Updated: Mar 31, 2019
Stage 2 of Patricia Ezechie's 8 Stage Model of Successful Career Change
In the previous blog we explored the first step in career change – and by career change I mean everything from deciding to change job or the way you work, to the full scale transformation of changing your career direction - career change with a big C. This first step is what I call Realisation in my 8 stage model of Successful Career Change.
Stage 1 – Realisation, often brings with it immediate feelings of relief and happiness – after all you have made a decision - you know your job is not working for you anymore, or you have finally decided to change your career or at least begin to explore the other career options open to you. All good and positive insights and surely the you have already done the hardest thing - realising you want to make career changes?
So if you have already had the realisation that something has to change - why are you burying yourself deeper into the job you want to get away from, or have suddenly decided things aren’t so bad?
If the realisation you want to make career changes is so positive, why are you beginning to panic?
If your decision to change your career is so great, what is that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, and why do you feel like someone has just asked you to take over the Brexit negotiations and unite the country by next week?
Welcome to STAGE 2 of my 8 Stage Model to successful career change model – REACTION!
In the Reaction Stage, any excitement, feelings of relief or positivity you might have been experiencing are drowned out by a cascade of questions, followed in quick succession by feelings of negativity and uncertainty:
What impact will trying to change career have on my career and life? (a.k.a. FEAR AND ANXIETY)
Where do I begin? (CONFUSION)
It’s all too much ! (OVERWHELM)
I don’t think I can do this? (DEJECTION AND DISILLUSIONMENT)
And best one of all ........ Change – What change? (DENIAL)
These reactions are so common and universal that they appear in all the major models of change – In Prochaska's Model of Change it’s the Contemplation and Preparation Stages, in William Bridges Model of Psychological Change - Endings and in the classic Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Model of Imposed Change – it’s stages 1 and 2 Denial and Anger.
So if Fear and Anxiety, Confusion, Overwhelm, Dejection, Disillusionment and good old Denial are your reactions to realising you need to make changes to your career – FANTASTIC - you're meant to be feeling like this, and you’re in good company! We pretty much all feel the same emotions (to varying degrees admittedly) when we come to the big transitions in our lives, and thinking about a career change is one of the biggest.
Given the above, the question then becomes:
"How do you make the successful transition through this stage of the career change process as painless, smooth and quick as possible?"
We explore this question and Stage 3 of my 8 Stages to successful career change in the next part of this blog series.