Are you wondering if you’re making the right career move?! Or if it’s the right time to make a career move? If so, you’re not alone. There are so many people asking this question right now. And I’m here to give you 3 steps to ensure that you are making the right move…and that it’s the right move for you. You can have clarity and confidence in this decision, friend.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
- The paralysis of “the right thing”
- 3 Steps to make the right move
- A bonus to help you with the decision
PROBLEM: THE IDEA OF “RIGHT”
Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things at your wedding. Right way to label an envelope. Right way to “welcome people.” The right way to have the ceremony. And the reception. And on and on and on.
As women we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do the “right thing”:
The “right diet”
Mothering the “right way”
Say the “right thing”
This has infiltrated our culture so deeply. We spend so much time strategizing on the exact, precise way to move through life we end up paralyzing ourselves! And then we don’t make any progress!
Our careers are no different.
Here’s usually the internal narrative that goes on when we start to worry about making the right career move:
“I’m scared that this next job will ruin my career.”
“What if I don’t like this next job as much as I hate my current one?”
“I’m just scared of change.”
“I’m fearing that I will have a lack of stability”
“What if I realize I don’t want to be doing this either?!”
“What if this looks bad on my resume?”
“What if, What if, What if….”
STEP ONE: GET CLARITY
The title should actually be 3 Steps to Ensure You’re Making the RIGHT Career Move FOR YOU. Here’s what I want to clarify: there is no one right way. It’s what’s right for you. And there will be many different choices to make throughout your career.
So first, you need to get clear. You get to define your career. You get to decide where you go. So what do you want?
Some questions to journal through to get clarity:
- What is the kind of lifestyle you want?
- What do you want to be doing?
- Where do you want to live?
- What type of salary do you want to be making?
- Who do you want to work with?
Remember: clarity is kindness. So we need to find our True North so we can move forward in our career with direction, with clarity. Because the first move in making a move is figuring out where you want to move toward.
STEP TWO: LET GO OF THE EXPECTATION OF “PERFECTION”
The first truth we need to know here is this: there is no magic “right career move” for anyone or everyone.
Your career path is more like cooking than baking. Baking is really precise. If you put in exactly the ingredients, you should get the right product. But put in a tablespoon of baking powder instead of a teaspoon, and things can go a little wonky. With cooking, it’s much more of an art than a science. You put in a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a pinch of something else, and it’s a beautiful end result.
Your career path is an art too, much more like cooking where you can add, subtract, give it some time, and create a lot of different results.
Today, there is very little of the “traditional career path” remaining. That historical career ladder we all hear about…it’s gone.
These days, careers are much more like roller coasters than ladders. There are all kinds of new industries that have come out of the last 10-20 years, and the world is changing all around us. We’re on a roller coaster…so let’s enjoy the ride!
It is okay if your career path has a lot more ups and downs than you thought when you were in college. No one told you that when you got into the real world post-college, you’d have to create your own path.
For so many years, we’ve had a path to follow. From elementary school, we go to middle school, from middle school to high school, and usually from high school to a four-year college. Some of us go onto graduate school from there. But when we get out into the “real world,” there is no clear path.
Here’s the beauty in this truth: There is no such thing as the perfect job. The perfect career. The perfect life. And you get to choose your own path!
You have permission to release that unattainable expectation on yourself of perfection.
Something I want you to journal through or examine here:
Look under the hood to determine where your expectation of perfection stems from:
- Old Colleagues
- Past Bosses
My encouragement to you is this: you should be more worried about unfulfilled potential than meeting some weird standard of perfectionism set by one (or many) of these people. I want you to tap into the potential that resides within you.
Don’t let your picture of perfection hold you captive anymore. Let go of your picture of a perfect career and the weight that you’re carrying.
If you’re too worried about perfectionism, that is a surefire way to lean into procrastination and inaction. Sitting still never got me anywhere: If I’m stuck, I have to keep moving. I know this because I’ve been there, friend.
And here’s a hot tip: surrendering isn’t inaction either. You can actively release something and pick something else up.
STEP THREE: GO FOR IT
It’s time to pull a Nike and “just do it.” Stop waiting for permission. If you believe it’s time to make a move, you’ve gone through the freebie and you’ve checked some of those boxes, and you’re worried about making the specific move…it’s time to stop waiting for everyone else to tell you what to do. It’s time to take that next step forward.
Before you’re ready, leap.
One of the best examples I can give you is when I was transitioning from my 9-to-5 job into launching my side hustle full-time. I evaluated a lot of things first, but then I had to leap!
And that’s my encouragement to you: don’t wait for all the little pieces to come into play. You need to start taking action, and all the other pieces will come into play as you do.
Here’s the other thing: just because you start looking doesn’t mean you’ve already accepted a job offer. You can look for a new job and choose not to take the offer.
Take one step at a time.
Free yourself of the expectation that you have to take the next job you’re offered. You don’t have to!
Just figure out if you want to start looking for a new opportunity. First things first.
Make the most of the situation, no matter what happens. You ALWAYS learn something. Even if you decide to walk away from an offer, you can learn from the process. If you make a change and it’s not a great fit, it may not be the right thing for you right now. And then you can make another move. One career decision does not derail your career. I promise.
Also….intuition is a real thing. Don’t ignore it. Listen to that inner voice. Your gut feeling. Whatever you want to call it. Women have a really good innate intuition. Pay attention to it. I’ve found that when I didn’t, I really wished I would have.
THE STEPS TO MAKE A CAREER MOVE
I hope this was helpful in thinking through if you’re making the right career move for you.
Here’s the only time you’re going to make a BAD career move – if you’re choosing to make the move out of desperation, not out of excitement. If you’re running away from something instead of toward something with excitement, then you need to listen to the alarm bells.
For more career advice just like this, check out our Recruit the Employer podcast.