7 Things Career Changers Should Stop Telling Themselves (or Their Coaches)

7 things I hear Career Changers tell themselves and what they could be saying:

This week I saw a great bumper sticker: Don’t believe everything you think.  So true.  We tend to accept our thoughts the way we’d never accept the same ideas from someone else.  It led me to jot down 7 bad thoughts I hear from people considering a career change that all ring very loud alarm bells in my head…and after a coaching session, in the heads of my clients too!

1. I don’t know how

  • OK, you may not know how.  That’s why people invented the word and concept of LEARNING.
  • Better Thought — I need to find some way to do this and will start finding out by…(seaching Google, asking my network, talking to a librarian or someone already in the field…)

2. I don’t think anyone would hire me to do this (or would buy this or be my client).

  • Good line for giving up completely.  If you don’t want to give up about your career dream or goal or job search or…anything, stop recycling the past experience of no one being interested, check if YOU care, and then try this thought:
  • Better Thought — I just have to find the right people with the right needs/interests

3. Why try that?  I’m just not good at it.

  • As in number 1–there’s this thing called learning.   Also another cool concept called PRACTICE (check out the Outliers book on the side of this page.  It’s all about how practice and not talent makes the difference in success).  Finally, there’s the fact that you may not be the best judge of how good you are, so go find out if your thought is even true.
  • Better Thought — I haven’t been too great at that so far, but if it’s important for me to do, I can certainly learn how to do at least an OK job at it.

4. I screwed up. What an idiot I am!

  • Join the club.  Who hasn’t screwed up?  The bigger success the bigger the past screw ups in most cases.  Just don’t go from a screw up to judging your entire self or personality (idiot, fool, etc.)
  • Better Thought — How can I make sure I do that better so I don’t screw up next time?

5. I’d love to do….but

  • When clients say these magic words, I always have them put on the brakes.  I don’t even want to hear what the “but” is about until we confirm that they’d really love to do whatever they’re talking about (design buildings or teach skiing or open a floral shop or be an accountant, doesn’t matter what as long as it’s legal). If they really love doing it, then the better thing to say is
  • Better Thought — I’d love to do X, so I need to figure out some way to do it.  OK, so what would be a way to at least get started.

6. I’m too old to change careers

  • Really?  What does that mean?  Usually, I find it doesn’t mean the person can’t get on their toes any more to become a prima ballerina, but that they’re afraid of having to go to school or face younger bosses in a new field or face (illegal) age discrimination.  So those are real issues, but they don’t make you too old to change careers.  Many of my clients are in their 40s, 50s and older.   They can change.  In fact I changed midlife too.  So can you.
  • Better Thought — Because I’m really experienced, I know how to learn and can move quickly through a career change.

7. I’m too inexperienced to get the job/career I want

  • Now we’re on to a common variation of the I don’t know how to thought (number 1).  Again, there’s learning, practice and often lots of places to get that experience–classes, internships, volunteering (great one for many jobs), jobs that will train you.
  • Better Thought — I’m going to brainstorm 100 ways I can get the experience I need (or brainstorm how I can get the job I want without that experience).

We all run some form of thoughts through our head that help get us or hold us stuck, whether in careers we don’t want or in some other parts of our lives. No need to be too harsh on yourself for that (See no. 4. What an idiot…). But, as the bumper sticker says, “Don’t believe everything you think.”

–Career changers, jobseekers–Be sure to sign up for free career and creativity ezine and get your career info bonus

© 2009 Leonard Lang. Feel free to reprint or pass on this article as long as you include the copyright notice and the link to http://choosingacareerblog.com

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