Changing careers is, typically, greeted with plenty of praise and excitement. People are interested in what you’re doing and, oftentimes, proud of you making a bold move. This kind of support always helps when you’re transitioning, but, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are times when you won’t receive that support, and, instead, feel discouragement, questioning and doubt. People might ask why you’re leaving a stable job to start a company, why you’re switching roles when you just started, or why you’re unhappy with a company when it pays well or provides great benefits.
Situations are different, but the common denominator is that you’re not receiving support and encouragement when you’re changing careers, which is an easy way to doubt yourself, your worth and your decisions. Of course, you can’t rely on people to build you up — that inner strength has to come from you. But, when it feels like the world is against you while you’re making a big decision, it can be hard to keep positive vibes flowing. Here’s how to handle any self-doubt and the doubters like a pro.
Figure Out Why They’re Criticizing You
Is this an actual concern your mom has for your well-being, or is it your friend who’s upset that he or she didn’t get the same position? Instead of letting all of the overwhelming comments become one giant, annoying blob, pull out the little pieces. Then, the rest is up to you.
Do you want to listen to their advice or what they’re telling you (I highly recommend not to)? Nine times out of 10 it’s just background noise that really doesn’t matter when it comes to making your own decisions. Of course, if your parents are worried about you flying off to a new country to become a digital nomad with no place to live, like, let’s be real — that’s fair. Other than that, though, changing careers should be exciting.
Re-evaluate If Changing Careers Is Right… Just Once, Though
Intuition or following your gut tends to work out quite well. In order to save yourself some time and prevent those “what ifs,” take a minute to re-evaluate the career change you’re making. Is there something actually concerning about this? Or is it just petty noise? After you confirm your decision in changing careers, stick to it. You already thought about others’ opinions and thoughts once; continuing to dwell will only stress you out and second guess things that you may have never thought twice about in the first place.
Choose A Way To De-Stress
Changing careers, in general, is super overwhelming. Telling your current manager that you’re leaving, wondering how to make an impression and fit in at your new company, and even the idea of beginning a new “normal” can be causes of way too much stress. Take a deep breath and remember to take time for yourself.
Many of us are used to putting everything else before our mental, physical and emotional health, but you deserve better than that. Taking care of yourself and finding ways to unwind will make starting your new career and leaving your old one less daunting. De-stressing will also help you handle the unsolicited advice you might be hearing from everyone else. Set your phone down and head to the park.
Remove Yourself From The Situation
At times, it simply comes down to getting out of a situation that you didn’t really even get yourself into. When you’re going through changing careers, it’s important to stay focused and attentive to you and the career you’re headed into. Every time someone gives you “advice,” comments on your choices, or questions you decision, simply smile and thank them for their opinion; then leave it at that. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in someone else’s worries and negativity. Removing yourself from a group of friends, turning your phone off for a bit or mentally flipping the off switch on negative thoughts is easier thank you think — you just need to do it.
Continue On And Stay Confident
You have every reason to be confident. You just received a new offer, which clearly means you have skill, talent and a great energy about you. Whatever you’re hearing from friends, family, colleagues and your grandma’s neighbor, whether good or bad, needs to hit the road. The focus is on you and working on a career you’re happy with.
Sometimes, it’s easier to put this into a different perspective. Looking down the road, would you be happy with your life 10, 20 or 30 years from now knowing that you let everyone else’s opinions influence your choices? It may sound silly, but the answer is probably “no” 99.9 percent of the time.
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