Career change requires an enormous amount of energy. Having worked with successful career changers over the last decade, I can say with certainty that those who were inspired had the greatest likelihood of changing.
Abraham Maslow, the great psychologist of self-actualization fame, claimed that the story of the human race is the story of people selling themselves short. “People have a tendency to settle for far less from life than they are truly capable of. Many people are spinning their wheels in careers where they should be moving rapidly onward and upward.”
Many of my career counseling clients lack confidence. Part of my work involves inspiring my clients, not with false confidence but with more realistic analysis that propels them to have an accurate measure of confidence. This energy shift is necessary for career change.
Here’s why: if you are transitioning from one career path to another, you need confidence to travel into the unknown. I’ve been immersed in watching Mankind: The Story of All of Us on the History Channel. Those explorers were all pretty damn confident! Imagine getting on a boat to travel into the vast ocean without knowing when (or if) you would hit land?!
Switching career paths can seem similar. The unknown is scary. We are hard wired to seek out security. That’s generally good as it keeps most sane people from heading out ocean without distinct knowledge of their destination. But if we were all so “sane”, America would never have been discovered. And, if you remain skittish about heading into a new path, you’ll stay in your current path forever (or until forced out). That seems less sane to me if you are currently unhappy in your work.