My client Susan (not her real name) was miserable.

She’d been in her career for more than 15 years. At first it was exciting, graduating college and getting dressed up for work (remember when people did that?!), going to the office like a real grown-up. Getting more responsibility. Making more money.

She was on the path that felt right.

But as the years went on the fun wore off. Yeah, she was making a good living but something had changed inside of her. What attracted her to the career years ago just wasn’t wasn’t there anymore.

She wanted to change careers but fear kept her in place. Fear of failure. Fear of not liking something she might switch to. Fear of ending up at the career she’d just left.

I told her that one of the key components of any key career or life change is risk reduction. That you don’t make a career or life change without checking it out.

How is that done?

First, you ask people already doing that career what they like about it or not. What they’d do differently if they could.

Next, you get some on the ground experience to see what it’s like, through job shadowing, part-time work or project work. Why? Because you just can’t take someone else’s opinion that a career they like is one you’d like as well. Knowing what the job is like day-to-day will give you the best idea if you’ll like it.

(Reminds me of the guy I knew years ago who became a policeman, thinking he’d be arresting bad guys all day. He went through the police academy and worked for a year as a policeman and then quit. Why? Because the job entails a lot of reports and paperwork, something that wasn’t to his liking.)

Anyway, Susan lit up, knowing she had ways to minimize the risk when pursuing a new career.

We also talked about the benefits of starting off with two or even three different careers in mind as inevitably one or two will fall by the wayside as she researched and learned more about them.

Are you feeling a bit stale in your career? Maybe stuck or frustrated.  Get my free guide about mistakes to avoid when making a change.

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