Think Like an Owner for a Career Change

Your actions are all initiated by you. Many career professionals will agree that YOU must take the initiative to change your current career. Owners and entrepreneurs don’t wait; they initiate. They use stress, fear and other emotions to propel their businesses into action.

Owners and entrepreneurs believe in an ability to build and direct their own destiny. This mindset puts you in the driver’s seat. You permit yourself to have the power. You don’t hold off until others give you permission and allow you to achieve. Owners understand they must take charge of growing and adapting their business, just as we need to do in our career.

You DO NOT have to be fearless to run your career as an owner. Just as owners may have some prudent fear in running their business, you may have fear of failure and of wasting money, time, and energy. Fortunately, you can succeed with fear. So, if your fear of not trying slightly outweighs the other factors, then that’s all you need to forge ahead. However, owners operating in a volatile economy must have a game plan that embraces change and promotes the development of survival skills to sustain their organization.

When thinking like an owner, be sure to consider:

  • Taking Initiative

Owners are aware that things could fall apart at any time, even when things seem to be going well. They understand they must consistently take initiative to make changes in their business if and when a new direction is needed. Complacency and extended delays in business are simply unsustainable. The same is true for careers. Staying stuck in a career that is no longer working has a way of taking hold if we remain stagnant. The longer we are in limbo, the more mental or financial pain we endure from not moving forward. Sometimes we need a jolt to get unstuck. The main point is take action when it’s time to seek a new career.

  •  Tolerating Risk

Change, and therefore progress, always involves risk. Not crazy risk, but reasonable levels of risk. The people who are by nature risk-averse will feel uncomfortable with that. But experience tells us that perhaps the only way to offset the fear of the unknown is to understand the greatest risk comes from sticking with business as usual. If people can be convinced that a career at a standstill could mean soon being unemployed, they may suddenly develop an appetite for trying something new. In this new work era, risky is the new safe. Give it a chance, try something you normally wouldn’t do. Start small, read news from unusual sources, check in with an old colleague, or sign up for an online learning program in a completely new field. See how that feels, then take it up a notch.

  • Moving After a Disappointment

Don’t fixate when things go wrong. Successful owners do not avoid mistakes and failures; they learn from missteps and move on. When attempting something new, if it doesn’t work somewhere along the way, or you don’t get the position you want simply try again with a different strategy. Disappointments are a normal and expected part of the career-rebuilding process. Don’t become preoccupied with the negative. When reinventing your career, if you have a letdown, embrace the lessons and keep going. It’s important to pull the lever and move on.

At the end of the day, only you can take charge of your career. Find the drive and ambition required to pursue the job you wish to have. With the right mentality anything is possible. Live it, own it, change it!

By Sunny Klein Lurie, Excerpt from her new book, “Jolt Your Career From Here to There: 8 Strategies for Career -Change Success”