How to Change Career Successfully and with a Positive Mindset
I’m no expert in how to change career path. But I’ve done it successfully a number of times in my life. So this post is based mainly on my experiences. If you need some inspiration, then hopefully you’ll find something in here to help you make the change you want.
Why I Wanted to Change Career
I’ve had loads of careers. Before I met my husband, I fell into jobs because they seemed fun and interesting. I was a model for over a decade, owned a restaurant, worked overseas as a bartender in a club, and did lots of other things in-between.
I met my husband when I was on a modelling contract in London. After we started getting serious, I realized that I needed to be more serious about my career as well. He made me believe that I was capable of doing anything that I wanted, so I decided to get a teaching qualification. And I started teaching English as a foreign language.
The First Change
After a few years, I fell pregnant with the twins. And as you can imagine, my life was turned upside down…in a good way! I knew that I wanted to spend time with my boys, so I decided to make the biggest career move of my life. I was working as a director of a group of international language schools at the time, but I decided that working weekends and travelling overseas for weeks at a time, was just not going to work for me and my family.
We also decided to move to a small town, where my mother lives. Initially we had planned to go back overseas, but my husband’s job fell through, so we decided to stay. I had to earn money, so I needed to find out how I could do this.
I spoke to my boss who agreed to allow me to work remotely. This worked really well for a few years. I managed to get loads of work done from home, while being able to spend time with my family. But I still had to go to the office once a quarter, travel abroad and have daily meetings. So even though I had negotiated to work in the way I wanted, it still wasn’t enough freedom for me.
And Then Another Change Happened
The next change happened when I left the company entirely. I knew I had a great job and was able to work in the way that I wanted. But the job didn’t light me up anymore. And we had decided to start homeschooling the boys. I needed and wanted total control over my time.
This change was slightly more difficult because I had to firstly find out what I wanted to do, and then make the change without losing out on salary. I settled on teaching English online and then the hard work started! There was a crossover period of about 2 years before I was fully ready to leave my then-job. I had to work nights to get the required hours to up my pay and to have the reviews I needed.
But it was all worth it! Now I can schedule my time to fit around the needs of my family. I’ve been able to homeschool the boys for the last 5 years, so it’s been great!
What I Learnt About Changing my Career Path
What I’ve learnt from the last two career changes is that to do it successfully, it’s a combination of practical steps and mindset. So let me share some of the lessons I came away with.
Practical Things You Have to Keep in Mind
As much as I love all things mindset and manifesting, being practical is just as important to succeed. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when changing career:
- Spend the time to find a job that really suits you and your needs. Money isn’t everything! If you’re not happy with what you have to do every day, life is going to feel like such a grind! Make sure you know all the implications of what the job entails. Because what may sound like fun on paper (jetsetting around the world), might not actually be in reality (exhausting and lonely).
- Break down the big task of finding a new job or making a career change, into smaller, more manageable steps. This is my go-to formula for change! Decide what you want to do, and then write down all the steps you need to take to get there. And take them one after the other! If you want to work as an online English teacher, then you can follow the steps I recommend in the post I wrote about it.
- If you like your job, then speak to your boss about changing your working conditions. I think the pandemic has shown many companies that it’s possible for employees to be as productive at home, as they are in the office. You could even propose less hours for the same pay. Show your boss this awesome TED Talk about the 4-day week and convince them that they’ll be ahead of the trend!
- Be sure to budget for a crossover period, if you’re moving to a freelance position. Otherwise, it could take a long time to get started in your new job. It took me two years! Also, be aware that it might take longer than you expected to get back to your current salary.
- Invest in education if you’re going to make a total change. It’s always worth it to improve yourself because no one can ever take this away from you! And everything you learn, helps you to grow as a person!
The Mindset Needed to Change Career
You know me and my obsession with mindset. And when you want to change career, you’re going to have to use all those mindset tricks to succeed. Because change is hard!
- Firstly you have to be crystal clear about your motivation. And make sure you go to the very heart of why you want to change. Once you know what it is, be sure to remind yourself about it when times get tough. For me, spending time with my family was the biggest motivation. I needed to be there as my family came to terms with the Autism diagnosis of my kids, as they suffered a traumatic year at school and then as we became a homeschooling family. I also just wanted to hang out with my favourite people in the world!
- Work on your grit and resilience, because it can be tough to change career or the way you work! It’s hard to put yourself out there, to ask your boss for what you want, or to start from the bottom again. But once again, your motivation is going to help you here. And if you see every bad interview or low starting salary as a stepping stone to your end goal, you’re going to succeed. I went from being a company director managing a team of people, to a newbie teacher. I had to grit my teeth and keep going because I knew that at the very heart of it all, I was in a better position that before.
- Find a community of people who are doing the same, or even better, have done what you want to do. There is so much power in feeling like you’re not alone! And in being supported and cheered on too! At the same time, you can surround yourself with people who can show you that it is possible! Get that positivity in your life! If you’re a mom who works and homeschools, then be sure to join the Working Homeschool Moms Support Group on Facebook!
- My last tip is to just go for it! A big change like this can easily lead to overthinking and doubting yourself. But no change is going to happen without action. So if it’s super scary, then start with something really small. But do it! Because your future self will give your current self a huge well-deserved hug.