Changing a career can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have never done it before. The following steps will probably apply to those of you who are considering more dramatic change – but as a philosophy, these steps can be applied by anyone.

1.) The most important exercise you need to do is an honest assessment of what is actually stopping you from pursuing your dream career. This is the step where many people fumble. After all, if you saw no reasons for not changing your career when you wanted to, you would have done it a long time ago, right? What you need to do here is to think of all the reasons that are stopping you from any further action at the moment. List as many as possible.

2.) Find a moment when you feel relaxed and comfortable (warning: feeling stressed and overwhelmed will prevent this particular step working effectively for you) and go through your list. Cross out all the reasons that are downright ridiculous, e.g. “I keep this job because it has always been my grandmother´s dream to see me in this job” or “This job runs in the family, I have to stick to the tradition”, etc.
Once you have a list that is reasonable and contains only the reasons which you feel you truly can´t overcome, it is time to deal with those feelings.

3.) Decide which reasons are based purely on your beliefs; meaning there is no actual proof of their existence, you just believe that they are so. Good examples of such a belief would be: “I am not smart enough to have a job like that”, “I am too old to start a business”, “I am too young to have that promotion”, “I don´t have the right connections”, etc. And decide which reasons are actual facts, e.g. “I haven´t raised enough capital to invest in my business”, “I am missing one last accreditation to apply for that accounting job”, “I don´t speak the language that is a must for that particular job in the travel industry”, etc.

4.) Now you should have 2 groups of reasons. Those belonging to the “actual facts” group are easy to deal with. All you need to do is to set yourself a very precise action plan on how to get whatever qualification or circumstance you are missing to get the job of your dreams. When it comes to the group of “beliefs”, here some internal work is required.

5.) Take each belief and turn it around, to make a positive and empowering statement out of it, e.g. “I am totally smart and so fired up for that job!” Or “I am at a perfect age for that promotion because I am full of energy and can bring so much to that job”! Then you take those “turned around” statements and find proof in your past experience that they are actually true! When did you use your wit to come up with a fantastic, original and creative solution? When did you act so maturely for your age that you surprised your entire surroundings? The proof is there, you just have to find it, bring it out and use it as a motivational tool to keep you focused on the desired result, which is: stepping out bravely and confidently towards your new career.

©2011 LB Life Coaching

Author's Bio: 

Natalie Ekberg is an international Personal and Executive Coach and author. She leads business professionals through major life transitions including mid-life career decisions. As a result they drop struggle and stress leading to the clarity and courage needed to live their vision.