Undergoing a career change is an important step in one's life, often accompanied by a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. When you decide to make a career change, whether by staying in the workforce or opting for entrepreneurship, you're entering uncharted territory that requires serious thought and meticulous planning.
I'm Nadège Gomila, founder of Bloomencia, an atypical skills assessment Bloomencia is an atypical group and individual coaching program for people wishing to embark on a new career path. What's special about Bloomencia? During the program, we offer 1 full week of immersion in a château in the Dordogne, to create a setting conducive to disconnection and reflection.
In this article, we'll be exploring how to create the right setting for effective reflection on your career transition, whatever path you choose.
Being in the right frame of mind
The first step to a successful conversion, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur, is to be in the right frame of mind. It seems obvious, and yet...
Unfortunately, all too often we wait until the last moment to consider a change, when we're exhausted and overwhelmed. To think productively about your career change, it's essential to be mentally ready. At Bloomencia, we pay particular attention to the state of our participants. If you're on the verge of burn-out, it's unlikely you'll be able to get the most out of any reflection. Reflecting on yourself and your future takes energy. So it makes sense to take care of yourself first. Consult a psychologist, a sophrologist, or a doctor if necessary, in order to re-energize yourself first. Then it's time to start thinking.
Make your thinking a priority and a project in its own right
Once you're in the right frame of mind, the next step for a successful reconversion is to treat your thinking as a project in its own right. Imagine starting your own business or planning a trip around the world. You can't just have fleeting thoughts on your lunch break. Instead, commit to devoting time to it on a regular basis. Block out slots in your diary, set milestones and stick to them. Of course, this doesn't have to become oppressive, so make sure you allow for breathing space too. But it's essential that your reconversion becomes a central topic for a given period of time. Temporarily you can therefore consider watching one less episode of Netflix, scrolling less on Instagram or politely refusing the 4th evening in a row to put yourself as the n#1 priority.
Surround yourself with positive people
When undertaking a major change in your professional life, it's imperative to surround yourself with positive people. Avoid people who spread doubts and fear of change. Their concerns may stem from good intentions, but they may also be influenced by their own fear of change. Parents who have spent 40 years in the same company or colleagues who are attached to their routines may not be the best sources of advice for your career transition. Instead, seek out relevant entrepreneurial groups or professional networks, attend webinars, and participate in workshops that inspire you. And don't overlook business incubators, which often offer free days to test your ideas, whether you choose salaried employment or entrepreneurship. That goes without saying, makesense can also be a great source of inspiration and networking, with a host of face-to-face and digital workshops on offer!
Find a dedicated place
We don't think about it enough, but the right environment is crucial to your thinking.
Opt for a quiet, secluded space, away from distractions. Create an organized, cocooning office corner in your home, where you can concentrate. If that's not possible, choose a quiet café or consider a coworking space. Just getting out of your usual surroundings can stimulate a new perspective and foster creativity.
That's why at Bloomencia we organize a week out in nature, away from the daily grind, to help participants focus on themselves and avoid distractions. Getting away from it all encourages creativity and sets the brain in motion to think differently. This tip also applies if you need to make progress on a big project and you're stalling. A change of setting and atmosphere will boost your creativity, motivation and productivity.
Change your habits to stimulate reflection
When you're seriously considering a career change, it's also a good idea to change your habits. Simply taking this step aside can open up new perspectives and activate your brain in a different way. During this period of reflection, adopting new habits can have a significant impact on your ability to think creatively and envision your professional future.
Change can take many forms, and is not necessarily linked to specific activities. Instead, it's about cultivating a mindset of flexibility and openness to change. Here are a few ideas on how you can change your habits to encourage deeper thinking, whether you choose to stay in salaried employment or embrace entrepreneurship:
- Open yourself up to new experiences: Be curious and open to new experiences. Whether it's trying a new sport, visiting a place you've never explored before, or simply meeting new people, experiencing the new can broaden your perspective and fuel your creativity.
- Question your routines: Take a moment to examine your daily routines. Identify any habits that might be hindering your thinking or keeping you in a comfort zone. Then try to adjust or replace them with alternatives that encourage personal growth.
- Broaden your horizons: Read books, listen to podcasts or watch documentaries on subjects you're less familiar with. Exploring new ideas and discovering unfamiliar areas can inspire new ways of thinking.
- Learn new skills: Invest time in learning new skills or perfecting the ones you already have, whether you want to stay in the workforce or start your own business. Acquiring additional skills can make you more confident in your ability to make a success of your career change. And it doesn't have to be expensive training. There are some great tutorials on Youtube, but also sites like WeCandoo (creative workshops), Les mots (literary workshops), or Superprof (to find a tutor in just about any field)...
Changing your habits is not just about engaging in specific activities, but also about adopting a different mental approach. The aim is to become more adaptable, open and ready to explore new possibilities. By doing so, you'll be better prepared for the reflection and decision-making needed to make a success of your career transition, whether you opt for salaried employment or entrepreneurship.
Using Bloomencia as a resource
Throughout this article, you may have noticed that I've referred to Bloomencia several times. That's because Bloomencia offers a unique approach for people seeking professional reconversion, whatever their choice between salaried employment and entrepreneurship. Our program includes group career paths, which means you're not alone in this adventure. You're part of a community of like-minded people, offering invaluable support.
One of the highlights of Bloomencia is the week in the Dordogne, a crucial stage in our program. This special week allows you to step out of your usual environment and focus entirely on your own reflection and personal development. The Dordogne offers an inspiring environment, conducive to creativity and introspection. It's the perfect opportunity to take a step back, clarify your goals and explore new possibilities, whether you're considering salaried employment or entrepreneurship.
Thinking about a career change is a serious undertaking that requires the right framework to succeed. You can't expect to make important decisions in a matter of minutes. Treat your reflection as a project in its own right, surround yourself with positive people, take care of your mental and physical well-being, create a space dedicated to reflection, and adopt constructive new habits, whether you choose salaried employment or entrepreneurship. Don't be afraid to embark on this adventure, because it's often in change that we find our true vocation.