Career-wise, there’s nothing worse than suffering from a bad case of the Mondays… every day of every single week.
Sadly, it’s all too easy to end up in a job you’re bored in, where you’re not appreciated, not well-compensated, or just not treated kindly.
Since work takes up such a big part of life, it’s important to do what you can to get into a role you enjoy. However, if you’re working in a job you’re not loving, you might be scared to make a change, even if doing so will get you out of your rut.
This concern is common, and thankfully it can be overcome if you choose to be proactive. It’s necessary first to work out what exactly is holding you back from going after what you want and then to take steps to overrule these feelings of trepidation.
If you know you’ve been putting off a career move for way too long, read on for some fears that could be standing in your way and some tips for combatting them.
1. Not Clear About the Path to Take
For starters, lots of people don’t make a career change because they’re not actually sure what to do next. A lack of clarity about the best path to take, such as whether to go back to university to retrain or to work their way up in a new field, often stalls people’s careers.
If this is you, take the time to think about your short-term and long-term career goals.
Know what you want to achieve in your working life, and what results you want as far as things like financial rewards, hours, flexibility, opportunities and so on. Then you can work backward to define the right path for you.
2. Not Qualified
If you’re clear about the new type of job you want but don’t have the necessary qualifications to make the move, you might be paralyzed in your current position.
While it’s true that often you can’t progress until you have the piece of paper required, don’t let this lack stop you from achieving career success.
It might be daunting thinking about going back to school as a non-traditional student, and you might be worried about the costs of doing so, but there are ways around most challenges.
These days there are excellent programs offered online for most degree types, from engineering and teaching programs through to counseling and mental health programs and many other undergraduate and post-graduate courses.
These online options provide great flexibility and allow you to stay in your current job while you study at night. You may even find that your employer is happy to pay for some of the costs of your studies and give you more flexible working hours if it means you stay working for them and eventually move into the new role you’re after.
You may also be able to get financial aid or a scholarship from the university or some other avenue.
3. Time and Money Worries
Do you feel stuck in your current job because it doesn’t seem like there has been a good time to make a move?
If so, you’re certainly not alone. However, it’s important to remember that there is probably never going to be a perfect time to make a change. It’s all about planning as much as possible to eliminate risks and stressors and then just taking the leap.
Industries and financial conditions change all the time and aren’t things you have control over. Keep in mind that the sooner you’re able to start working your way up in a new career, the sooner you will be in a more comfortable position.
Money worries are common since changing career types usually mean you move from a higher-paid position to something new, where you have to start fresh and move up the ladder all over again.
To combat this fear and make a change anyway, it helps to save up for at least a year or two. Once you have enough funds sitting in the bank to cover your time spent studying, completing internships and/or working in lower-paid roles, you’ll feel more secure about taking the leap.
If you have a partner, see if they’re able to negotiate a pay rise to help cover some of the expenses of the change. Plus, as a family, you may be able to find places where you can cut costs in your living expenses for a period while you transition to a new role.