Life isn’t the same after being diagnosed with cancer, so it’s not uncommon for cancer survivors to want to change careers. For anyone who’s thinking of embarking on a new employment path, it’s important to first consider the emotional and physical implications of looking for a different type of job, then ease into the change.
A recent article published in the Harvard Business Review discusses some of the common emotional effects that can accompany a career transition.
1. Guilt: You may feel guilty about leaving a previous employer or career, especially if you’ve formed strong relationships in that field. This is natural, but it shouldn’t impact your ultimate decision.
2. Adjusting your personal identity and sense of self: Most of us define ourselves by what we do for work. If you change jobs or industries, you’ll likely need to adjust your self-image as well, and come up with a new way of describing who you are and what you do.
3. Letting go of old patterns and habits: We often become accustomed to doing things a certain way in our work environments. If the environment changes, then usually these patterns also need to change. But don’t worry — you will form new habits in no time!
Changing careers is not always easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Being aware of some of the challenges you may face, such as the ones listed above, is a great first step in preparing for the shift and thinking through whether this is the right move for you.
And check out “What’s Next: Cancer As Inspiration for Career Changes” for tips on gearing up for change and more!