What is REALLY stopping you from changing careers…

Sometimes I speak to someone who is so “gung ho” to change jobs it’s is almost frightening. They are more than happy to tell you why the hate their job and how the money sucks and how their boss is a bit of an arse. They are super motivated to move on and you have to work hard to keep up with them.

However, most of the people that we talk to don’t want to move. Now, they are not happy in their current job but there is something holding them back. Things like family circumstances or finances are clear things that hold people back from changing their job. However, there are some other less tangible, less clear reasons for holding on to a job you don’t like. Here are some of the ones I have uncovered:

You are just too comfortable…

If you’re good at your job and getting well paid, even though your heart might not be in what you do every day it’s easy to stay. Why rock the boat, right? However, there is a long term cost to this approach and as your dreams of doing something that you are really engaged with get further away, you become more dissatisfied with your job which in turn leads to increased stress and decreased career confidence. Is it time to get off the hamster wheel?

“But I have always been a…”

Work gives us many things and one of these is a sense of identity. We define ourselves by our work – “I am a lawyer/doctor/software developer….” This means when we think about changing what we do it can be very daunting. Linking it back to comfort, if you are well respected within your current company it becomes even harder to walk out into the unknown.

And the big one?... Fear of getting it all wrong

There are no certainties or guarantees when you change career but to find work that is meaningful and engages you, and that sparks passion and joy you have to be prepared to take a risk.