• laurieeldridge

Have you fallen into the someday trap? How to flip your career change fears

Have you fallen into the someday trap? It’s rather comfortable place to be, and you might not realise that you’re in it. For example:

“Once I get my next promotion I’ll then start looking for a job that I can enjoy”
“Once I earn more I’ll be able to travel more”
“I’ll launch as soon as I've perfected my website”.

The reason that this kind of thinking is such a seductive trap is that we feel like we’ve got a sensible plan. But someday can quite easily turn into never. That salary increase doesn’t quite feel enough for the travelling that we want to do. There’s always another website tweak that we need to make that pushes the launch date into the future…

Our concerns are important and often valid, but at the same time, we need to be aware that they can keep us stuck. Also, by their very nature, concerns are negative things that don’t help us to move forwards. It’s not very motivating to think about something that we don’t want to do.

So, instead try flipping your concerns in a way that allows you to solve them. Here’s how – based on an exercise from Pivot by Jenny Blake.

1) What are your biggest fears about your career change? Take a few minutes to write down your three biggest concerns. For example, “I want to start my own business, but I’m worried that I won’t make enough money to be financially secure”

2) Restate this in a positive way (if you’ve ever done any improv, you can think about a ‘yes and’ format). “I want to start my own business and be financially successful”

3) The next step is to go into the ‘hows’: “How can I start my own business and earn enough to maintain my current lifestyle?”

4) We could go even more direct – “What business would most fit my strengths and give me a healthy living?”

5) Or even more specific “What type of business would allow me to generate a salary of £xx, and help others?”

…and you can continue until you have something very specific!

By moving from the concern to the specific question, we've ended up with something that a) feels much more positive and b) feels like we can do something about it.

By going back to the things that are important to us (in this example, earning a certain salary and helping others), we can focus our mind and narrow down our choices. For example, against those criteria, that cupcake business doesn’t look like much of a goer.

Try to run your concerns through this process, and then see if you can brainstorm solutions. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with solutions straight away (by their very nature, these concerns will have been in our minds for a while, and become well embedded). In this case, it can be helpful to let your subconscious work on them over a week or so. Write out your questions and place them somewhere where you’ll see them often, such as above your desk or on the fridge door. This way they’ll be regularly in your mind. Just don’t let answering them be something that you leave until someday…..

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