Making a career change in mid-life is daunting and often fails because we are too set in our own ideas about what we are and are not capable of. It is this focus on self-esteem that career counsellors are interested in when they are attempting to help you to plot your destiny. How you arrive at your destination is only a very small part of the journey and this only happens when you are nearing the end. Only when the breakdown of our pre-conceived concepts about ourselves occurs and we re-evaluate what motivates us, can the doors to the future be opened up and there we can explore all that we thought impossible.
If making a career choice is as easy as renewing our own faith in our own abilities, then why don’t we do it more often? Because procrastination keeps all of our options open. When we are in those early stages of exploring the future, we are often overwhelmed by the myriad of opportunities and that is exciting. We can spend countless years dreaming about what we wish we could be instead of taking that step toward a definitive decision and choosing the one pathway that will fit perfectly with who we are and where we want to go in life.
Career counselling seeks to take the job seeker through three elements or phases of career development:
The Exploring Phase: The phase in which you spend the most time, exploring what motivates you to make this change, why you chose the paths you do and how, most importantly, will this fulfill your career expectations.
The Integration Phase: This is where it all starts to come together. Out of the first phase will emerge a new you, one who has a much clearer picture of where they want to go and what they want to do. This is an exciting time and also the time when all that self-doubt will come back to haunt you. Now, more than ever, you need to stay focused.
Change Phase: The final phase in which you seek out the necessary tools that you will need to orchestrate change. From here, the journey begins.
It is impossible to move straight into the Change Phase without first engaging in the exploring and integration phase because these are where you will understand what motivates you and ultimately, if we are not motivated to sustain change, then change will not happen.