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When Finding Your Ideal Career: Resist Becoming Too Comfortable

ideal career

ideal careerIn the midst of my own career transition, I had a part-time job while I was growing my coaching practice. It meant having two incomes, and it felt really comfortable! In addition to the incomes involved, I think somewhere inside I was fearful of leaving the security of the part-time position with its benefits and steady paycheck. After two years, I was making the same amount coaching as I was at the part time job, but I still wasn’t making the move towards becoming a full time coach.

One day I was on the phone with two of my coaching colleagues; we’d formed a mastermind group to help hold us accountable to our goals. And Julie said, “Isn’t the two-year mark coming up? Isn’t it time for you to leave your job and start coaching full time?” She was right. I had set a two-year mark, because that was when I would be vested in my retirement at the university where I worked. It was coming up, and I hadn’t planned to give my notice. Fortunately, I had someone like Julie to call me on the carpet because I had become too complacent.

I realized then that — to a certain extent — this had been the story of my career.

I tell my clients this all the time: Even if your job isn’t a fit for you, it still may be as comfortable as an old pair of slippers. You know what to expect, you know the people there, and thinking about a change can be scary. The problem is that months and years pass. Then you look back and wonder what happened.

Tanya had worked for the same company at a job she really didn’t enjoy for ten years. I don’t know what eventually made her contact me, but when she did it was with a sense of despair. She couldn’t believe that much time had passed, and she felt miserable about having wasted it on a job she had no passion for just because it was familiar. Fortunately, she had many years left in the work force, so we began to create her dream job then and there.

It’s also important to remember that transitioning to another career in a financially smart way is crucial, and it takes time and planning. You must start as soon as possible defining your direction and laying plans for your next step. You don’t know how long it will take, and it is much easier to make a change when there is less urgency. I always joke with my clients that I feel like a dentist. People wait to come to me when they’re in extreme pain.

Don’t wait until you need a root canal on your career; don’t get too complacent. Start making adjustments as needed as soon as possible so you can lay the groundwork for your next steps and have the time to implement them in the smartest way possible.

In a nutshell: The time to start is now, because it’s easier to make a change when you are less desperate.

Action step: Think about a time in your life when you took a risk and had a positive outcome. Write about it for a few minutes tonight so you relive the experience to a certain extent and remind yourself that taking a risk can be worth it. That’s what finding your best career is about.

– Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coach was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Since 2002, the company’s team of certified career coaches have helped thousands of job seekers worldwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. Schedule a free consult with today to learn more about our services.

Need help setting and keeping Career Goals? Watch these helpful videos Hallie has created by clicking here.