How to navigate change and transform your career

Nov 14, 2019

I love this time of year when the Jacaranda trees are in bloom. It’s a sign of the changing seasons, as we transition from spring into another warm Australian summer. A time of change.

It’s also a reminder of where I was exactly 2 years ago.

Wandering through my local neighbourhood, noticing these bursts of beautiful purple flowers everywhere. Realising I’d lived in the area for a year and hadn’t ever taken a leisurely stroll around the block!

After weeks of deliberation, I’d just decided to close my business for 2 months. I’d reached another cycle of complete burn-out after years of working late nights, weekends and 60+ hour weeks. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and needed a break.

After a decade of repeating this cycle, I needed to make significant changes. This ultimately led to me overhauling my lifestyle, changing my business model and pivoting my career.

My story demonstrates that extreme change is often necessary for us to make a shift and begin creating the life and work we truly want. Below, I share 5 simple, actionable tips to help you successfully navigate change and transform your own career.

TIP 1 – Declare it

Do you want to make a change in your professional life in 2020? Perhaps it’s learning to delegate, find more balance, develop your leadership skills or a big aspiration – such as leaving the corporate world to start your own consulting business.

It could be a niggling feeling something isn’t right – or a deep sense of unhappiness or frustration in your role. Whatever your circumstances, don’t wait until you’re so miserable or exhausted you make an extreme decision – like quitting your job without a back-up plan.

I remember having lunch with my dad one afternoon and finally sharing how unhappy I was. In that moment, it was a relief to say it out loud. And the first time I’d admitted it to myself.

Recognise right now if something’s not right and declare it. Then commit to changing it.

TIP 2 – Identify what’s important

Who and what are important in your career and life? What do you want from your personal and professional life? What’s your ‘why’? What do you value?

Knowing the answers allows you to make choices aligned to your values. Ask yourself – what will I be honouring by making this decision? What will I be saying yes to? Or saying no to?

Understanding what’s important helps you make changes to create the career and life you want.

TIP 3 – Mindset shifts

What’s holding you back from change? The majority of time it’s not ability or lack of knowledge, but mindset. My coaching clients work with me to create changes or new results in their professional lives. Often, they can articulate what they want and perhaps even have an idea how to get it. What holds them back 80% of the time are fears and limiting beliefs.

So how do you address mindset? It’s a big topic and I’ll share further tools and resources in future posts. The first step: acknowledge the limiting belief, fear, old habit or behaviour. Then replace it with a new, more helpful one. Next, focus on honouring your values and what’s important. Finally, move into action.

TIP 4 – Take action

You’ve probably heard the saying, that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Without action, we can’t expect current circumstances to change.

Moving into action is about looking past what our limiting beliefs and conditioning tell us what we “could” and “should” do.

Think of a change that you’d like to make – a step or an action you’d be comfortable doing. Perhaps contacting a friend who runs their own business to find out how they got started.

Next, come up with an extreme version of that goal – something outrageous and way beyond what you believe is possible. For example, having coffee with 40 cold contacts in the next week.

The definition of comfortable and challenging will be different for each person. The point is to identify an easy goal, then something completely uncomfortable.

Finally, settle on one action that sits between these two extremes – arranging catch-ups with 10 people in your network in the next fortnight. The goal is to stretch yourself and take action far outside your original comfort zone.

TIP 5 – Get support

Finally, as you embark on any change, get a good support network around you. For me that came in the form of my family and friends, investing in a coach, finding a mentor and joining a business mastermind group. Change takes time – I work with my clients over 4-6 months to address the changes they want to make.

Change is challenging, uncomfortable and requires plenty of courage and commitment to execute. These tips helped me make significant changes in my career and business and assisted many of my clients to transform their careers. I hope they help you too.

Ready to make the leap and launch your own consulting business in 2020?

This is the exact reason I created the ‘FROM CORPORATE TO CONSULTANT’ coaching program. To get you from dreading Mondays and feeling trapped in your corporate career to finally making the jump and launching your own consultancy.

I’ve opened up 5 coaching spots commencing in January and would like to invite you to take part in this experience. Click here to book your complimentary, no obligation 30 minute strategy consult to get started!

Stacey Back is a professional coach to existing and aspiring consultants and the Founder of Profile Careers. She helps high-achieving professionals go from feeling trapped in their corporate careers to developing the confidence and strategy to transition into their own consulting businesses.

Stacey also supports existing consultants who are stuck in a business model they hate, working longer hours than ever or struggling to find clients or make money. She helps them set the foundations for their business to find more time, attract the right clients and grow the consulting businesses they desire. Stacey works virtually with individuals based across Australia and internationally.