Whenever we make a career change, we’re confronted with the need to let go.
Maybe it is the need to letting go of your current role, so you can embrace a new one at a different company; but it might also mean letting go of a more cherished part of who you are.
I’m talking about your identity here.
When the career change involves moving to a different company but in a similar position, the fear, as uncomfortable as it might be, doesn’t run as deep as when the change is more drastic.
Yes, it’s still a change: You´ll need to develop new friendships and get familiar with the new company’s politics, but at the core, your professional identity is more or less left intact.
But when the change involves embracing a totally new role in a totally new field (as when you leave a job to start your own business) your world is completely turned upside down and you’ll dismantle part of who you’ve been (your identity) to become a NEW you.
And that’s true even if the career change was originated by you in the first place.
For example, when you move from a job as in Finance to become an Energy healer, or when (as it was my case) you move from being a Building Engineer to become a Personal Growth expert, or when you leave your Admin job to become a Yoga teacher, the identity shift is huge.
This new YOU is very different from the one others have known you for…
…and that’s pretty scary.
When a more Authentic Self is calling you.
Many of my clients confess they feel like they’ve been living a secret life.
They’ve been attending lots of classes and personal growth events for years, all while keeping that aspect of themselves private from co-workers, and at times, even from their own families.
And then, a time comes when they feel the urge to bring that hidden “secret life” to the forefront.
They’re called to let go of the more conventional self, and allow space for a more authentic part of who they are to develop. Many even long to create a business to do that thing they love so much.
Again…this is scary.
The vulnerability of exposing our inner most selves
Even though new role is already part of who we are, we feel so vulnerable because NOW we are exposing that more creative or unconventional side of us to the world!
I know this was one of my biggest fears.
When I decided to stop working in the building industry, I went through a mild depression.
To help me get out of it, I gave myself permission to do something just for fun, and embarked upon a project that I knew others would find outrageous. I stopped doing anything related to architecture and started doing Life Purpose reading for friends!
It was something so NOT the image others had of me (because if I’m honest, it was more in alignment with my purpose and true self than anything I had done previously) but at that time, I was so scared that I never told my parents and extended family about it. I hided it from almost everyone who knew me.
However, it was so much fun for me!
It totally changed my identity, from the rational, practical, down-to earth Engineer, to what I saw as woo-woo, weird woman (or that’s what I thought everyone would think of me).
Now when I look back, I have to admit it took lots of courage, and the support of my wonderful hubby, but it was totally worth it, cause that fun project was my first step into the path I walk now…
…and the work I love so much.
But there is one last thing you need to understand.
You won’t be loosing any aspect of who you already are, instead you’ll grow!
Now I embrace both aspects of myself.
The mind of the Building Engineer still lives in me, and shows up whenever I help clients to build good foundations for their dreams, while the open mind of my Inner Visionary knows how to unveil other people’s dreams.
By embracing both, I understand what it really takes to turn a dream into reality.
And that same will happen to you.
Charo’s Career Change Tip
If the question “what will others think of me if I do what I love?” has crossed your mind more than a couple times, you might be bumping into an identity change crisis. And reading my book “5 Career Change Traps keeping you stuck in a meaningless job” could help you a lot (see below how you can get a free copy)
Is the idea of changing your identity one of your the biggest fears? Please share your ideas on the comment section below. And if you know anyone struggling with this fear, I’d appreciate you shared this article with them.
Oh, and before I forget!
If you want to discover other fears and traps that might be keeping you stuck in a soul sucking job, grab a FREE copy of my e-book by visiting this link: The 5 Career Change Traps .