Over the past week, I have had several clients tell me that it took them a long time to inquire with anyone about resume writing services. I was a little surprised when I had two clients tell me the same exact thing: “I’m afraid.”
The Comforts of Autopilot: Why Change is Hard
When you drive to work every day, which roads do you take? Do you have to stop before you turn left at the Exxon station to remind yourself to turn left? Or is it automatic? Which shoe do you put on first? You probably don’t even know, for one simple reason: we are all creatures of habit. It’s very comforting to drive the same way to work every day, stop at the same Dunkin’ Donuts, order the same breakfast, park in the same parking space, say hello to the same people in the same cubes, and put your lunch in the same spot in the fridge at work.
What is difficult though, is change. People are terrified of change; and since your job takes up at least 23.8 percent of your time if you work 40 hours a week, changing that one thing is actually quite huge. You are not only changing your job, you’re changing your co-workers, your route to work, your salary, the places nearby to eat lunch, maybe what you’re allowed to wear, whether you have an office, etc.
Stop Overthinking Your Next Career Change
I’m often mystified that people are so stuck on sameness that it’s easier to stay in a crappy job than make some movement. What if it’s really not a better job? What is a better job? Is more money worth more hours? Is less stress worth less money?
Stop and read that paragraph again. Does your head hurt yet? Mine does. Sometimes I think part of the problem for people changing jobs is overthinking it. Ask yourself a simple question…Am I happy in my current job? If the answer is no, make a list of what will make you happy. This list is the beginning of defining what you value. Once you are looking at the list, you will have some concrete reasons why it’s time to make a change.
Examine Your Values: Money, Family, and Time
Let’s say that your list has the following career-related values written on it: money, time with family, big office, vacation time, and good insurance. Take a pair of scissors and cut each item out. Now, place each value in order from highest to lowest. You can use your values as a visual guide to help you decide what is important to you in your new job. Once you have something concrete to work with, moving jobs won’t seem as scary.
Fear Of Wasting Time?
Another thing that I know gets me stuck is what if I invest all this time in ___ and it doesn’t work out? Well then, we won’t know unless we try. A lot of times, if we sit there in our “stuckness” (Yes, I know that’s not a word), it just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until picking up the phone to call the resume writer seems worse than calling the dentist to schedule your root canal.
What you have to ask yourself is, what is worse, the situation I am stuck in now in my current work situation, or the possibility of failure if I try to find a new job and don’t succeed? The only thing at risk is time…and time is going to tick away whether you pick up the phone or stay stuck. Often taking the first step is the most difficult. I have had many clients say that once they start talking about their current jobs and the sort of new job or career they want, it becomes easier.
Sometimes all it takes is the conviction to take a risk and not worry what might go wrong, or why, or how, or what if it doesn’t work out. ~J.O.