Create Your Own Unique Measuring Stick
When Changing Careers
Far and away, the most popular reason someone usually gives for wanting to change their careers is to make more money. Money is a necessity. It is what modern societies have come to agree upon as a method for determining the value of things that may or may not be similar. You need it to keep a roof over your head, provide for your family, and put food on the table.
The most common way of earning money is employment. You work a job for an individual or a company, and they pay you a certain amount of money for your time and efforts. Because just about everyone is familiar with the concept of money, and it is such an important aspect of our daily lives, it makes sense that this would be a motivating factor for changing jobs or careers. Another reason given for switching careers is a desire to be recognized for the work that you do. You may be looking for power or fame, or simply want less stress and more free time in your life. Those are all common reasons you may be thinking about entering a new field of employment. Maybe you should think again.
Far too often, people get caught up in traditional or conventional ways of thinking. You think a particular way because you were taught to believe that way. The clothes you wear and the food you eat are often heavily influenced by what advertisers tell you is popular or cool. If you enjoy wearing a particular shirt, pair of pants, or shoes because you like how they look and feel on you, then by all means, wear that particular item of clothing. However, you should think about where your motivation comes from.
Do you want to buy a particular pair of shoes because they are all the rage right now? That may not be the best reason for making a purchase. What happens in a few months when some other type of shoe is the new fashion “must-have,” and your current shoes are uncool? You can ask yourself the same question regarding switching careers.
Is the reason you are thinking about entering a new field about more money or more free time? You may believe that is exactly what you want. Ask yourself though, is it really? If you enjoy your job but money is a problem, could you sit down and work out a budget that made more sense for you? This could reveal sources of savings which would meet your financial desires, and you could keep a job you liked.
There is nothing wrong with using a traditional measure of success as a reason for changing careers. Just make sure that whatever yardstick you use to measure success in your life takes into account your unique personality, desires, and goals.
A Successful Career Change Means Getting
Most human beings cling to comfort, though science has proven that when you step outside of your comfort zone, that is where the most significant achievement takes place. If it weren’t for taking uncertain steps out into a scary world, we would still be living in caves and throwing rocks at dinosaurs, waiting around for someone to discover fire. Thomas Alva Edison would never have given us the light bulb, and we probably wouldn’t know that bacon goes great with everything. Thinking about changing careers can be scary.
Most people just stay right where they are, because they are frightened by the possibility of failure. Since they have their family to provide for, they make the justification that they shouldn’t tempt fate, since moving to a new career might not turn out so well. So that person sticks with their current career even though they are not happy, years later wondering “what could have been.”
If You Never Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone, How Do You Know What You Are Truly Capable Of? Sports records fall every day because athletes keep pushing themselves. They are not happy with their current level of achievement. They want to know how good they can be, so they train and work very hard. They push themselves out of their comfort zone, their regular training regimen. They lift heavier weights, work out longer, and run faster. The result of becoming uncomfortable, training as they have never trained before, is new personal bests and sometimes world records.
This is because of something known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Dodson and Yerkes were a couple of psychologists who, in the earliest years of the 20th century, discovered that stress leads to achievement. What they found was that significant achievement did not happen until a person took small steps outside of the environment, surroundings, and behaviors where he felt most comfortable.
Small Steps Lead to Big Change
They noted that when someone was put in an entirely uncomfortable, stressful environment, performance was horrible. However, taking small steps outside of a person’s comfort zone slowly began to expand the area where that person was happy and comfortable. Over time, it becomes easier and easier to take on new tasks and expose yourself to unfamiliar experiences.
If your job is killing you, physically or mentally, maybe you should switch careers. Don’t take a giant leap, take a baby step instead. Rather than immediately moving from one career to another, why not take a part-time job in a career that interests you? Maybe you can sign up for classes or certification in some field that has captured your attention. These small steps outside of your comfort zone will eventually give you the confidence to move onto an entirely different career if your current field of employment is not working out.