two street sign arrows pointing in opposite directions

Starting a new job causes stress and many nerves for most people, especially if you are changing the field or industry that you are specialising in. This was the case for me when I took on a new career path; the role was very much autonomous and a big change from what I was previously doing.

The challenge that I was faced with was that over my past four years as an Executive Assistant, I hadn’t been an autonomous worker and was very much micro managed with clear, specific direction and routine tasks. In my new role I now make decisions and produce the work. As you can imagine; a daunting change to have made, and to be honest, it still is. With this change I found a challenging voice in my head doubting whether people would like what I have done or that it’s wrong.

I quickly realised that to succeed I had to let go of working in hope of external validation and instead aim for progression and improvement. I was told within my first few days “Fail fast!” This was horrifying! I didn’t want to fail! But I soon realised that to get where I wanted to be I would have to accept that I was bound to fail sometimes in order to learn and grow. How I react and respond to this would be the key to succeeding.

It’s a hard change moving from being micro managed everyday, to being told ‘use your initiative and do what you think is best for this client’. As a consultant, there is no room for self-doubt. If you’re facing the same challenges or thinking of changing roles, here are 5 tips that I use every day:

  • Fail fast, just have a go – Peers will prefer if you had a go rather than sit on, over analyse and stress out about your work;
  • Stop self-doubting – The people that hired you can see your potential so let go of the worry;
  • Make sure you reflect – Would you make the same response next time or take a different approach? Learn from the past with the focus on growth and improvement for the future;
  • Stay focused – Don’t get lost in the small things. Stay focused on the end product and the steps you need to take to get there. Set goals and targets (big or small); and
  • Make sure you have fun! – There is no time like the present, enjoy it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. I still have days when I wish I was micro managed and people would tell me exactly what I had to do and how to do it. Initially, I made this change because I wasn’t satisfied with the way my career was progressing, I wanted to do more, achieve more and learn more. It’s a scary change but I know it’s the only way to grow, improve and reach my full potential.

If you feel like you have more to offer than what you are doing in your current role, take my advice – take the leap! It’s never too late to change direction and take on a new career.