Throughout my work as a coach, I’ve heard people in and out of the Work Bigger community say, “I don’t know what I’m doing” when they’re making a big career change.
When you’re transitioning — starting a new job, launching a business, or doing something that’s completely new — you might hear advice like, “Fake it ’til you make it” or even, “No one knows what they’re doing.”
It’s true and somewhat comforting, but when you’re making a pivot, you’ll likely want more than the, “Well, it’s normal, so get on with it” line of advice. You’re probably feeling nervous, insecure, and ungrounded.
So, what’s the solution? How do we move past thinking things like, “I don’t know what I’m doing” and start believing thoughts like, “I may not have all the answers, but I feel good about my next steps”?
When you get to a place where you feel good about your next steps, no matter how much uncertainty you’re carrying, your actions are coming from a more inspired place. You’re in a place that’s positive and grounding.
Here are two ways to go from “I don’t know” to “I’ve got this” — especially as you’re changing careers.
Get clear on what you’re transitioning from.
When you’re in transition and going from A to B, you’ll need some time to adjust. B will feel uncomfortable for some time.
Consider two areas of focus as you start your new job or business:
- The technical aspect of your work
- The “inner” stuff
For example, if you’re moving to entrepreneurship, the technical aspect would include getting clear on your target, understanding business strategy, learning about pricing, marketing, sales… the list goes on and on.
There are a lot of bits and pieces that make up a business. But if the job is aligned with your strengths and your interests, you should be able to tackle this area.
The “inner” stuff is the stuff we don’t see but feel way more deeply than the technical stuff. In fact, it’s the inner stuff that also drives our technical performance.
We’re talking about fear, confidence, mindset — the stuff that’s rooted in your subconscious that either helps you or hurts you. (And we’re often not even aware of what’s doing what.)
This is the hard stuff because you can’t find solutions with a Google search.
So, let’s talk about where you’re transitioning from.
The idea is to level-set. When you’re feeling nervous and not grounded about your transition, think about where you were at in your previous job.
- What felt “easy” about your previous work? Why was it easy? And what feels difficult now?
- What did your growth trajectory look like? Did you have a growth trajectory?
- What was it like to be challenged? I mean really challenged. (It’s possible you haven’t experienced this before.)
By answering these questions, you’ll get an idea of the leap you have to make from your previous work situation to your new one.
If it’s a big jump, don’t despair. Just keep reading.
Discover the gaps you need to fill as you make a career transition
If you’re moving to a new job or starting a business in a completely unfamiliar industry, get clear on what you don’t know.
Is it industry trends? Is it the job role? What can you bring from your past work to your new work on the “technical” side?
The internal stuff is harder to identify. Many of us don’t walk around fully self-aware of what’s triggering us.
Here are some things you can do to build your self-awareness:
- Commit to meditating for five minutes a day. Seriously, you can do it. I like to sit on my couch and listen to these tunes on YouTube.
- Journal: Do you feel terrible? Are you feeling anxious? Just write it down. Let out the fear and all the ugly thoughts running around in your head.
- Seek out resources that will help you learn more about your consciousness. For example, try this Work Bigger series on the brain that will help you understand your triggers. (You can also find a resource for your positive triggers here.)
What could happen if we all moved through our transitions a little more seamlessly?
This isn’t about knowing exactly what we’re going to do and having complete clarity and security. It’s about having trust and taking action from that place of trust.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you been through a transition lately? How did you handle it? If you’re going through a career pivot right now, share with us how you’re doing.
P.S. Make sure to watch the free class,“What’s my passion?” How to finally figure out what to do with your life- once and for all.