Managing a Career Change

Whether it is voluntary or involuntary, managing major change in your career can be challenging and most of us go through a number of emotions when it comes to coping with sudden change.


Shock and denial

Is it hard to believe this is actually happening? Do you wish things could go back to how they were?  Sometimes people can refuse to accept the change and bury their head in the sand; a defence mechanism which is perfectly natural. Write down what is happening and what action you can take to move forward.

Anger and depression

Are you feeling angry at the situation you find yourself in? Do you feel alone or have a sense of grief leaving friends and colleagues and even your identity?  It is normal to feel angry or sad - however you certainly don’t want to linger in this place otherwise your health, relationships and also future success with interviews may be negatively affected. Find a way that you can express your emotions safely.  Perhaps talk to someone you respect who will help you gain perspective.

Acceptance and integration

Are you starting to accept the situation? Do you want to move away from that negative place?  This is where things start to improve, as you begin to fully accept the changes that are taking place and start to look forward. Now is the time to re-build your confidence and explore all of the opportunities that this new start can bring.  

It’s important to understand that feelings of shock, denial, anger and depression when coping with major career change are perfectly natural. This in itself enables you speed up the process of realising that this ‘predicament’ can be an opportunity.

If you find yourself a victim of redundancy, or are unhappy in your current job and are contemplating a career change, the first thing to is to consider all your options.

Put aside the anxiety and financial worries and ask yourself one simple question:

Did you enjoy your most recent position?

Many people who find themselves suddenly out of work make the mistake of hurriedly looking for jobs similar to those they were doing before, even if they hated every minute of it and couldn’t wait for each working day to end.  This is understandable. We all have bills to pay, so we stick to what we know.

But isn’t life too short to spend endless hours each week getting by and waiting for the weekend to enjoy yourself?

Wouldn’t it be great to find a career that you enjoy during the week and look forward to on a Sunday night?

Believe it or not, this is possible. And this is the opportunity that you are now faced with.

”What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us”   -   Jean-Paul Sartre .

Think of the skills you have learned in your career and determine which ones you can transfer to an alternative career; something you will enjoy doing.

Often our skills are so innate as to who we are that we don’t recognise them in ourselves. So consider the skills you enjoy using in all aspects of your life.

For example:

  •  Making, repairing, inspecting, installing or building things
  •  Connecting, developing, managing, caring for, advising or serving people
  •  Analysing, forecasting, organising, planning or evaluating information
  •  Creating, designing, innovating, or expressing ideas.

Then when you re-write your CV, ensure that you include and highlight these skills.

Now you can really start to turn this situation around and start taking the steps to finding a job that means you will enjoy going out to work.  How would that be for you?

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This article was written by Cambridge-based career specialists Career Ambitions, who work alongside individuals to enable them to proactively manage their career.  Find out about the latest career clinic they are running to help individuals like you via their events page on our directory.