5 Steps To Tackle the Career Change Process in 2020

2019 December 19
4 min read

Are you looking for a professional career change?

Does how you spend your waking hours in order to pay the bills not sit right?

Is that lingering feeling of fear and uncertainty preventing you from taking the leap?

As Tim Herrara of the Smarter Living blog wrote recently in the New York Times:

“A full-time worker will spend roughly 80,000 hours at work over the course of her working life… If you’re in the wrong career, that could mean tens of thousands of hours spent devoted to something you don’t even really care about, much less feel is your passion.” 

And really, who has time for that?

If you’re wondering how to begin tackling the process of changing careers, we have some advice for you. 

At Unsettled, we believe it all boils down to questions we ask ourselves, our understanding of ourselves, and how we can make more intentional choices based on what we believe in, what gives us a sense of meaning, and what gives us a sense of purpose.

When setting out to answer this question, you must outline your: 

  • Values - What’s important to you? What are your non-negotiables?
  • Skills - What are you good at? What have you learned about the value you’ve created - and how you’ve created it - in your career so far?
  • Interests - What do you enjoy? What comes naturally to you and gives you that “state of flow”?

If you boil it down to its most essential element, the “design” element of career and lifestyle comes down to aligning these elements and applying them to the choices we make, big and small, each and every day.  

Each choice puts us on a certain trajectory – a path of a future vision of ourselves. 

If you are unintentional about these choices, then your trajectory can feel a bit like a balloon when you let out all the air – flailing all over the place. 

When you can be more intentional about these choices, and have a grounded reason for making them, you can surprise yourself by how much you can actually control your work and life trajectories. 

To us, this grounding comes from a deeper understanding of our values, our non-negotiables, what truly makes us feel alive, and how we can design around these things. 

In our Lifestyle Incubator - our first ever virtual retreat, we ask ourselves some fundamental questions in order to begin making these intentional career choices.

These questions include:

1) Can you afford the time to make the right decision?

When you look at the road ahead, do you have a personal runway - that is, 1, 3, 5 months, whatever it takes - to take an honest look and arrive at a place where you’re confident you’re making the right choice?

Can you spend the time doing this while you’re working full-time, or do you need to take a sabbatical or quit your current job to give you the time and space to think about what’s next?

Pro Tip:

  • It’s different for each of us, but first you should take a hard look at your personal finances, and explore what time, space, and environments you need that that will help you cultivate change.

2) What are your core values and non-negotiables?

  • What are the values you are not willing to compromise on? What are the values that you stand for and build your essence? And how can knowing this help reorient yourself toward the right fit for a career?

3) Why do you work?

  • Yes, we live in a society where work is a necessity to make enough money to survive (for most). But how can we get clear on where and why we get joy and fulfillment in our working lives? 
  • What was it about your past career paths that didn’t sit well? And in what roles did you find meaning? What is the actual daily process – not the title or role – of the work that makes you feel most alive?

Pro Tip:

  • Ask yourself what in your last job did you like and dislike. What was the essence of that work that made you like or dislike it?

4) What does success look like for you?

Success, especially from a career standpoint, should be an individual definition, not a collective one. What does success look like for you? 

Can you get really honest with yourself about what a successful “future you” looks like through your own eyes? Ultimately that is all that truly matters. 

5) What are the steps you will take to manifest your vision of success?

At Unsettled we look at life as an evolution, a continuous process of radical self-discovery and learning through experimentation, exploration, and accountability. How can we ensure we are living each day this way?

Pros of Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator vs. an Online Career Course 

  • It is designed as a process for self-discovery, in multiple aspects of your life. 
  • It brings together 15-20 individuals to gain fresh tools and perspectives on their lives in the company of like-minded peers who are asking themselves these same big questions. 
  • It consists of peer-to-peer dialogue, in addition to the live sessions, mentorship, and workshops.
  • It is not meant to be an “end game” but rather supply you with the tools to help you pivot in a meaningful direction.  

Key Takeaway

Tackling the career change process is a great time to take an inventory of yourself today, your values, and your future goals.

If you are looking for a community of like-minded individuals who are navigating the same process and choosing their next career moves with intention, check out Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator. We’re here to help. 

Suggested Reading: