First, you become less happy and content with your current job. Then, there is that hot new set of skills that can win you a career upgrade. However, currently, you are not quite qualified to take on the challenge. Also, you cannot understand why your boss doesn’t “see” – and recognize you for – the value of your current workplace contributions.
Whatever the root cause of your professional discontent, it is time for professional change. Yet, you remain professionally uncomfortable about making that bold move. As a result, you begin each day by committing yourself to making a career change for the better. However, by the end of each day, you once again talk yourself out of professional change. Why is that?
Fear of the Unknown holds you back from taking a professional change course of action.
After all, you are comfortable in your current position. Contemplating “what’s next” in your career seems like walking off a cliff, rather than sailing towards your next professional horizon.
You fear the unknown. Not only that. You are not comfortable being uncomfortable taking on a new role with unknown potential, involving greater accountability. What is interesting is that you never before perceived yourself as being risk-averse, did you? Within your current work environment, you always are the first to try new things, sign up for new educational opportunities, take a chance, and encourage others to do the same.
However, now it is time to walk out of that comfortable environment – and what is known. Your next destination requires stepping through a new portal of opportunity. Truthfully, you are not quite so sure of yourself. It feels like starting over from scratch. Instead, aren’t you really liberating yourself from yesterday’s habits and mindset which hold you back?
Lack of Confidence holds you back from professional change.
New opportunities call for new levels of responsibility and accountability. Not only that. This professional change requires greater collaboration and creativity to make necessary changes within your new organization. That scenario makes you uncomfortable.
Is your professional discomfort really rooted in self-doubt and lack of confidence to lead? Perhaps lack of confidence is the root cause of your need for a career change. In the past, you listened to everyone else’s opinions. However, now you target opportunities that call for a visionary leader with a strong sense of purpose. Will you be successful or not?
Then again, perhaps you are long overdue to retool and recalibrate habits and mindset which undermine your self-confidence. Why continue to remain uncomfortable with your professional self?
Gaps in Skills hold you back from professional change.
Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to professional change rests in the self-perception that you are not a good student. You earned a vocational degree and now are tops in your current position. Do you have what it takes to retool and recalibrate to accomplish your future career plans? In addition, do you know where to start, even if your current employer does not have a learning culture?
Alternatively, as recognition for years of service, you are promoted to various managerial roles in different departments. You bounce around, as an internal “professional” manager, without having the knowledge or skill sets relevant to each department. Now, you want a seat at the leadership table, again as a reward for years of service. However, in the eyes of the C-Suite, you realistically are not qualified.
Self-Promotion versus Cinderella Mindset holds you back from Professional Change.
In your mind, if you keep your nose to the grindstone and work very hard, your contributions and value will become obvious to leadership. Except that leadership never got that email. Like Cinderella, you remain in the shadows, unknown and unrecognized. You patiently wait for a Fairy Godmother mentor to pluck you front organizational obscurity and showcase your knowledge and expertise to everyone. However, you are becoming increasingly impatient and frustrated that no one “knows” that you want to move to the next level.
However, in reality, self-promotion makes you uncomfortable. As a result, you watch colleagues earn promotions that you feel you were next in line for. Consider, however, that they network across the organization. Also, they collaborate on challenging opportunities which may be outside their current comfort level. Why continue to hide your light under the departmental bushel basket?
Professional Change is nothing short of Professional Innovation.
Consider what we discussed today. Do you identify with one or more of the four scenarios?
The pathway to professional change moves you at least one millimeter outside of your current comfort level, doesn’t it? Yes, initially it is uncomfortable.
Look. Instead of continuing to beat yourself up about your shortcomings, try this exercise. Think about yourself as a new product to be developed for the marketplace. What would “you” look like and why?
There. I just felt your professional change mindset shift. Did you?
Curious to learn more about how your professional innovation leads to a more engaged workforce committed to customer success? Then move out of your comfort zone and take the next step. Contact me and let’s chat!
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.