Change and your career

When we think of the words ‘career change’ most of us think about making complete 180-degree career moves, but changes in our working lives aren’t so black and white. Redundancy, promotion, or even a change from full- to part-time work can be just as daunting. Here are four steps to help navigate a career change.

  1. Identify opportunity

    We’re always faced with opportunities, and our working lives are no different. A change from full-time to part-time, for example, presents us with opportunities to use the free time to focus on other important elements of our lives, such as family, or offers a chance to take up a new hobby. A redundancy, while difficult to come to terms with initially, is an opportunity for us to press the ‘reset’ button – to focus on identifying where we’d like to go next and the opportunities to help us get there.

    2. Turn fear into growth

    It’s very normal for our confidence to feel shaken in times of uncertainty, especially when we’re finding ourselves thrust into a rapid and changing work situation, be it a redundancy or taking on an extra challenge we’re unfamiliar with as part of a promotion. It’s important to reflect on your capabilities and strengths (of which there are plenty!), and to remember that very rarely do most of us find success on the first try. We need to congratulate ourselves on the small achievements, and don’t punish ourselves if we make mistakes – they are the key opportunities for learning and development.

    3. Be curious

    This is especially relevant for us who have recently been promoted into a more challenging role or moving into a different industry altogether. We can’t possibly know everything there is to know about our new role, new job and new sector. Approach upcoming challenges with a positive mindset – write down questions as they come to mind and don’t be afraid to ask them! Take a colleague in a similar position out for coffee to pick their brains and seek advice. Research some potential courses to upskill if needed and be excited about upcoming challenges ahead. A thirst for seeking knowledge and successful outcomes helps us stay focused and determined.

    4. Take time to regenerate

    Navigating through a time of change can be mentally and physically exhausting. We need to ensure that we get plenty of rest – that doesn’t just mean sleep, but a complete shut-down from emails and other work tasks when we are at home. It’s far more effective for us to maintain realistic, fixed working hours to give ourselves a chance to recuperate and take on each day with a clear and focused mindset.  Maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise is also great for wellbeing, which is fundamental to a positive mindset and self-belief that we can successfully manage the challenges that come with change.

    Tackling any challenges that we face in life starts with establishing a positive mindset. With change comes opportunities to grow and learn, and it’s important to be able to identify where those opportunities are, to give us small goals to achieve on our journey through change. Speak to our team of coaches via AFA Care and Benestar’s ‘MyCoach’, who are ready to help devise steps to help navigate and find success in change.

    Source: This is an edited extract from Change and your Career, available from AFA Care and Benestar,