How to Change Careers and Avoid Emotional Decision Making Mistakes

By DonShook

What makes a career change so challenging?

For many of us, the biggest obstacle in making a Avoid Emotional Decision career change is dealing with the emotions that arise when contemplating such an adjustment.

Emotions can be caused by both external and internal triggers. Examples of external factors that could potentially prompt a career shift include:

  • Family needs that necessitate a change in residence or income
  • Job losses
  • Approaching retirement
  • A company or industry downturn
  • Issues with management or coworkers
  • Changes in health status
  • Changes to work content or expectations (work overload)
  • A company direction shift that conflicts with your personal core values

Internal triggers that might prompt a career shift include:

  • Your personal core values may have shifted in response to changes at work that conflict with company ethics (e.g., you used to agree with their business practices but have since had a change of heart).
  • Routine or boring work that lacks challenge, meaning, or purpose
  • Lack of opportunities for personal or professional growth
  • Desire to increase income beyond current career expectations
  • Desire to achieve better alignment with core values and beliefs.

These triggers can lead to fear due to a lack of knowledge; knowledge about oneself, knowledge about the environment, and knowledge on how to successfully transition careers.

By breaking it down with a decision-making process, you can gain clarity.

An effective decision making process provides the framework for discovering or creating the knowledge needed to make any change, particularly one as significant as a career shift. How to change careers is not an isolated decision; it’s part of a series of related ones that come together in order to give us clarity on which path forward to take. Let us now examine some of the decisions that can be used to assist in choosing a career. Knowledge of oneself could include answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have a vision for my life?
  • What gives it meaning?
  • What are my strengths and talents, as well as any weaknesses?
  • What fits with my personality best?
  • And which relationships matter most to me?

Rephrasing these questions as choices would provide the following guiding decisions:

  • Choose my life vision
  • Select my personal core values and beliefs
  • Determine my talents/strengths
  • Identify activities and environments that fit my personality
  • Prioritize relationships accordingly.

Knowledge of the environment could answer several key questions:

  • What income do I need to support my family’s needs?
  • Which careers are available that I could pursue?
  • What skillsets are necessary for success in a career?
  • Where would I have to live while pursuing this endeavor?

From a decision perspective, these decision success factors for your next career could include:

  • Income
  • Is suitable for my skillset/accomplishments
  • Training preparation, time commitment and cost considerations
  • Travel requirements/Daily commute timetable

What income options are available to me?

Understanding how to change careers successfully involves using a reliable process for recognizing and making each related decision that will shape or direct your choice of professions.

Addressing Emotions as You Focus on Changing Careers

Are you struggling to address Avoid Emotional Decision as you consider how to alter your career? Address these feelings by talking with someone.

As you embark on your career transition, emotions that arise may lead to new questions and worries. A decision-focused approach allows each new question to become either another decision that needs making or provide a potential success factor as you make progress toward your new choice of career.

Once you capture the questions and identify any corresponding decisions to be made or career change success factors, you can use your emotions as a motivation tool for making choices that lead to progress toward your new career. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and afraid, this high value life choice can be broken into smaller steps where emotions provide motivation to do some of the hard work.

Emotions now serve as a motivating force for change rather than producing fear that leads to indecision. Here are some additional emotional pitfalls that are avoided when applying this approach when transitioning careers:

  • Making hasty decisions without understanding why can lead to emotional errors, leading to unexpected and reckless action. When these distortions and biases in judgments become part of one’s mental model, they may create mistakes which lead to poor emotional decisions that require rational explanations or justifications for them.
  • Making errors due to systemic inaccuracy about how we will feel in the future
    Having tunnel vision with too few options due to our desire for haste
  • Facing analysis paralysis when faced with too many options that exceed our capacity for keeping track of them

Learning how to transition your career effectively and with assurance is achievable.

Discover how our four-step decision making process can be applied when changing careers at Keith is Co-Founder of Decision Innovation, Inc.
Our company strives to go beyond collecting data and analyzing it; instead, we create knowledge and provide insight. We will examine the decision making process with a unique combination of decision tools, information management methods, and expertise that will give you control over both personal and business Avoid Emotional Decision.