If you’ve moved into the milestone of your 30’s and are feeling uninspired, lost or stuck you’re not alone! It’s not uncommon to experience a life shift, we spoke with Emily Bowen & Shelley Johnson of My Millennial Career to provide some guidance on navigating these feelings and of course changing your career path.
Firstly it’s normal to feel this way, when you stop & reflect you’ll see that you’ve spent the past 10-15 years navigating and learning not only in life but in work, it makes sense that your mind is now taking that knowledge and adjusting your path. It’s completely natural to experience fear – and it can be a good thing in the right dose! What you don’t want is for that fear to hold you back from making a change that’s right for you.
Secondly, it’s in part, out of your control. According to astrology your Saturn return (when Saturn returns back to the same coordinates in the sky when you were born, between 28 - 30 years) is a major player in shifting your life path leading into your 30’s. Since Saturn is a major indicator of one's career path, the Saturn return often changes or coalesces that path. For those who haven't quite found their niche, or are in need of a job overhaul, the return can signal a time of change in a new direction, or to a different and more satisfying vocation.
It can be quite overwhelming to figure out what careers align to you personally, especially as our priorities and desires evolve throughout our adult life. My Millennial Career recommend the following tools to help you flow through the process.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEAR
The first step is to acknowledge your fears (and we mean all of them). Write yourself a big list with every possible thing that could go wrong. Yep, it’s daunting but once you’ve articulated all your fears and the possible risks, you can become more objective in your decision making.
From here, you can evaluate if that fear is valid or not, and make a game plan to reduce the risks to a comfortable level. Risk mitigation is not sexy, but the best plan will identify any big concerns. Then it will seek to reduce or eliminate their impact.
Let’s say the big risk that’s holding you back from a career change is financial. We get it. You’ve spent years working your way up the career ladder and you enjoy your lifestyle. As much as you want to make a change, you’re nervous about what it will mean for your pay to drop. Here’s where your game plan comes in. Identify strategies to reduce this risk to a level you can handle. You might start building up a cash buffer before you make any big change. That way you reduce the stress that comes with transitioning to a role with a lower rate of pay.
This may take time and mean that you can’t make the change overnight, but the short delay will be worth it if it means in the long term you are happier at work.
UNDERSTAND YOUR MOTIVATIONS
Before you take the plunge, slow down and think about why you really want a change, and what needs to come from it in order to ensure you are moving closer to living your passion.
Focus on your values, goals and priorities. We’ve seen a lot of people make a big career change prematurely because they haven’t spent enough time understanding these core drivers for change.
To identify what is most important to you in your career, ask yourself:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- What need am I trying to meet?
- What is it about my current role that I’m not enjoying? Is that something that would change in a different business or industry?
- What parts of my role do I enjoy, and can I do more of those activities or tasks?
- How do I feel about the culture that I’m working in? What do I like and what do I not like?
- How effective is my relationship with my boss? Are they helping me to grow and develop? Have I communicated openly with them about my needs?
- Are there opportunities for growth in this industry, even if they don’t seem to exist in this organisation right now?
- If I were the boss, what would I change about my job tomorrow? Can I make that change? And/or have I suggested that change to someone who can make it?
- If I were earning $5K more tomorrow, would I really feel happier even if I have other needs that are not being met?
- What is the most I am willing to sacrifice to make this change?
TAKE TIME FOR SELF REFLECTION
Think about the times at work when you’ve felt most energised and focused. When have you been in a state of flow? When have you felt most engaged?
To find the answers, consider these questions:
- What are my strengths?
- What do people ask me to help them with?
- What comes easily to me?
- What tasks or activities leave me feeling depleted or disengaged?
- What’s a non-negotiable to me in my job?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Once you’ve got your answers, research careers, industries and job opportunities to find a match. Browse job ads on Seek and LinkedIn, talk to people in your network, and hunt down the profiles of people already in your target industry or role that pique your interest. Connect with them and ask them how they got started, what they learned along the way, what the future looks like for people in their position, and where they think the opportunities in that industry are hiding.
FIND A MENTOR
Mentors are crucial in helping you navigate a big career change. They can share their experiences and learnings with you, and they can help guide you through the process or self-reflection and decision making by asking your questions that you may not readily ask yourself.
Mentors can also be a great source of connections, and may be able to make introductions to people in their network who have even more opportunities and insights about the career change you are considering.
LISTEN TO MY MILLENNIAL CAREER
And of course, listen to our podcast My Millennial Career. You’ll find strategies to design and achieve your career goals, build your personal brand and get what you want at work. You can listen to My Millennial Career on Shopify HERE.
We can only grow from learned experiences so remove the stigma of changing careers and embrace the growth that got you to this next phase of your life. Give yourself the time and space to reflect on where you’re headed, we find the A4 Notebook gives you enough space for mind maps, pro’s and con’s list and brainstorming all those big goals & dreams and when you’re ready to make some concrete goals utilise our downloadable Goal Planner.