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Navigating Career Changes as an Adult

Embarking on a career change can be a transformative and challenging journey, especially for adults who may have already established themselves in their professional lives. The prospect of uncertainty and change often create a range of emotions, from excitement to anxiety. It is important to consider the nuances of career change including the range of emotions that it brings and the possible strategies that can be helpful in facing the uncertainties during the transition.

Recognizing the need for a career change is a crucial, but often scary, first step. Adults especially may hesitate to make this leap due to the fear of the unknown, especially due to financial concerns or societal expectations. However, acknowledging the dissatisfaction and/or yearning for something more fulfilling is essential. A career change is rarely a linear process- Anticipation, excitement, self-doubt, and fear can become familiar companions. Specifically, the feeling of uncertainty is a natural part of life, but instead of viewing uncertainty as a roadblock, reframing it as a blank canvas can help foster a sense of autonomy and self discovery. Working with an individual therapist can provide a safe space to explore these emotions and ultimately help you to process and manage them effectively. 

One of the main challenges of a career change is understanding how existing skills and values can be transferred to a new path. It is important to lean into self-reflection and identify your core strengths and values in order to discover where you can find a sense of fulfillment within your career. One way to dive into identifying your values is by looking at who you admired most when growing up. When we look at our childhood heroes, we can see a part of ourselves in them! By using the My Career Story Workbook, you can continue to explore your identity and values to assist you in finding a career path that brings fulfillment.

Building or maintaining a support system is crucial when navigating the complexities of a career change. Seeking support from friends, family, or mentors can normalize the uncertainties that you may be facing and make the transition feel less isolating and more empowering. Additionally, finding or speaking with a mentor can be an incredible opportunity to foster professional and personal growth and to focus on possible goals to set within your professional life. Finding a mentor in a new career path may seem daunting, however there are a few networking options, such as attending in-person/online events, that offer great opportunities to meet potential mentors within a new field. 

Embarking on a career change is a brave and transformative endeavor that requires self-reflection, resilience, and a willingness to embrace uncertainty. It's important to navigate the emotional challenges, reframe uncertainties as opportunities, and develop the skills needed for a successful career transition. Remember, the journey may be challenging, but the destination will likely be incredibly rewarding.

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