The decision to make a career change can be both exciting and stressful, especially when thinking about next steps; what type of work you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen. For survivors looking for work in a new field, after or during treatment, this decision can be even more challenging when considering disclosing one’s diagnosis. However stressful this may be, it is important to be prepared and to remember that this is a process.
Part of the process is talking about your career change in an honest and productive way. In a recent Careershifters article, writer Katie Rigg, who has gone through the trials and tribulations of a career change herself, details strategies job seekers can use to start talking about their career change while they’re still working it out. Below, we have highlighted the top takeaways.
Manage your inner dialogue – We are often our harshest critics. The constant back and forth of your inner dialogue can be mentally exhausting. When thinking about and planning your career change, it is important to lay out the facts and separate them from any fears and insecurities you may have about this process. If a negative thought pops up, try to think about your past experiences and whether those thoughts are rational or an emotional, protective, response.
Identify who you can talk to – Sharing this experience with people you trust can be extremely beneficial throughout the career change process. They can help you bounce off ideas, share advice, and guide you during each stage. This support system can come from anywhere in your circle, from your friends and family to work colleagues. Identifying people who you trust to talk to about your career change can help relieve some of the pressure and stress around it.
Build a story – Being prepared with how to talk about your career change can also ease some of the stress around sharing your news. You can use the structure story to summarize the journey from your previous career to your new one. While the story may change over time, using this structure will help you keep your thoughts organized and remain prepared to talk about your experience.
Changing careers is not easy. To help you through this process, CAC has a number of tools and resources that can help you get organized:
- Our Resume Review Service which offers free, personalized feedback on your resume from one of our professional career coaches!
- Check out our publications available for order and/or download, in particular our Job Search Toolkit, with a section on LinkedIn.
- You can submit a question to our panel of professional career coaches via our Ask a Career Coach message board. Many people also find it helpful to search through our log of past questions to see if their specific concern has been addressed before or to spark an idea.
- Currently working? Cancer and Careers offers patient-focused webinars through our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar Series, that addresses many of the challenges of balancing work and cancer. For more information, and to register, click here.