You may have a friend or dear one who is struggling with the demands of their career choice. It might be a teacher or a lawyer who is close to burn-out and longing for another source of income, without compromising the welfare of their family. As an executive coach, here are my top tips for your friend.
Dr Catherine is an executive coach, career change specialist and author of Stepping Into My Shoes – for more information or a free 30 min consultation go to. These tips are all designed to give the person clarity of thought and ensuing clarity of purpose.
List what is important
Identify what steps they would have to take to change career:
- A diploma/licence – this could be a certificate for Health and Safety, or a Security Check
- Further education? Our fictitious lawyer may have to pass some exams to take on Human Resources as their new profession
- Do a SMART analysis. This is the classic test used to evaluate the validity of a project. SMART is an anacronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
It too can be used in a table-format:
Consult with those near and dear and talk them through the career change
All actions have consequences, especially to family and friends. In order to assure a smooth transition into the new career, our lawyer needs to consider the impact it will have on them. He/she needs to consider whether the new time table will suit everyone. The recent lockdown has highlighted how enforced WFH was not the best solution with flatmates, husbands, wives, children.
It might be advisable to work with these people to gradually put the changes into place. Many a marriage has been destroyed when the husband transitions from full-on work to part-time employment. The wife who had considered the home as her ‘fiefdom’ during the day (at least) suddenly finds she has to concede some of her space to her spouse. And, he, in turn, very often fails to take into account extra leisure time, without a hobby (such as golf or hiking – or even stamp collecting!) to feel the void.
Look at their career/hobbies and identify their convertible skills
A keen interest in languages might result in tutoring English as a foreign language to ambitious executives. A keep-fit fanatic might become a Personal Trainer. An avid traveller might take to writing about their visits and explorations.
Do all the above with an impartial person, preferably a professional coach
The answers to the tables and tools listed above often need to be challenged. Are the present hours really that bad? Will they really be able to manage on a reduced salary? How will their family react? Such an evaluation can only be performed with an objective listener who, additionally, is used to working with these tools and, in the meantime, the career changes needs to …..
The career change will not take place overnight, but it is worth fighting for! Career Change Research has shown that people who are motivated and successful in what they do, – most often have careers which showcase what they are good and represent who they are through personality, ie passion and core values.