Thinking of a career change? Here are 5 ways to overcome your fear of uncertainty
If you find yourself wondering whether you are in the right job, then you are not alone. At some point during our careers, we realise that the job that we once loved is not the same anymore. Whether it’s the monotony of the job that gets to you or it no longer gives you a sense of purpose or satisfaction, you keep telling yourself that it’s time to make a change.
Some people recognise that what they are looking for is skilling up. For others, an alternative career seems like a exciting challenge. Whatever the reason, you need to step out of your comfort zone in order to do it. But as an adult, it’s easier said than done.
Once in a job, and with a family or other social commitments and priorities, it can be a scary prospect to make time for further education or to seek avenues for a new career. We may have doubts, jitters, uncertainties, or we may spend a bit too much time just thinking about it. But once you decide to take the first step towards it, that’s half the battle won. And there never is a better time to do it than now.
While it is a big decision, and like all important decisions we make, this one too must be informed and well-considered; it’s a new journey where we are seeking not only higher job satisfaction but personal growth and motivation. We asked Vivienne O’Shannessy, Manager, Vocational Education and Training at MCIE to share some views on things to consider when looking to enhance professional skills or pursue an alternative career. Vivienne shared five important points which can help with that decision and also help overcome any uncertainties in your mind. So, read on and pursue your passion.
1. Look for work areas or interests where you always shine and embrace it
Your current job, and your interests and hobbies are a great place to start to find areas which really bring out the best in you. What do you feel passionate about? What motivates you? Are there aspects of your current job that really excite you and which could connect you with a career in a more meaningful way? For instance, do you really enjoy customer service, engaging with children to watch them grow, or creating content for your social media pages? Or maybe you realise that to progress with your current employer you need to develop higher level skills such as leadership or management. Whatever the reason to look beyond your current situation, look for those strengths that make you shine and embrace them.
2. Do your research and identify programs or courses that help build on your strengths and give you the needed boost
There is a lot to think about before you make the first move into a new career. It must not be an impulsive decision. Whether you are looking to upskill or enrol for a training program or a course in a different field, it’s important to remember that if the career change involves further study, most educational institutes can help you identify the best direction for you. It’s important to reach out and get as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision before taking the leap. There are course counsellors who can guide you, and you can even attend information sessions where you can ask all the questions you want answers to. While you should select a program that helps build on your strengths and gives you that desired boost, also try and get clarity on job prospects after completion of the course. At MCIE, we have a very clear focus on helping our students realise their career goals. Most of our courses include real workplace experience or project-based internships, through our strong industry partnerships. MCIE offers skill-based training to prepare you for real job opportunities. We believe in providing you with every opportunity to excel from the very beginning.
3. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues – it helps that they have your back
We understand that committing to study – whether it’s you first course or tenth – in order to start over for a new career with a job and a family can be a bit overwhelming. It will help to talk about your plans with your family members, friends, and colleagues. It’s important that your family understands and appreciates your decision. After all, you will need their support to help you navigate through the demands of the new commitment. While a lot of study options are designed with a mix of part-time, online, and classroom delivery models, you will still need to allocate some time every day to your studies, which will put pressure on your other social, family commitments. You may need (or choose) to attend evening or weekend which may not be an easy commitment, but you can do it with a disciplined approach and of course, you need to keep your eyes on your goal. It will all be worth the while, at the end of it. So, get your friends and family onboard from the outset. Help them understand your longer-term career plans.
4. Prioritise your time, and embrace the learning opportunities
It’s quite normal to feel the fear of going (or going back) to formal study. Your mind may be filled with doubts about whether you will have the time to complete the course work, or whether it is the right course for you. Another common doubt is whether it’s worth spending money on it and, as an adult, you may fear that your classmates could be younger than you, or in a more advantageous place than you. Prioritise your time to make it work for you. A recognise that everyone is in their own unique place in their lives. Everyone may have a different reason to be there with you, but you need to focus on why it’s important to you. With a clear focus and dedication, you will not only be able to embrace the learning and find the time to finish the course but also realise it’s worth – a promotion or higher responsibilities, a better job, or a kick-start to your new career.
5. Give it your 100%. Be passionate and hungry, again
Try to keep focused on your reasons for considering an alternative career or going back to studies. Then you will be able to give it 100%; because you feel the passion and the hunger for what can lead to a new career, and a life for yourself. You want to add new skills and new qualifications for a new start. You found yourself hungry for more, and even more passionate than before. The rewards at the end of it will be worth every effort and sacrifice, and more.