The Brave Step of Making a Career Change – How to Overcome Your Fears and Find Success

Making a career change can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. Whether you are considering a complete shift to a different industry or just looking to pivot within your current field, there are several things to keep in mind to make the transition as smooth and successful as possible. In this blog, we will discuss some tips and advice for changing your career.

Identify Your Goals and Values

Before making a career change, it’s essential to take some time to reflect on your goals and values. In this step, it is extremely important to think about what makes you excited and motives you to give it your all! Take a moment to ponder what brings you joy, how your work may be meaningful and impactful, and the ultimate final result of where you want this journey called “career change” to take you.

Image of a long road with "start" written on road and mountains in the background

Reflect on your current circumstances or job. What brought you to where you are today and what do you need for the next step? By taking an internal inventory of these needs and endeavors for yourself, it will better help define which job opportunities are ideal for you as well providing steadfast motivation throughout your job search process.

Research Careers, Not Job Postings!

Now it’s time to start exploring your possibilities! Think back to what you wanted to be when growing up – a teacher, veterinarian, pilot? This is basically the same exercise. You’ve acknowledged your objectives and values; now identify a career path that will provide the best alignment with those goals without worrying about finances – not yet at least. I have always encouraged those who I mentor to imagine a world in which every job pays the same salary. What is it that truly interests you? Do not disregard any potential paths, even if it means heading back to school – let’s embrace this moment and stay open-minded without worrying about practicality yet! This should be exciting and inspiring, so relish the prospect of discovering your passions before we tackle reality.

Laptop on desk with notepad, coffee mug and cell phone

Stay away from job postings! You’re looking for a career opportunities, not a job. This will only create frustration and deflation, plus, many of these job descriptions haven’t been updated in years! Trust me, I have 10 years of professional experience plus a masters degree and many of these job posting make me feel underqualified! At this point most of us will search these sites based on our current salary and that’s a massive mistake! We will get to this point, just not right now. Have fun with it!

Take the time to research different industries and job roles that align with your goals and values. Read job descriptions, network with professionals in those fields, and attend industry events or conferences. This will give you a better understanding of the job market, the required qualifications, and the potential job opportunities in your desired field. To make an informed decision, it is important to acquire opinions from credible sources; ones that are objective and impartial. It is paramount for you to form your own judgements rather than be swayed by the thoughts of others – this career change will affect you, not them.

Break it Down

Your career choices should now be narrowed down to a meaningful list of paths that have stirred your interest and meet your goals and values. Evaluate each possibility carefully, cutting out those that don’t align with what you want in life, until you’re left with the ones most aligned with what matters to you most.

Woman sitting on rocks overlooking a beach

Now, it’s time to get real. Narrow down your top three or five career choices and decide what steps you’ll have to take in order to achieve them: college enrollment, getting certified, training… the list goes on. After learning more about each of these options, take a few moments for yourself and reevaluate your initial list—don’t reject that one dream job just because it may require some extra schooling or an income decrease initially; put together a plan. Remember this: four years spent working hard towards something you’re passionate about is far better than another four years spent despising work!

Have a Plan and Develop Your Skills

Once you have identified your desired career path, it’s time to start developing a plan for execution. Maybe this new journey requires you to take courses, attend workshops or seminars, or enroll in a degree program to gain the skills and knowledge required for your new career. Before diving too deep, take an honest look at your family budget. Consider what monthly expenses you have and if anything can be cut to make up for the potential lost income from cutting hours or switching to a part time job. Remember that this is only temporary – although it may require sacrifice in many forms! Losing income is never an easy experience, so always remember to search for funding that can aid in supplementing your losses.

Scrabble letters that say "make plan"

Technology has blessed us with a plethora of online resources and courses; take advantage of these! You may have to sacrifice some time due to taking longer than usual – but this hard work will pay off for the ultimate outcome you desire!

If you’re looking to acquire experience in the field of your dreams, consider engaging in volunteer work or freelancing. This offers not only a great opportunity for developing new skills, but also shows your commitment and eagerness to gain knowledge about this industry! Immersing yourself in a field of work can be extremely beneficial and rewarding! Not only does it give you the chance to sharpen your skills, but also gives you access to an entire network which could open up possibilities that would otherwise remain unknown.


Networking is essential to break into your desired field and can provide you with invaluable job opportunities, especailly when changing careers. To make these valuable connections, attend industry events and conferences to meet professionals in person. Joining professional organizations or online groups that share the same interests as you will help foster meaningful relationships within your network.

Four woman sitting at a restaurant table talking

Reaching success isn’t about conforming to the wishes of others; rather, it’s all about maintaining your integrity as you work towards achieving your ambitions. As such, seek out those who possess relevant knowledge and expertise that can provide valuable guidance on how to save both time and money. Doing this not only gives you insight into what lies ahead in terms of career opportunities but engaging with experienced people also offers a great platform for personal development!

