eParachute Blog

On finding the work of your dreams, from Dick Bolles & the team at eParachute.

Permission to Change

What keeps you from making a big change in your life? Sometimes it’s because you think you need permission from someone - maybe even from yourself.


Why do we need permission? As we mature into adulthood, we take on a variety of obligations. We often get married, and have kids. We buy things like cars and houses. We have ups and downs, financially. And we have ups and downs, health-wise.


All of those perceived obligations can add up. And even if you think you might be happier doing something different, career-wise, you may feel that those obligations keep you from being able to make a change.


To really navigate a career change, or to find meaningful work if you’re unemployed, it’s important to feel like those in your life are supporting your journey. Make a list of the people whose approval matters to you. Spouse? Parents? Kids? Friends? Mentors? Include anyone who comes to mind.


In some cases you may simply need to tell them what you’re doing; in other cases, you may need to have a long discussion about your goals and plans. Next to each name on your list, jot a few bullet points about what you think their questions or issues might be. It’s important to challenge those assumptions: Maybe they’ll be completely supportive from the start, so don’t pre-suppose that they’ll be opposed.


Look at your list. There’s probably one person missing: Yourself.


The first step, of course, is to give yourself permission. A lot of the perceptions about obligations are yours. It’s critical that you feel you’re headed for a new kind of work that’s really meaningful to you, and that can provide you with the income you need, If you already have that kind of work in mind, great. If you don’t, start with JUMP.


The insights you get from JUMP, and any other self-assessment work you do, such as the eParachute Udemy course , or What Color Is Your Parachute? , are essential for the process of building a clear picture in your mind of what you’re aiming for in your career move. The clearer you can make that picture, the more you can overcome others’ - and your own - questions about your next career step.



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