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Building up the confidence to pivot careers or change jobs

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Career Advice

If you’re considering taking the leap into a career change, you might be feeling some anxiety or a lack of confidence as you make this big decision. But here’s the upside: confidence can be created. It’s not a personality trait or something that’s neurologically inherent. 

Here are three exercises designed to increase your confidence when switching careers. 

List the accomplishments you’ve achieved in your current role.

You can do this with a pen and paper or just in your mind if you’re on the go. The goal here is to be able to refer back to evidence of your successes regardless of whether it’s in the same industry as the one you’re pursuing or not. 

If you’re a student, caretaker, or other role outside of the professional world, you can absolutely list accomplishments that you’ve achieved in those positions as well to demonstrate your past success to yourself. 

Ask yourself “what transferable skills have my current circumstances given me that I can bring to my next organization?” Whatever comes to mind, record it and reference it the next time you’re feeling a lack of confidence. 

Practice introducing (and interviewing) yourself. 

This step is easy once you’ve made your accomplishment list. Be imaginative and think about how someone would introduce you on a career podcast or in an article where you offered your expertise. List off your unique experiences and professional qualities that would be interesting or worth mentioning to someone else. 

After thinking about this introduction and the aspects that characterize your career story, rehearse to yourself how you’d drop those accomplishments into a conversation with a recruiter. When you’re interviewing for a role that’s outside of your sector, it can seem difficult to have your experiences come up organically in a conversation or interview. But if you take time in advance to prepare some essential talking points to hit in every interview, you’ll seriously boost your confidence when speaking about your career history, making it more likely that you’ll be able to smoothly mention your transferable skills. If you’d like to learn more from Pathstream about what transferable skills are and how to speak to a recruiter about them, watch our webinar here

Talk to someone you know who has already switched. 

When you’re navigating a career change, it’s expected to experience feelings of apprehension or that you’ve got a blindspot somewhere. You can mitigate these reactions by connecting with someone you know who has also changed careers and asking them what they think you should know before taking the leap. 

This person doesn’t have to be someone in your industry. The exercise is about getting comfortable with the act of changing careers, regardless of industry. From finance analysts to graphic designers, everyone experiences the same anxieties catalyzed by change and periods of professional transition. In fact, there are a lot of Pathstream students who used our services to switch careers; you can read about one of them here

Just sitting down with someone else who has experienced changing careers will make you feel more prepared and confident in what the future holds. You can ask them what they wish they had known going into a career change, what obstacles they had to overcome, or anything else that you’re worried about navigating yourself going forward. 

The bottom line: Confidence is cultivated from memorizing and internalizing your past successes and preparing yourself as much as possible for the future. While jumping into a new career is always exciting and scary, a little preparation goes a long way in making you feel confident in the fact that you deserve the success you’re looking for. 

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