November 20

How To Build Courage For Your Next Career Move

Find A Career That Fits



Kristen Duever


by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer, Careers by Design

If you are frustrated with your job or angry with all the office politics that go on at work, then the decision to make a career transition can make a lot of sense to you and everyone around you.

But what if you have a relatively good job? What if you have decent job security, make a reasonable paycheck and like the people you work with… but feel in your heart that you desire something else?

Well-meaning friends and family might try to tell you you’re crazy for even thinking about leaving.

You may struggle with insecurities about failure or be afraid of disappointing others. Perhaps you are beating yourself up for being ungrateful. After all, you’re lucky to have a good job in this economy – right? Besides, the job you’re in feels cozy… safe.

You need to move past this feeling.

There is nothing safe about staying in a job that no longer fits.

There is nothing cozy about continuing down a career path that is limiting your potential.

There is nothing ungrateful about following your heart

You can still feel thankful for all the people and experiences that have made you who you are and be ready to move on.

Courage to face the unknown is essential to taking the next step in your career.

So what is holding you back?

Is it that you don’t know how to take the first step – or what the first step even is? Do you feel like there are no good options or too many options to choose from? Do you feel frozen?

Here’s some good news.

The job that you desire in your heart is out there – even if you’re not entirely sure what that job is yet.

There is no guarantee that it will be easy though.

You will need to harness your courage. You may need to get some guidance from a coach or mentor to help you ride the roller coaster of emotions.

It can also help to look to role models as well.

Many highly successful people have become the people they were meant to be because they had the strength and courage to change their careers.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the people who were once in a situation very similar to yours.

Deepak Chopra – Internationally famous doctor

Originally, this world renowned doctor had planned to have a career in research rather than working directly with patients. When he got kicked out of his university research lab for losing his temper however, he ended up having to work in an emergency room in Boston.

This move changed his life.

He found that he loved working with patients and has since become one of alternative medicine’s leading advocates.

Maynard Webb – Yahoo! chairman

As a student, Webb had no idea that he would someday be head of one of the world’s top internet companies. He was studying criminal justice on this path to someday becoming a lawyer or police detective. This field of study led him to an internship where he worked as a security guard for IBM.

Webb became fascinated with technology and began climbing the corporate ladder over the course of the next 11 years before he moved to Yahoo!

Suze Orman – Personal finance Guru

As a young college grad, Orman had a job working in a bakery. Her dream was to save up enough money to one day open a neighbourhood hot tub café. In an effort to help her achieve this goal, a generous patron left her a $50,000 tip.


Knowing nothing about finance however, Orman made some poor investment decisions and eventually her $50,000 dwindled to nothing.

Although it was a tough lesson, the experience inspired Orman to learn more about the financial world which she discovered she was really interested in. She earned back here $50,000 and much more.

She became a broker and found that she also had a deep passion for helping others with their money. The rest, as they say, is history.

So what is the lesson here?

Your goals and desires may change, but whatever they are, you need to keep moving toward them.

Life for Chopra, Webb and Orman could have turned out very differently had they not had the courage to pursue their dreams.

Had Chopra not been open to working with patients; or had Webb ignored his burgeoning interest in technology; or had Orman been afraid to pursue finance after her bad experience, we likely wouldn’t know who they are today.

They might still have had good careers. But they might not have had great careers.

They might not have filled their potential.

If you are ready to take the next step in your own career journey, you don’t have to do it alone.

Contact a Careers by Design coach and let them help you gather your courage and fulfill your potential.

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