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CAREER CHANGE TAKES COURAGE

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

And you are braver than you think!


The context of career change will be different for everyone. Covid-19 has created the need for many people to consider a more significant change.

In good times ‘career change’ is often framed with a ‘do something you love’ philosophy.  In unprecedented times that changes. The brave path of finding a new way to earn a living has been forced on 1000’s of people. It’s impacted everyone - early, mid and late career.

Career change is tough – the emotional roller coaster guarantees a rough ride. It will feel like more lows than highs.  If you find yourself in this situation now you might be feeling daunted by the road ahead. Having spent time with numerous career changers I can say that people are extraordinary and I’d wager you’re about to surprise yourself. 

When pushed into a corner with only one route forward we find qualities we don’t realise we’ve got. Grittiness comes in lots of styles.

Bigger changes can feel more intimidating and create more anxiety but they can also provide optimism, a sense of control and a path forward with purpose. If you find yourself at this cross roads these three tips will help set yourself up for the journey ahead.


1.   Slow down to speed up.

You don’t want to make important long term decisions in a knee jerk way. 

  • You’ll be feeling a need for ‘action’ but try and resist the urge to jump into too many things with both feet.      

  • Rally the team. It’s your journey but you will need the support, balance, encouragement, questioning and love of those close to you. They’ll want to be part of it. If you’re making a change it’s likely they will be too.

  • Some career changes can be quick, others take longer. Financially can you create some space and/or take on some paid activity in the interim as you work through a period of transition.

2.   Start thinking about yourself differently

You don’t want to commit to a new career path to find out it’s really not for you.

  • You’re going to need to explore the real you. Which means working through a process of getting to know and recognise yourself. What makes you tick, act, perform, be engaged and happy.    

  • When you’re clearer about ‘you’ different career paths can show themselves and you’ll feel more confident exploring and evaluating them. 

  • Discovering your adjacent and transferable attributes will also help align you to different career options.          

  • This will help stand out when you’re looking for that opening. Don’t underestimate the positive impact is has on someone’s mindset if they’re thinking – ‘OK they’ve really thought about this’.

3.   Research and take a smart approach

We’ve all looked at people in different jobs and thought - ‘that looks appealing’. I think I could do that.

  • The grass isn’t greener – just a different shade. Researching new career paths needs to go deeper than a ‘day in the life of’ stories. 

  • What’s changing and where is the demand. What are the sectors, skills and opportunities that are going to keep me busy for the next XX years.

  • What qualifications are helpful and what’s the pathway to secure those. What career paths come with built in support – grants, training.

  • What’s my realistic journey here in terms of earnings, development and elevation. 

Whatever level of support you have access to I'd urge you to use it. Companies are deploying some great programs and there are volunteer led initiatives you can access (e.g. Jobs for Australia - www.jobsforaustralia.com).

Talking to others, working with a coach (paid or otherwise) and giving and taking from groups and individuals on a similar journey are good ways to create purpose and structure to your plan.  

Written by The Career Conversation editorial team

The Career Conversation create and deliver Career Mobility and Engagement programs. We use digital creativity and human intervention to improve internal mobility and extend support to anyone in career transition.

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