Ready to Make A Career Change? Don’t Do It Without This Bag Of Tips

 You’ve been there. You get to work, turn on the desktop, wait for its hum to signal the start of your day and wish you were millions of miles away. Sure, you go through the motions. You get your stuff done but you feel unfulfilled as if you were meant to be doing something else. You know a career change is needed but you’re not sure quite what that pivot will entail.
Even if you’re lucky, and you’re sure about the connection you have with your side hustle, you’re still plagued with the: What Ifs.
What if your side hustle does not bring you the cash you need?
What if you fail when you try something new?
What if the game is for someone younger, brighter?
What if?
The mind games you twirl around in your head is paralyzing, and all it does is make you stay put.
But what if you could train yourself to rid yourself of doubt and carve a space to pursue your dreams?
That was the idea question I posed to life coach Janice Sutherland, who switched careers from a high powered CEO of a telecommunications company to a role that focused on helping women tap into their better selves.
Sutherland advises that while deciding your next career move is an introspective exercise there are practical exercises that you can take to help with your decision.

Ready to go full throttle? We’ve got you.   Here are five tips that will take you hurtling forward.

These are the skills you gained throughout your career.
Sutherland says you should not discount your volunteer work, hobbies, sports, and other life experiences. Sometimes they help to bridge the gap when looking at your next move. “It’s important to identify and understand your gaps because including all your skills to close them will allow you to cast a wide net with an awareness of all that you have to offer.” This translates into more options, which become important when making key decisions about your career.
You hear the words ‘personal brand’ all the time but what exactly do they mean? Sutherland broke it down with this simple equation: “When reputation is combined with your skill sets and strengths, it defines your personal brand.” For a career pivot understanding your personal brand is a great way to know if you are ready to make a switch. Because once you understand what your values are, what you are passionate about, what your personality traits are, what you’re known for and where you’d like to be, decision making becomes easier.
“Take some time out to really understand your brand, it requires self-reflection and lots of effort but it will pay dividends in the end.”
Fear keeps people from changing.
You worry about what will happen if you change jobs and don’t like the role? If you are embarking on the entrepreneurial route, you worry how you ’ll earn enough to take care of your family?
Sutherland says you should take fear as a sign that you’re excited at making a change but she also suggests that managing the emotions and feelings associated with change enables a smooth transition from one role to the next. “Do your homework,” Sutherland says, “research the pros and cons of your move and challenge your rationale.”
Fear should not make you stop, it should lead to more questions but don’t forget to give yourself a deadline to come to a conclusion about your move. Fear and analysis paralysis are great companions on their own, they don’t need to be your friends.  
Sutherland who started her coaching practice whilst working full-time, says you should never discount your side hustle. “It’s a great way to test the waters since it gives you a gauge about whether you can attract clients and if it is something you’d want to do full time”. She cautions that when a hustle becomes your main source of income you have to make sure it’s both sustainable and something that will hold your interest.
Be prepared to work incredibly hard, be patient and realistic.
If you’re about to leave your job, enter a new industry or embark on a totally different journey, be aware that your career change will likely result in some trade-offs: primarily a hit to both your finances and your ego. Get into the mindset that change represents opportunity. Forget being rigid, fluidity will get you better results and allow you to feel more relaxed about your move.
It is important to open your heart and mind to the unknown. When you’re feeling lost, being open to new possibilities means you’re more likely to stumble upon something good, expected or not.
Of course, some people including your loved ones will question your decisions and your sanity for the change. Make sure you talk to them and gain their support or at least their understanding (you can agree to disagree)!
Remember when all is said and done, it’s your decision.

Most of all, don’t give up! Do something you love. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfil you.

Janice Sutherland is a speaker, executive coach, leadership strategist, and the CEO of As a former CEO, Janice Sutherland led the transformation process at one of the Caribbean’s largest telecommunications in Antigua/Barbuda. Currently, she works as a regional speaker and life coach and has developed signature programmes: WARRIOR and BOSS that gives women the confidence to take the next step in achieving their life and leadership goals. Janice is also a domestic abuse survivor.

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Judette Coward

A fierce entrepreneur always in high heels, I’m a producer, writer, entrepreneur, educator, digital strategist, and all-around #bossbabe. I dream, do, think and create and joyfully share my offerings with the world
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Judette Coward

A fierce entrepreneur always in high heels, I’m a producer, writer, entrepreneur, educator, digital strategist, and all-around #bossbabe. I dream, do, think and create and joyfully share my offerings with the world

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