Managing Your Mental Health Through A Career Change

Changing careers can be challenging. After all, you’re saying goodbye to something that you’ve applied yourself to for a long time. Likewise, you’re leaving behind many of the connections that you’ve made. There’s no doubting that it can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth remembering why you’re moving in the first place. However, because it’s such a significant move, it is imperative to manage your mental health through a career change.

Managing your mental health through a career change

Trying to break into a new industry can be a tiring task. As a result, the whole process can affect both your motivation and your mind. This is why it’s so important to manage your mental health through a career change. You must always remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.

The first thing you should remember is that you are not on your own. While this may not be of much solace, plenty of people change career. Many of these people are happier in their new jobs and are enjoying the benefits of the change in direction. Like you, they endured the reskilling, the interview processes, and the jubilation of landing in the career that they were seeking.

Likewise, many of these people moved for similar reasons. For many of them, they got stuck in a rut where they started a new job that pays on time but has never really been what they wanted to do. Many career changers realise that they don’t have to give up on their dream career.

Importantly, if you are considering a career change, you must prepare yourself for the journey ahead. You must map out your time for reskilling and working hard. Prepare yourself for rejections, and likewise, you must realise when is the right time to accept or decline a role that’s offered to you.

Most adults have agonised over doubts of moving from one job to another. They’ve been nervous at interviews, faced rejections, and encountered the PFOs in their inbox. Mentally, career changers must prepare themselves for all of this, but when you land in the career you want, then it’s time to feel that wonderful sense of achievement that comes with genuinely earning something.

If you do decide to take the plunge, to back yourself and your skills, to better your career and better your life, here are three tips to help you through your career change.

Firstly: Be Kind to Yourself

You’ve done it, you’ve decided to leave your old job behind and are ready to pursue a new career with new opportunities. You can ask anyone who’s taken the plunge before you, you’re more than likely in for a string of “No’s” before you get the golden “Yes”.

1. Get Your 8 hours

One of the things that can keep your career change bearable is starting every day on the right note by waking up feeling well rested. This will keep your mind sharp.

The recommended amount of sleep per night is between 7 and 8 hours a night. Eight hours of sleep helps regulate your appetite, helps you maintain your memory, decreases your risk of illness and supports your immune system.

Research shows that sleep deprivation results in fatigued neurons, which affects how your brain receives information. It can cause you to interpret events differently and impairs your judgement.

Image shows lady sleeping to highlight how important it is to manage your mental health through a career change

To navigate through and manage your mental health through a career change, you need to give yourself the best possible chance of staying motivated. If you make getting enough sleep a priority, it will go a long way to ensure you don’t burn out before you land your new career.

2. Stay Physically Active

We’ve all waited for the phone to ring with our next career opportunity, but this can leave us feeling very tense. Stress is something that accumulates in the body. It can build up over every job application. We can feel it rising before and after every job interview, wondering if we’d said the right things. Stress can also arise when we leave one career and move to another.

So, how can we deal with stress? Exercise improves your overall health and wellbeing by raising your endorphins. These feel-good hormones act as a kind of meditation. Concentrating solely on your body’s movements as opposed to things that stress us out, trains you to focus on a single task and can often clear our minds, which allows us to cope better with stressful thoughts. Moreover, exercising also improves your sleep, which ties in nicely to our previous point.

3. Focus On What You Can Control

Highlights man relaxing to highlight the importance of focusing on your  mental health through a career change.

One of the best things you can do while navigating through a career change is to keep yourself focused on the things that you can control. For example, you can’t control whether a potential employer picks up the phone on any given day. You can’t control the weather or the traffic you’ll encounter on your way to an interview.

However, something you can control is the time you leave on the morning of a big interview. Also, you can control the clothes you wear to arrive pristine on a rainy day. You can even sit down and review each and every element of your C.V and cover letter to make it stand out. This is what makes many employers want to pick up the phone.

Don’t let the things out of your control break your spirit or determination. Remember to focus on the elements you can influence. Once you do that, you’ll start to notice all the things you are in charge of in your life

Don’t forget why your changing career

Remember why you’ve chosen to change career. Was it to pursue your dream job, to open yourself up to a new range of challenges, or was it to improve your quality of life?

Whatever your reasons, hold on to them and use them to fuel you forwards as you transition through your career change.

Your health is your wealth

Firstly, if you are considering a career change, well done. It can be daunting, but you’ll know if it’s the right thing to do. One bit of advice we will offer is that, like with every other opportunity that’s worthwhile, it will take some work. So learning to manage your mental health through a career change is very important.

Finally, if you’ve opted to change career to software development, well done, keep on coding, and stay healthy!

Leticia G. Leon : Code Institute Student

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