2020 is almost here. And as there is something special about fresh starts, it is the time when we all start thinking about our future goals. But for me first, this is the time for reflection on the past as well. And my learnings from leaping into my career change.

The previous two years have been one of the most powerful in learning for me, in a lot of surprising and unexpected ways. My breakdown moment turned into making a significant change in my career and life. A career change towards living more purposefully and fully.  

But with this, I can’t stop thinking that there are also other types of shifts, maybe more subtle and less obvious, that can lead us to leap into career change just as profoundly.  

Too many times, our growth comes out of learning from our breakdown moments. Or failures. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe and endorse that all these should lead to a positive growth mindset.  

But even more, I firmly believe that there is a way towards growth, which is anticipated by the envisioning of the future. When we start exploring and acknowledging our potential, getting clear on what we want and by making a conscious move towards it.  

In all these years working as a career transition coach, I have been listening carefully to my clients.  

Many of them found themselves in times of transition with some regrets. The most common ones were: I wish I hadn’t listened to other people about what should I pursue. Or, I wish I hadn’t let my fears stop me from making a change earlier. And, I wish I hadn’t worked so hard and missed out on so many things. 

These were one of the most important and painful realizations of professionals that were perceived successful and even living a happy life. I know I was one of them until my breakdown moment.  

And now, when I look back, what can I learn from it? What can you learn from it? So, we can shift how we’re living right now, in practical, concrete ways, experiencing more joy, fulfillment, and rewards in our careers. And avoid having these painful regrets at the end. 

A lot of us end up as ‘the workers’ in our career, rather than the creators of it. If we choose to become the creator, we choose to honor what matters most to us within the spaces we have. It is impossible to predict the future. But once you start designing your career, it changes the future that is possible!  

It takes courage, it takes self-awareness, and it takes perseverance to reach the possible.  

Brené Brown summed it up perfectly: “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave in my life. And when we make a choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” 

And making my choice and getting my ass kicked, is something I am so grateful for in the past year. 

It has been times of profound growth, both personally and professionally. And I have been stretched in ways I didn’t know it is even possible. And even though I am totally clear and determined on my career change into entrepreneurship, I still had to learn a lot to take on the ass-kicking part of the path.  

Below are a few areas that showed up for me and how I worked through them in my times of career change towards growth: 

Getting comfortable with discomfort:  

Change always comes with some discomfort as we are stepping into the unknown area. I had to work on shifting my mindset from resistance to acceptance. I needed to accept that it wasn’t always going to feel good in every moment. 

Changing my beliefs:  

I needed to work on my recurrent thoughts that have formed themselves into conviction. Or let’s say into my beliefs, which is the knowledge that I can do something. They are the inner feelings that we can accomplish what we undertake. So in our beliefs, there is the power where our vision becomes a possible reality. Our beliefs control everything we do and how we do it. You know this one: whether we believe we can or can not – we are always correct. 

I have my clear goals, and I continue to align my beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives with them. It all starts here. Without this, all the goal-setting in the world is for nothing.  

Taking imperfect action:  

My expectations, coming from my goals, determine my attitude. And my position of being fully involved in the creation of my career in coaching is what began to change my behaviors. 

The perfection mantra can keep us from taking action. I know it was the case for me. Committing to something scary each week helped me to get off the hamster wheel of pursuing perfection and into creation. And trust me, leaping into a career change of becoming an entrepreneur, there is always something new and scary to learn and do. Accountability from my business partner was of great help with this. And in your pursuit of a career change, career coaching can also be of great help. 

Joy and fun:  

So, it turns out that ass-kicking can be both intimidating and exhilarating at the same time. Completing something (this article can be one example), that my perfectionism or discomfort with being so exposed would have previously made impossible, is an incredible feeling. A feeling that is full of pride and joy.  

Reflecting on my attempts and effort, not just outcomes, and celebrating them, brought in more energy and motivation to keep me moving. But most of all, the movement towards work becoming empowered, and the work becoming fun, started when I consciously began to play to my strengths.  

Energy and intuition:  

Trusting myself and my inner compass of why I have chosen to design this career path has made it possible for amazing accomplishments in my personal and professional life this year. Even if the next steps and success can’t be assured entirely. This trust and some new personal practices (like journaling and mindfulness morning routine) have enabled me to gather the energy and focus on taking needed actions. 

Choose and leap into your career change. 

I’m feeling grateful for the totality of the experience of my career change— even though the painful personal loss was what lead me to leap into it.  

Still, I can’t help wishing I would make this change before. 

If the idea of making a career change makes us uncomfortable, we can remain where we are. The choices are ours to make. And we have both the ability and responsibility to make our choices, beginning today. 

If you don’t like how things are in your career, if you are struggling with feeling stuck and frustrated, make your move and change it!  

And yes, leaping into my change was the hardest thing I have done in a long time. But you know what? I bet you could do it too. 

Will I see you in the arena of making positive career changes in 2020?