It is hard enough to change careers, considering all the worries about money, if you’ll be able to do the new job, if your new colleagues will like you, without having to worry about whether your friends and family will understand and support your change in career. However, unfortunately many people do find that amongst all your own worries, the most resistance will actually come from those that are closest to you.
This is not to say that your close friends and family do not support you, they are merely worried and trying to be your voice of reason. For instance, many will voice their concerns over:
• Whether changing your career will affect you being able to pay the mortgage;
• Change how much you can spend on your child’s education;
• Affect family life, i.e. frequency of holidays, mini breaks with your partner, free time to spend with family.
However, they are not you and ultimately if you feel it is time to change your career, or if you are unhappy then you have to do what is right for you. Friends and family will eventually understand despite all their concerns and annoying responses to you when you complain that you don’t like work, such as ‘Work isn’t meant to be fun’, or ‘Have you considered giving it another year’.
Try not to get angry when people, on the surface do not seem to support you as many find it hard to adapt to change, even when it’s really got nothing to do with them. They see your choice to change careers as a big change, one that may be unsafe and they want to protect you from it.
To encourage your friends and family to come round to your way of thinking and see your career change as a positive thing, you must make sure that they fully understand all your reasons for making the change and so they see how much thought you have put into the decision. It’s a good idea to do your research; find others who have made a success of these big decisions like yours and ask for advice. You can then model your route to changing your career on these positive experiences, which will make your friends and family more confident you’re making the right choice.
It’s also really important that you don’t surround yourself with ‘yes men’, as there are always times when you will need someone to say ‘No’ or ‘That’s a bad idea’ in order to make you think things through properly and weigh up all the options, instead of just making rash decision after rash decision. Ultimately if you feel confident and are happy, then your family and friends will be too. You just need to make sure that you don’t rush into anything and really try to make a success of your new career endeavour.