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How to harness the courage to change careers
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How to harness the courage to change careers


by Niamh Ennis
14th Jun 2024

Changing gears mid-way through your career may sound drastic, but taking the leap could be just the thing you need.

There’s a certain inevitability with the arrival of a new calendar year that leaves us questioning our careers. “Do I still love what I do? What could I change that might make me happier and more fulfilled? How could I start over again and do something new?” We fantasise over all the scenarios, imagining what it could look like, if we just felt brave enough to take the next step. And then we freeze. We let the fear wash over us, and convince ourselves that it’s not possible. We return to making do and carry on.

Feeling like you’re stuck in the wrong profession can be incredibly demotivating. Even if you’ve reached the very top of your career ladder, none of it will matter, if what you’re doing no longer makes you feel good.

Yet, the real challenge is bridging that gap between dissatisfaction with your career; and identifying and pursuing something that feels like a better fit. Knowing what matters most to you, what success looks and feels like for you, will help you better navigate this new direction. It’s all about empowering you to find the career you need, not always the one you think you want.

To achieve this change, you must fully understand what drives you, what lights you up; but firstly, you need to figure out what’s been blocking you from making the leap.

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU?

The main road blockers preventing people from making the leap are…

Fear of judgement

Your career has defined how you’re seen in the world and the prospect of altering how you might be perceived without it is understandably scary.

Lack of direction

You know you’re miserable doing what you’re doing, but you’ve no idea what you could do. You misinterpret your uncertainty and assume that you should know. This paralyses you.

Practicalities

You have responsibilities and bills that need to be paid. It feels like an either/or situation and you’re afraid of being reckless and regretting it.

WHAT TO DO

Create an exit strategy

Consider what it is you truly want to do next. Ask yourself if you had no fear and there were no obstacles, what would you love to do?

Set realistic time frames

Allow time for research, find a mentor, speak to others who have done what you’re about to do and arm yourself with the information. Will you need to upskill? Should you put savings aside? Remove the barriers before you meet them.

Focus on you

Staying where you are will only serve to deepen your unhappiness. Ignore what others around you, keep returning to what it is you want for yourself.

Considering the amount of your life you spend working, it’s imperative that it enriches who you are. There’s a myriad of reasons that will keep you stuck in your career just don’t let fear be one of them.

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading transformation coach, author of Get Unstuck, host of the Tough Love Energy podcast and lead coach with the IMAGE Business Club. You’ll find Niamh on niamhennis.com or on Instagram @1niamhennis.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of IMAGE.

IMAGE Summer 2024

The Summer issue of IMAGE is here, and we’re taking the longer days as an opportunity to slow down, take stock, and luxuriate in the lull that summer brings. From laid-back looks to in-depth reads, there’s everything you need to set you up for the season. Plus: * Warm-weather style * Boho is back * In studio with Irish designer Sinéad O’Dwyer * Career success stories * Growing and foraging * Women in music * Reframing divorce * Tackle your tiredness * Summer beauty favourites * Bringing the outdoors in * Irish eco escapes * Garden getaways * and so much more…

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