The Biggest Mistake Career Changers Make

Most people assume if you want to change careers, you should start by deciding what your new profession will be, but that is not the first step according to Harvard business school professor Herminia Ibarra.  She writes, “By far the biggest mistake people make when trying to change careers is to delay taking the first step until they have settled on a destination.”   In other words, not knowing the end result should not be a barrier to action.

Change makes ready– Ibarra encourages people to start the change process before they have all the answers worked out.   “What people get wrong about reinvention is that they think they have to be ready.  Instead change makes ready”.   In short, seeing small changes prepares us for even bigger changes to occur.

Do first, know later– To change careers, you must step out of your comfort zone and begin doing something.  It is like learning a new game.  You wouldn’t say, “I have to know exactly what the end result will be before I begin”.  You simply start with the first step and learn as you go.     

 If you are thinking about changing careers, don’t delay.  Take a first step.  Change makes ready. As author Job Sabah says “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Stacy Harshman

Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers individual and group coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.