Summer almost seems like a distant memory. It’s noticeably darker in the mornings, sandals have been replaced with boots, and you’ve got to remind yourself to bring a coat when you go out just in case of a sudden downpour. The kids are back to school (finally!) and you may find yourself reassessing your career.
There’s something about a change in season which makes you want to shake up the key areas of your life. But be careful – change, of any kind, is filled with tantalising traps that can mean you miss out on opportunities and possibilities that you don’t even know exist yet.
When it comes to your career, it’s easy to be trapped due to pay, familiarity, benefits, or a promised promotion. The list is endless!
So, snuggle down with your pumpkin spiced latte, wrap up in your cosiest jumper, pop on Fairytale of New York (too far?) and take a look at these three common traps you may not even realise you’re in.
Trap 1: familiarity
The fear of the unknown is a common trap people fall into. You may describe your current place of work as “hell with florescent lighting” but at least you know what you’re in for, right? I mean, it could be worse somewhere else, couldn’t it? And, so, you end up convincing yourself that you’re better off staying in a place you hate, working under a she-devil you also hate because you’re scared of the uncertainty of a new job.
It’s perfectly natural to cling tightly to the familiar – your current career – but if it’s not working for you any more, you need to have the confidence to escape.
To make it seem less scary, focus on looking for opportunities that are related to your current field or industry. Avoid even thinking about a drastic career change where you will end up putting yourself in situations where you’re a beginner.
Trap 2: Necessity
How many times have you felt you had to stay where you currently are because it’s the only solution? For example, are you guilty of believing that it’s necessary to have XYZ experience to land a new job, or that it’s necessary that you stay put because you’re the only person in the team who can handle a particular project?
You may be limited by a belief you hadn’t even realised you were hanging on to. For example, not all career changes require a degree or long-term studies under your belt. If there is an industry you are passionate about exploring, you should do just that – explore it fully.
And although we all like to believe we can’t be replaced, it’s a myth. Just as you were trained up on a process once upon a time, there is no reason somebody else cannot take over from you if you do decide to leave.
Trap 3: Hope
When you’ve reached the point of genuinely despising where you work, there’s nothing quite like a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
It can be tempting to go after an opportunity that could at least get you out of where you are now. You may start feeling hopeful about your career change for the first time in a really, really long time, but that feeling can become suffocating. Suddenly, you’re terrified that if you don’t land this one option then THAT’S IT.
You grab onto it tight, feeling like you might never get another chance to leave your current job. When this happens, you ignore red flags and can fall into the trap of grabbing the very first opportunity without considering if it’s the right move for you.
Avoid falling into another job that’s not the right fit by staying calm and rational during the job hunt. This will not be the only job out there for you. If something doesn’t feel right about it, then don’t move for the sake of moving.
How do you know when you’re stuck in a career trap? The first sign, simply put, is that you feel stuck.
In a world full of potential, of new opportunities, and of ways to learn new skills, you are never truly trapped. You just need to be brave and take that first step.
We help people who feel stuck in the wrong career find and move into fulfilling work. Take a look at our list of job vacancies or give the friendly team at Ambitions a call on 614841.