4. You don’t think that there are any jobs out there.
If you are giving your job search 100% all, then that is one thing. But most people who reason that the economy is bad and that there aren’t any jobs out there have not thrown themselves completely into the search. Why would you, if you thought it was futile? The problem is that this is a self-fulfilling cycle: if you don’t give your search your all, you'll be less likely to find a job, and then you'll be even more convinced that it isn’t possible! Hit the eject button from this cycle by stepping up your job search.
5. You don’t think you can do it on your own.
This one especially applies for those of you who are contemplating leaving your company and starting your own company or consultancy. It’s true that entrepreneurship is not for everyone, so you should seriously investigate if starting a company is something you would like to do. But if the answer is “yes," then don’t let the fact that you don’t know how to start a business stop you. There are tons of services out there that can teach you the skills you need.
6. You have done the same job for a long time now, and don’t think you are qualified for anything else.
It’s easy to underestimate your worth, especially if you have been doing the same job for so long that you take your skills for granted. Remember: if someone is paying you for your skills right now, there is likely someone else out there who will, too. Make a list: what are 10 skills you bring to your current job? Then think about all of the other companies out there that could use someone with those skills. Bring the list to friends and ask them. I promise, you will end up surprised by how very marketable you actually are.
7. You think you are too old to make a change… yet you are in your 20s, 30s, or early 40s.
Those of you who are beyond those youthful years are probably shaking your head right now. But it’s true: many of my clients in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s think that they are too old to make a career switch. If this is you, then let me just tell you that you have 25-40 years left in your career. That is even longer than you have been in your current career. You have plenty of time to develop a new direction. If you don’t believe me, go talk to someone who is in their 50s.
8. You worry that changing your career will harm your marriage.
This one is more of a commentary on your marriage than on your career. Of course your career will impact your marriage. One of my clients has a husband who has been struggling to start his own company for six years, and his discouragement and low opinion of himself has taken a toll on their marriage, for sure. But you want a marriage that can support you through whatever you decide, as a team, to take on in life. Instead of designing a career to support your marriage, fix your marriage so it can be a source of support and strength.
9. You feel embarrassed of how you look.
Recently, one of my clients almost decided not to give a TEDx talk because she felt too overweight. After a bit of digging, we found that the truth was that she was actually scared to get up on stage, and so was using her weight as a convenient excuse to not give the talk. Is this you? If you feel like you need to lose another 10-20 pounds before you can interview, consider that you might just be making an excuse. Interviewing is scary, and it doesn’t feel good to be rejected. Don’t use your weight as an excuse not to have to put yourself "out there” and risk that rejection. My client (with a little prodding) decided to do the talk anyway and it was a big success for her career… the same could be true for you.
10. You don’t want people to think less of you.
When I was contemplating leaving science to go into life coaching, I was afraid that my colleagues would think less of me. A client of mine who works on Wall Street is afraid that if she leaves her job to work for a non-for-profit, her colleagues will think she isn’t “hard core.”
It feels great to have people like you and praise your choices, and a bit unsettling when they instead criticize them. I mean, it’s hard enough to make a tough career decision, but then to have to defend in to others? That doesn’t feel great.
But you have to ask yourself: is your mission in life to use your talents in a way that feels best, or is it to please other people? I am guessing it’s the former. Ask the people in your life to support you in your decision, and you will find that most will.
These are some of the most popular reasons not to change careers. What is yours?
In every reason, there is an element of truth. Maybe your new job would require that you have difficult conversations, or maybe it would pay less, or maybe you'd have to learn new skills. But don’t necessarily use those as justifications not to make the change you want. Use them instead as indicators of problems that need to be solved.
You are far more creative and resourceful than you give yourself credit for. If you really lit the fire under your behind to figure out the solutions to these challenges, in many cases you likely could.
The key is to light that fire.
What justification are you going to challenge this week? Write me a note and share.