Many of us are talented, driven, highly functional, and just very good at what they do. Yet, it is still not uncommon for some of these people to decide to move away from their jobs despite really enjoying many aspects of their careers. The main reason is that they feel that some of the things they do in their jobs don’t fit what they are planning to do in the future. In this case, you would wonder if changing careers is a smart decision to make.

Shifting careers is seen by many as an important part of their lives as professionals. Here, we are going to tackle the different stages of career transformation that we are all bound to go through.

#1 Getting disengaged
Once you have decided to leave a job or career that you’ve identified with for quite some time, you will go through the disengagement process wherein you disentangle yourself from a structure or an organization that you used to work very hard to belong to. It doesn’t matter if you liked or hated your past career; it will naturally be unsettling in the beginning to part with the things that you did for several years.

In this process of disengagement, you will feel a deep sense of conflicting emotions. You may have that feeling of loss and grief. It may take time before you could totally accept the fact that you don’t have and may not ever have what you used to have.

#2 Change of identity
As you pass through the process of disengagement, you will begin to realize that the identity you formed within your former organization also has to change. Of course, when the structure no longer exists, how you used to define yourself and the means by which you obtain progress and develop your self esteem will be shaken. It may feel strange at first, but as time goes by, it will be clearer to you that there is actually something else you want to perpetuate.

#3 Feeling of confusion
This is the stage where you would seem so confused and just disoriented. You have already detached yourself from where you used to be part of, and you now belong to nothing. And so, you will naturally feel very anxious and have the longing to gain clarity. Successful people don’t lose their way in this process. Instead, they embrace this moment and just allow it to take place and help them grow and become better individuals.

#4 Letting go
Letting go is a very important step to take in an effort to really free yourself and allow yourself to move on. You will eventually feel that there are many things you can look forward to. It is during this stage also that things will be clearer to you in terms of what difficulties you had in the past. You will realize that there are many of the habits and behaviors that you have formed are no longer useful. Thus, you need to become another person, and a better version of yourself. In this process, you will also learn that your job wasn’t the only reason you had a change of heart, but yourself as well.

#5 Committing once again
After you have adjusted to changes happening to your life and career, you will feel a sense of power and control over everything that’s happening to you. You will start to feel excited about the next journey, and you just can’t wait to get that chance to create a more successful and fulfilling career and future.

#6 Discovering new things
When you have accepted and opened your heart to change, you will start to discover new things about yourself. You begin to think what it is that really matters to you. There will also be a realization that you’ve lost some parts of yourself, which you now want to take back. In short, you rediscover yourself. This is a crucial part of your career transition because it is where you can heal the wounds from the past and start to believe again in those things that matter to you.

#7 Gaining clarity
Finally, you can know get a picture of what’s about to come, which is very exciting for you. This is the point where you will start to feel the connection between who you are right now and who you want to be in the future. You have your experience and skills, so all you need to do is figure out how you are going to utilize them efficiently and effectively.

#8 Bringing everything together
Finally, you are ready to bring it all together. You will have figured out how to integrate your knowledge, skills and experiences into creating a career that will be meaningful to you. Sure, there are so many career opportunities and options out there, but this shouldn’t be a concern because you are now ready to choose that one career that you will stick to for the long term.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.