Be open to entry-level positions

Changing careers may require starting at an entry-level position, even if you have years of experience in a different field. Be open to this possibility and view it as an opportunity to gain experience, learn new skills, and work your way up the career ladder. Starting at an entry-level position can also help you build a network in your desired industry and demonstrate your commitment to your new career path.

Long road lined with pine trees and mountains in the background.

I understand that there is a monetary loss, however bear in mind the following point – it will be extremely influential for your future endeavors. Money is essential, but make sure you don’t fall victim to the “golden handcuffs” of a career. If this phrase is new to you, it means that although an occupation pays well and allows for financial stability, there can be no real joy or satisfaction in being part of it. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to such a situation – avoid becoming trapped in something which doesn’t bring fulfillment!

Stay positive

Changing careers can be a challenging and stressful process, but it’s important to stay positive. Remember that the job search process takes time, and rejection is part of the process. Focus on your goals, stay motivated, and keep an open mind. Celebrate small victories, such as a successful job interview or networking event.

You should take your time with this process and avoid getting caught up in the same situation you wanted out of. Take a break from it all each week, whether that’s to watch a movie, read a book or simply find some peace through self reflection. Set aside time through the week to exercise; not only will this better your physical health, but it will boost your self-esteem and mental wellbeing too.

Child looking at a painting on a wall that says "believe in yourself"

Find something inspiring to put somewhere you can see every day; it could be an uplifting quote, a photo of someone important to you, even just an image of the car of your dreams – anything that will motivate why are making these sacrifices.

Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor can be a valuable resource for anyone going through a career change. A mentor is someone who has experience and knowledge in your chosen field or can offer guidance and support as you navigate your career transition. Here are some steps you can take to find a mentor to help you through your career change:

A little girl helping a little boy up who fell to ground.
  1. Identify your goals: Before you start looking for a mentor, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in your career change. Identify your career goals, what you hope to gain from the mentorship, and the specific areas in which you would like to improve.
  2. Determine what qualities you are looking for in a mentor: Consider the qualities and characteristics you would like in a mentor. Do you want someone with a similar background or experience to yours, or someone who has a different perspective? Do you want someone who is more hands-on, or someone who is more of an advisor?
  3. Start networking: Reach out to people in your desired industry or field to start building connections. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people on LinkedIn. Be clear about your career goals and ask if anyone knows of a mentor who could help you achieve them.
  4. Approach potential mentors: Once you have identified potential mentors, approach them with a clear idea of what you are looking for and why you think they would be a good fit. Be respectful of their time and expertise, and ask if they are open to discussing the possibility of mentoring you.
  5. Establish clear expectations: Once you have found a mentor, establish clear expectations for the mentorship relationship. Set specific goals and objectives, determine how often you will meet or communicate, and clarify what each person’s role and responsibilities will be.
  6. Maintain the relationship: Maintain regular communication with your mentor and keep them updated on your progress. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism, and use the mentorship relationship as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Remember that finding the right mentor takes time and effort, and it’s important to find someone who is a good fit for you and your career goals. Be proactive, open-minded, and willing to learn, and you will be well on your way to a successful career change.

Be patient

Changing careers takes time and patience. It may take several months or even years to make a successful transition.

a sticker on a street pole that says "Dude. Breath."

Finding the right fit takes time: It’s important to take the time to explore your options and find a career that aligns with your interests, skills, and values. Rushing into a new career without doing your research can lead to dissatisfaction and a wasted investment of time and resources.

Building new skills takes time: Depending on the career you are transitioning into, you may need to acquire new skills or knowledge. This process can take time, whether it involves going back to school, taking classes, or gaining experience through internships or apprenticeships.

Job search process can be lengthy: Even after you have identified a potential career path, it can take time to find the right job. The job search process can be competitive and time-consuming, and it’s important to be patient while waiting for the right opportunity.

Adjusting to a new work environment takes time: A career change may involve adjusting to a new work environment, culture, and colleagues. It can take time to get acclimated and build relationships, so patience is key in this process.

Mental and emotional adjustments take time: A career change can be a significant life transition, and it’s important to give yourself time to adjust mentally and emotionally. You may experience uncertainty, doubt, and stress during this process, and it’s important to be patient with yourself as you navigate these emotions.

Overall, being patient during a career change is important because it allows you to make thoughtful, informed decisions and adjust to new situations at a pace that is sustainable and healthy for you. Rushing the process can lead to burnout, frustration, and disappointment, while taking the time to be patient can lead to a successful and fulfilling career transition.

Follow Your Heart

Shadow view of street sign with a beautiful pink sunset.

Following your heart, you’ll discover the career that aligns with your purpose and brings you true fulfillment.. Career changes can be daunting, but they can also unlock new opportunities for growth and success. Break it down into manageable tasks, find yourself a strong support system and never doubt your capabilities – you can do this! I’m pulling for you every step of the way.

“Embrace the journey and trust in your abilities to create the career and life you truly desire.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top