The 3 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Change Careers

It should be positive, not scary, to change up what you do.

According to stats out of the US, these days we're changing jobs on average about once every three years, and it's often because we've lost passion for our jobs or want to have a shift in our lives.

But for a lot of us who've lost the passion the thought of change is still quite scary  -- especially with financial considerations, kids or mortgages in the way. It's easier to stay where we are, and complain about it, right?

However, says Executive Coach Amanda Blesing, "the benefits of change are significant -- including opportunities to negotiate an increase in salary, and the fact that it’s far easier to change perceptions around your performance or track record in a new organisation. You don’t need do carry all that baggage with you when you change jobs!"

Yes you do need a certain amount of bravery and an idea of what it is that you want to achieve, but there are three questions you can ask yourself -- about yourself -- to make sure you're as ready as possible for what is to come.

Get ready to get thinking:

Am I open to new challenges?

Despite what your parents told you, a career path doesn’t have to be a straight line. Sometimes you take on new responsibilities at work and learn you like a different part of the business, often you will find you can apply your skills to a new line of work all together and experience your role from a different lens.

"Do you have a possibility mindset?" Amanda asked. " Some people are prone to closing down new ideas or opportunities because we can’t see ourselves doing this in the immediate future. But if you give yourself permission to entertain the possibility that one day this might be possible, it’s far easier to embrace change.  We know from the Hewlett Packard research that women tend to wait to apply for a role until they meet 5 out of 5 of the selection criteria, whereas men will likely apply with only 3 of the criteria. When we apply a “possibility” mindset we’ll be more likely to apply as well."

Do I have confidence in myself?

As well as being open to new opportunities, it's important to be confident in how you can apply your skill set, experience, and interests to a role you want and then to ask for it. Show employers you have the ability, work ethic, and commitment, and with proper direction and guidance, you can learn the additional skills and be successful. And if you're in a role that isn't right, know you can push for the changes you want. "It’s okay to ask for change," Amanda told ten daily. "It’s not disloyal, unfeminine, or flighty. Make sure you back your request for change up just like you would in a job interview -- with some evidence of where you’ve done something similar before.   My biggest piece of advice is to help others to help you.  Make it easy for others to go into bat on your behalf by giving them evidence, great arguments and ammunition to fight the good fight." 

Am I ready to break the rules?

This is more important for women than ever before, given that women are still paid less than men in many cases, but men too can learn how to push for change and work outside the box.  "Go for the job that you want, demand fair pay, and deliver the superior results you are capable of, regardless of location, industry, or role" says US coach Jenny Galluzo. And here's something for everyone regardless of sex, age or experience: "Career success is closely correlated with taking calculated risks and being entrepreneurial in thinking," says Amanda. " So learning to fly by the seat of your pants, colour outside the lines, to embrace failure, practice and learn from mistakes are all part and parcel of your career journey."