Have you ever wanted to change career but get so paralysed by the constant swirl of negativity and indecision that it keeps you exactly where you are?

Career paralysis can strike any of us at any point in our working lives.

It’s about the way we think. After all, it’s our usual negative thought processes that got us stuck in the first place, yet we rely on the same ones to get us unstuck! So to get unstuck we need to think differently, not harder.

Too much choice can be overwhelming. Identify clear and objective decision criteria.

This means OBJECTIVELY identifying your skills, strengths, interests, personality preferences, and values. Then turning these into decision criteria with which you can evaluate your job options. If you don’t get clear on what’s important to you, it makes it much harder make decisions and to prevent all options being the same.

  • Why you work (motivations)
  • Who you wish to be at work (roles)
  • Where you want to work (geographies)
  • What type of work appeals (sectors and fields)
  • How you wish to work (working conditions)
  • Which types of organisations appeal (organisations)
  • What are the non-negotiables?

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What are the values you want to stand for?

Our values are the core principles which give meaning to our lives. When our values are aligned with our work activities and surroundings, we are more satisfied. When they are not aligned with our work, we tend to be less contented with our lives.

There is an important and dynamic relationship between our individual values and those of the groups and organizations in which we work and spend most of our time. We have a greater chance of being satisfied and effective in our work when we can identify our own unique pattern of values and understand how they may or may not match those of the organization(s) with which we work.

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We are negatively biased so it’s important to identify your strengths

It’s natural to think negatively BUT becoming fluent in our strengths can help redress the balance. I regularly use the Expert Strengths Profile Assessment as part of my Career Coaching sessions, as one of the ways to help clients better understand what they’re good at and what they enjoy doing. Strengths based coaching is not about ‘fixing’ your weaknesses but learning how to better apply and dial up your strengths.

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We trust our minds to fix the problem, so we need to keep thoughts in perspective

Let’s examine the thought: ‘there are no great jobs out there!”

We could spend plenty of time arguing whether this thought is really true or false….

But what is the real function of this thought? Is the function:

  • To describe the literal truth?
  • Or reduce your feelings of uncertainty?
  • To spur you on?
  • Or to comfort yourself?
  • Is the thought moving you towards your values, or simply trying to keep you safe from uncomfortable feelings?

After all, if there are no great jobs then there is nothing for you to do – there is no point even trying. Psychologically, this could be a relief – but it could also ensure you never take action, which will keep you stuck.

Here’s another thought: Even in the event there really are ‘no jobs’, you still have choices to make. If you don’t make those choices consciously, you’ll be making them unconsciously. After a while, no decision becomes the decision!

Working with a Career Coach can be a great way of shifting that stuckness and moving into making decisions and taking action. If you’d like to find out how coaching can help you get unstuck and clearer in how to move forward, book a free telephone consultation here.

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