Are you happy in your job? Feeling like you wish you could go on forever? Now’s the perfect time to start exploring your options quietly.
Of course, it’s also harder to change when you’re comfortable. When you’ve been fired, you’re in a place of pain. So you’re plenty motivated to go from pain to pleasure.
But when you’re already in the realm of pleasure, it’s hard to leave your comfort zone. Executing a Plan B takes effort. It won’t be fun or comfortable at first. You may not even know where to begin. You know you could be taking courses, developing skills and building your network…but all those things sound like work.
Here’s why you need to push through the comfort zone.
Reason #1: No job is completely secure.
You’ve probably heard this one before. Your job could be outsourced to a location thousands of miles away. Your company could merge with another company: a handshake 2,000 miles away and now your job is gone.
It’s not your fault. It’s business. But you still suffer the consequences. gggrgerree
But sometimes small things happen. You get a new boss who wants to bring in his or her own staff. Your industry gets sideswiped by a computer innovation. Your company decides to move to a location where you would be absolutely miserable.
Reason #2: Once your plan is in place, you’ll become a magnet for opportunities.
I’ve seen this happen over and over. As soon as my clients take their first step towards a Plan B (and don’t sabotage themselves in the process), opportunities seem to cross their paths.
It’s like being engaged. Have you ever noticed how a newly engaged gal (or guy) seems to attract romantic attention, effortlessly? It’s like they’re giving off a vibe: “I’m terrific. You’re gonna love me.”
Or you’ve undoubtedly heard that bank love to lend to people who don’t need money. Talk to anyone who’s got a fabulous credit score and a stash of cash. They’re undoubtedly fending off dozens of offers from commercial banks (“Need a business loan?”) and mortgage companies (“want to re-fi? We’re here for you!”)
People like being around happy confident people. They love being around busy, purposeful, high-energy people. A Plan B will help you magnetize opportunity. Loving your job will bring you good things. Not needing your job, because you’ve got options, will draw serious interest from potential employers.
“Chance favors a prepared mind.” You’ve probably heard that saying, too. A well-prepared scientist will understand the surprising results of an experiment and be ready to take action. A well-prepared professional or executive will be ready to respond immediately to an unexpected, out-of-the-blue offer. In the long run, chance favors a well-prepared Plan B.
Reason #3: You enjoy life.
When you hold all the cards, you feel in control. You walk differently. You talk differently. You’re happy because you’re not losing sleep every time a black cloud enters your career blue sky. You don’t lose sleep over rumors about takeovers, new managers or world events.
Ironically, you’re actually less likely to be fired. Mentors, guides and potential employers will cross your path. You’ll attract strong people who will go out of their way to help you. Best of all, you’ll make time to enjoy things outside your job because you are not pressured to be “on” all the time.
Why don’t more people experience these results?
Most career changers are smart. They’ve achieved great success as executives and professionals. Yet when it comes to taking charge of their own careers, they feel frustrated. They aren’t sure how to make wise investments of time and money.
The truth is, many mid-career executives and professionals feel frustrated. Sometimes they seek a more fulfilling career. Sometimes they just wish they had a better job, with such benefits as more autonomy, more pay, better coworkers.
Some experience a bigger challenge. They wake up each day, dreading to go to work. They swear they’re ready to make a change. But somehow it never happens. Here are 3 reasons why.
3 Tjings That Can Hold You Back From Making A Career-Saving Move
Mistake #1: Fear of leaving your comfort zone.
All too often people wake up one ad and realize, “I’ve been here three years. I can’t wait another day. I’ve got to get out of here.”
Reality: You do need time and energy for a career change, You need a commitment and a willingness to leave your comfort zone. All too often I hear from clients who say, “My husband [or wife] think I’m taking too long. It’s been two weeks and I’m still not in my new career.”
A complete change can take two or three years. You’ll move faster when you’ve gotten started with your Plan B.
Waiting too long for a change creates its own risk. When you are really unhappy, you can sabotage your own success, often unconsciously setting yourself up to be fired.
Mistake #2: Feeling overwhelmed by the process. When you think about career change, there’s so much to do. Networking. Phone calls. Interviews. Research.
Reality: Career search is rarely linear. It’s messy and zigzag. Think “playground basketball” instead of “pro football.”
Good news: Once you take the first action, it’s like pulling on a thread to release a knot. First one part unravels…and then the next. Suddenly you pull that one last piece and there you are — free at last!
Mistake #3: Getting too much advice. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing. Once you start moving, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork, claiming to help you.
It’s important to distinguish information from advice. The rule of thumb is, “Information is free, but you pay for advice.” You can information from almost anyone who’s done what you want to do. Interviewing for information has become a common, even essential part of the career change process.
But beware of anyone who offers unsolicited advice It happens a lot. You ask someone, “What qualifications do people need for a job like yours?” Instead of saying, “The last three people I hired had these qualifications…” they go into a long sermon on why you shouldn’t even be considering this option.
One way to avoid this mistake is to ask clear, unambiguous questions. “What were your qualifications? What questions did you ask the last people you interviewed? How did you decide who to bring int for interviews – and what criteria did you use to screen out prospects you wouldn’t even talk to?”
Similarly, when you’re considering starting a business, ask specifically, “What did you do right? What mistakes did you make?” Avoid questions that give room for someone to say, “Here’s what I think you should do…” Or even, “Frankly this business is pretty miserable. I can’t see why you’d want to do it.”
Career consultants and other professionals are trained to ask questions to guide you. They don’t feel committed to keeping you in your current role or helping you move to a new one. They’ll advise you based on experience with dozens, maybe hundreds, of career changers.
Reality: Your family, close friends and colleagues have a strong vested interest in keeping you the way you are. They don’t want you to change (unless you have always been broke, unemployed and generally in some kind of trouble – i.e., you need a life coach).
You’ll find a free guide on my website, MidlifeCareerStrategy.com – the 4 career change secrets most coaches won’t tell you. My YouTube channel is a gold mine of information about every aspect of midlife career change.
When you find yourself running around to different advisors and reading half the career books on Amazon, you probably need to tune into your intuition. Check out my ebook: Intuition For Career Change and Job Search.
I work with clients one-on-one to address career challenges. If you’re We will review your current job and discuss your options. Learn more here.