5 Qualities of Successful Career Changers

By Mo Chanmugham, Esq., CPCC | Attorney turned Career Coach at mgccoaching.com

You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.
— Unknown

Going through the process of changing careers is an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. Not surprisingly it is also deeply personal because you are forced to deal with all your stuff, all your thoughts and ideas about who you are, what you’re good at and not good at, what you’re capable of, and what you deserve. But in the end, for those who make it to the other side and find themselves in a career that they once could only dream about there exists five qualities that help them get through the ups and downs:

1. Authentic

The spark that ignites a desire for a career change usually starts with a desire to be true to yourself. You are tired of doing something that you no longer find fulfilling. While at one point it was exactly what you wanted you have now outgrown your current career, it no longer challenges you. And one of the key ingredients to fulfillment is growth. You are ready for the next thing, but it can’t be just anything. What’s next must meet your needs both personally and professionally. 

2. Passionate

Passion serves as the main filter through which you seek out and evaluate your next career. You are no longer simply chasing the money, title or recognition. What you do next must be something you actually care about, something you find meaningful, something that matters otherwise what’s the point.

 3. Courageous

While the desire for change is strong so is the fear that comes along with leaving the safety of what you know. It takes courage to leave your comfort zone and move into new territory where you are required to think and act differently. You are immediately confronted by thoughts of not being good enough or what will other people think. But despite the self-doubt, fears, and limiting beliefs you are willing to explore, take risks, and push yourself because deep down you know you want to and you know that you will eventually succeed. You don’t need to know what the end goal looks like as long as you have faith that you will get there.

 4. Curious

You exhibit a strong level of curiosity, which is necessary to find the answers that you are looking for. It is not easy to know what you really want to do if you haven’t invested the time in thinking about or are flooded by judgmental thoughts that give you a million reasons why you can't do what you want. You realize that your need for certainty will only help in keeping you stuck while following your curiosity keeps you moving closer to your goal. You suspend judgment and open yourself up to new experiences in order to learn more about yourself and what matters to you.

 5. Purpose Driven

Ultimately a desire to do work that is personally meaningful is intertwined with a desire to help others and to impact the world in a positive way. You want to contribute to the greater good in your own special way.

Keep in mind that there is no one right way to find a career you love. We all take our own journey and experience it in our own special way and in our own time. But think about how the above five qualities show up in your journey or how they don’t and which quality could you lean on to help you move forward.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below.