Are you stuck in a box? How to transition careers

Changing careers

I sat with a career coaching client last week, and she burst into tears.

Why? She was living in boxes.

Not the cardboard type that we all know but the mental ones inside our head. Boxes restricted by the way we think.

She had dedicated her life to the pursuit of being a lawyer. Her father was a lawyer. Her brother was a lawyer. She believed it was in her DNA.

Fast forward. It’s been eight years since she qualified. And the whole time she’s been in a race, climbing the corporate ladder as quickly as she could.

And the truth is, she hates it.

“What else can I do? It’s too late to start a new career.”

When she was 17, she chose to study Law. Instead of thinking about all the amazing opportunities a Law Degree could open, she put herself in a box. She has been in that box ever since.

Now she’s in her thirty’s and about to make the biggest change in her career.

The boxes are going.

She is exploring new career opportunities leveraging her experience in Law while embracing her strengths and her passions. She is transitioning careers.

Just because you have studied something or worked doing something doesn’t mean you are destined to do that forever. Let’s move away from the boxes we have created for ourselves.

We live in a world that is changing. The old rules no longer apply.

I have clients who are now looking to recruit entry level candidates without university degrees. They have changed their graduate recruitment strategy to hire people based on their potential instead of what they have studied. It has opened up a world of possibilities for candidates with life experiences.

But why stop at graduate positions? Instead of hiring people because they tick certain boxes, hire people who have strengths aligned to the position. Hire people who think differently. Hire people who have experiences which will add depth and enrich the role.

To be successful tomorrow, we’ve got to break free from the boxes in our head. Approach the work we do with a different set of eyes.

Are you in a box and want to break free? Have you been toying with the idea of exploring a new industry or new career? What is stopping you?

Think about how you can leverage your current experience. How can you add the most value? Look for opportunities to explore your unique strengths and talents.

Just because you started climbing a ladder, doesn’t mean it’s the only ladder for you.

The future of work is in your hands. Break free from the boxes holding you back.

Phebe Cho is the founder of Accelus, a new voice in the workplace. She shares her deep expertise in talent consulting and career coaching to help you create a life where you can have it all. Receive your free guide to help you master the job hunt and make it easier to transition your career.