Career Change - degrees of difficulty

Whatever the reason behind your desire for a career change there will always be obstacles to achieving your goal. Depending on your circumstances, age and stage in your life and career, need for financial security, appetite for risk, and how much you may be willing to or are prepared to give up to reach your goals, these obstacles may be easy, difficult or you may even decide the time, effort and risk doesn't warrant the attempt.

Your circumstances are unique to you and there's no shame in deciding that your original idea is not currently workable. The important thing is that you understand what the obstacles are, weigh them up, make compromises or a plan B where needed and put a short, medium and long term plan in place to achieve them. In career change we talk about "degrees of difficulty". Imagine you are a primary School Teacher and have decided you would like to become a Defense Lawyer. This requires lengthy study and the associated costs, a change in the work you do and a change in the industry or sector you know well. Such a step is considered to have the greatest degree of difficulty (a nine out of nine on the degrees of difficulty scale).

However if you are a Sales person in the real estate industry considering a move into sales in the residential construction industry, you already have sound sales experience and this change would have a much lower degree of difficulty (a two out of nine on the degrees of difficult graph.

A longer but possibly easier way to transition into your new career may be to take a number of steps to minimise the difficulty of each stage of change. For example, make your first step by securing the same job asyou have now in a similar industry, then a slightly different role in that industry and moving step by step to a new job in a new industry, so that you have effectively achieved a different job in a different industry through a number of smaller steps.

Of course this will take a bit longer – possibly a few years or more but has the added advantage of not having to take a step back in salary and level which is frequently required with this type of transistion.  Head along to the resources section and checkout the degrees of difficulty graph for more information.  

I approached Leeanne from Career Spheres when my workplace was going through a restructure 18 months ago and again more recently during a Covid19 related restructure. Each time the company started talking about change I felt a lot of unease and found it hard to think clearly to make the hard decisions like do I take voluntary Redundancy? do I apply for another internal role or leave for another challenge?. After just one session with Leeanne I felt a lot clearer about what options would suit my current situation and after 2 sessions I was able to make a decision and feel confident about it. I have now left my employer and Leeanne is helping with my CV, LinkedIN profile and preparation for upcoming interviews. I find her service invaluable and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to others at any kind of career crossroads!

August 2020