Major life changes can be scary. On one hand, we crave the excitement and possibility of something new, but there is security and comfort in staying with what’s familiar. A well-known quote by Gina Milicia reads, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” As you envision your future, what might be calling you to step outside your comfort zone to pursue something even better?
Consider this new year as your starting point, your blank page to write a new story for your professional goals. Maybe you’re considering a new role within your existing field, or maybe it’s a major change altogether. While the unknown can cause fear and anxiety, you can channel this energy into motivation to try and try again until you succeed.
If you’re feeling the desire to make a major career change, but are hesitant to take the leap due to fear, we’re here to offer motivation and advice. Keep reading for three tangible tips you can put into immediate practice to help you push past fear and move toward your goals.
1. Explore and Define Your Fear
First, spend some dedicated time thinking about getting to the root of what’s causing your fear. Play it forward. If you went after your goals, and your worst fears came true, what would that actually look like? Would it be the end of the world, or merely a road bump? Are there resources available to help you to overcome the challenges of which you’re afraid? Often our fears feel like massive giants until we confront them with a dose of reality. When we “play the tape forward” we can see that our worst case scenarios are really minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things, and many other people have already successfully worked through them. Once you’ve named your “giants” you can shine a light on them to see how small they really are. You can also take a proactive approach to seeking resources and advice that will help you address these fears.
2. Self-Knowledge: Who Are You?
According to CareerVision, to unlock the door to self-knowledge, as a basis for making good career and life choices, you need an in-depth understanding of your:
- Goals: What do I want?
- Aptitudes: What are my strengths?
- Interests: What do I like? What don’t I like?
- Personality Style: How do I think, feel, and behave?
- Values: What’s important to me?
Self-awareness is essential to a successful career change! The more you know who you are, what drives you, and what you want out of your career, the more courage and motivation you have to pursue this direction in your professional life. By building a sense of self, you will gain a clearer understanding of what resonates with your inner voice. When what you want most aligns with the actions you’re currently taking, you will develop your “why” - or your ultimate reason for doing what you’re doing. With a strong “why” you will also unlock your purpose, motivation, and bravery to work until you’ve brought your dreams to life.
3. Research and Get Some Advice:
One of the best ways to overcome fear is with knowledge. Take time to research the career path you're considering and everything it entails. You can face many of your fears head on by learning as much as you can about the path that lays before you. Research the industry in detail. There are many online resources that provide information about careers such as typical responsibilities, average salary range, education requirements, and more. Indeed provides tips to get the most out of your career research. Beyond the internet, also try to connect with someone currently working in your future career and ask them about their day job, challenges, rewards, and how they got to where they are today. Knowing more about your desired career path can mitigate some aspects of uncertainty. Leverage your network of friends and family to find the right connection, or contact NuPaths to speak to a friendly career services professional who would be happy to speak with you further.
Are you starting to feel bigger than the fear that is holding you back? Hopefully this advice has provided a new perspective that will propel you to take the first step toward you achieving your professional goals. What’s most important to remember is that fear is common, and most people who are considering a major career change will experience some degree of fear or uncertainty. But this isn’t a reason to stop in your tracks. Keep this advice in mind and continue to push past fear and toward the future you want most.
Most importantly, NuPaths is a trusted resource you can count on. We have helped many other individuals who have come to us with similar concerns and hesitations. Now, they are our success stories! Now it’s your turn. Our student success coordinators can help you find your interests, identify your strengths, and map out your path to your dream tech career.