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Changing direction in your career path is always nerve-wracking, whether you’re just out of college or leaving behind a job you’ve had for 20 years. Once you’ve made the decision to switch to something new, it can cause periods of low morale and high anxiety. There are ways you can handle these feelings and stay positive on the road ahead.
Your brain is trained to act differently when it experiences something new. For that reason, anxiety is to be expected once you’re on the path toward a new career. Whether you are just getting used to a new job or starting training in a new industry, feelings of fear and uncertainty are bound to follow. Don’t get caught up in this sentiment. Recognize it for what it is: your mind letting you know that you’re making a big change. One way to calm your anxiety is to prepare a working budget, so that you’re comforted knowing that the new amount you’re bringing in will match what’s going out.
Especially when you had invested in an old career, starting a new one can lead to feelings of doubt. After all, if you put in time and schooling to another endeavor and left it behind, might you not do the same for this new career? Now is not the time for self-doubt. Accept that unknowns are part of the process, and an exciting part at that. Whether you’re in a class or in a new job, focus on the task at hand. Your resume landed this job, so trust that there will be time for self-reflection after you’ve gotten your feet wet in the new career.
You are not the first person to change careers — indeed, you’re not the first person who’s moved to the career you’re currently pursuing. Reach out to these people and see if they are willing to share their experiences. You may discover the uncertainty you’re feeling is normal, and also gain insight into what may lie ahead. New industry contacts can let you know about possibilities for your career you hadn’t considered, and how to look forward to them once you’re feeling a bit more at ease on the new path.
More and more people are switching careers once or many times throughout their working lives. This can feel unsettling, but it’s also a way for you to expand, grow, and achieve financial freedom. Take it one step at a time and reach out for help along the way.