you and that you now have the choice to change them if they are no longer helpful. Don’t let them hold you back. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 28
  29. 29. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 11? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 29
  30. 30. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 11¾. What do you mean, ¾ of an idea? OK, so I put that one in to tease you. But there is a serious purpose too. Most of the ideas in this ebook are designed to jolt you out of your habitual thinking patterns, to make you stop, take stock and see things for a different angle. Anything to get you unstuck! So why not have ¾ of an idea? Why do ideas have to come in whole packages? Too often we expect ideas to be right or wrong, good or bad, useful or useless. But if you are honest, you know that life just isn’t that simple. There are lots of possibilities between the ‘right’ idea and the ‘wrong’ one. So what new career possibilities can you come up with that could be ¾ OK for you to try? Take a look at some of the career ideas you have toyed with and work out what the good and bad points would be. Recognise that the chance of finding a job which is 100% good for you is pretty unlikely, so have you found some possibilities that would be 75% OK? And the ¾ does not necessarily have to relate to the content of the job. Could you survive on ¾ of the salary you are earning now? Seriously. What inessential items could you cut from your weekly expenditure to make survival on a lower salary possible? What about if your budget or team size was reduced to ¾ it’s current size. That might feel like a reduction in status or responsibility, but could it also create a bit more freedom for you to develop other aspects of your job? Or to begin to grow a new career or business idea outside work? Or even just spend more time with your family? And what about ¾ of a job? Do you really have to work full time at one thing? Could you reduce your hours in one job and either just enjoy a better work-life balance or use the freed up time to begin a new project, start a small business? ¾ of an idea can open a whole world of possibilities! © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 30
  31. 31. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What insights have been sparked off by Idea 11¾? ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... What will I do next?................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 31
  32. 32. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ What next? I hope this ebook will have given you some ideas and inspiration to kick start you into action with your career change and that you are feeling energised and committed to making the changes you need to your working life. Maybe having used the Ideas in this book to free up your thinking, you are ready to do some of the more typical fact-finding about your skills, interests and values that also forms an important part of any career change process. You may also want to explore your career personality as this is a major factor often overlooked by career changers. Follow the links below for more help. Your Skills – what are you good at doing and what skills do you especially enjoy using or want to develop further? Click the link to find out more. Your Interests – what are you interested in, what do you just love spending time doing? Interests both inside and outside of work can give you valuable clues about possible careers. Click the link to find out more. Your Values – what is really important to you? What are the core values that define the way you want to live your life? Again, these can come from work or from a broader look at what you see as the meaning in your life. Click the link to find out more. Your Achievements – what have you done that you feel proud of? What activities have you been really pleased to have been involved in? These may be different from the things you have been formally acknowledged for – what is important is what matters to you. Click the link to find out more. Your Personality – what makes you tick? What are your preferred ways of behaving and how can these preferences affect your career choice? Click the link to find out more. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 32
  33. 33. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Take action! If you have been actively using the Ideas in this ebook, you will be well on your way. But you need to keep that momentum going. Demonstrate your commitment to career change to yourself and to others by writing down what your next steps will be in a Career Change Action Plan. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the thought that these steps need to be momentous – it is probably better if they are not, because then you are more likely to carry them through. Remember that at the end of the day, the answer to your career change challenges lies in action. We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. It is action that always generates inspiration. Frank Tibolt If you need more help with action planning, you will find it on the How To Change Careers website. Still feeling stuck? Then take a look at the pages on keeping up your motivation on the How To Change Careers website. Help me to help you My aim with this ebook and with the How To Change Careers website is to help you make a successful career change. I would love to receive feedback and comments from you. Please click the link to: • tell me what you think of this book (and point out any typos!) • suggest topics for future ebooks or content on the How To Change Careers website • let me know what the main challenges are that you face in making you career change. These will all help me to help you more effectively in the future. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 33
  34. 34. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Good luck! I wish you the very best of luck with your career change. I am confident that if you use the Ideas in this ebook and on the How To Change Careers website (http://tinyurl.com/9qlthz), that you will be well on the way to your new career. More from Cherry Douglas If you enjoyed this ebook, why not take a look at… Know Your Personality, Know Your Career Find out more about your personality and discover how you can use that knowledge to make the right career change decisions. The CV & Resume Workbook A 12 step action guide that takes you by the hand and guides you through the process of planning and producing a winning cv or resume. And join the How To Change Careers Facebook Group to share ideas and get support from other career changers around the world Other useful resources Money Made Fun – Michael Neill For those of you who think you can’t change career because you can’t afford it. This book by world class coach, Michael Neill will get you to think again and realise that managing your money can be fun! The 7 Myths of Success: Breakthrough Your Limiting Ideas of Success – Michael Neill Another great resource from Michael Neill. This audio download challenges some of the old thinking about ‘success’ and helps you overcome basrriers such as procrastination and fear of failure. Passions into Profits - Nick Williams I am a great fan of Nick Williams’ work so I can highly recommend his Passions into Profits e-course. Nick promises that by the end of the course you can have successfully started your first business AND earned your first income as an Inspired Entrepreneur – all without quitting your day job. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 34
  35. 35. To find out more about how you can Kick Start Your Career Change, go to: http://www.how-to-change-careers.com ________________________________________________________________________________________________ About the author Cherry Douglas is Your Career Change Guide. She is a UK based professional career coach and career change consultant. Cherry has been supporting people like you, with career choice, career change and job search issues for over 20 years. She started her working life in retail management and quickly realised that the ‘helping people’ dimension of the job was of more interest and gave her more Cherry Douglas satisfaction than the commercial aspects. So Cherry consulted a professional career coach for advice about her own career - and realised that the career coach’s job was just the kind of thing she was looking for herself. This decided Cherry to give up her job in retail management and return to college to study a postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance. Since that day, Cherry has never looked back, never regretted that move. And her many clients over the years have benefited and been very glad that Cherry made that decision. Cherry’s extensive qualifications in psychology, coaching and careers guidance mean that she is very familiar with the steps and stages her clients need to go through to make a successful career change. As a highly successful career change consultant, and having made career changes herself, Cherry also understands the challenges and difficulties that you may be facing in dealing with your own career issues – and can probably help you too, to overcome your own problems and obstacles. Over the years, Cherry has been privileged to work with hundreds of clients, helping them to find their way forward with their careers…anything from a quick CV review to a complete career change. This means that you can use the Ideas in this ebook with confidence, knowing that they are based on extensive knowledge and experience. © Cherry Douglas, Your Career Change Guide 35

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