While searching for a new topic to write on, I thought why not try something new in the new year? Since I have been coaching people who have successfully changed their careers for more than 10 years already, I thought who would give me better advice on a career jump than them? They’ve been there, done that and with success.

So, I went through stories in my book “Career Jump!”, testimonials and reviews and distilled the most common AND most interesting pieces of advice.

If you feel stuck in your career, maybe this year it is finally the time to do something about your professional life – otherwise, you’ll go nuts.

What do you really want from your life and career?“When you feel stuck, that’s when you know it’s time to re-evaluate your situation and think about what is it that you really want from life and your career.”

That’s the most common thing that I, as a coach, hear from my clients. At the end of coaching, I always ask my clients what piece of advice they would give to others who are at the beginning of their coaching journey, and this piece of advice is by far the most common. Acknowledge you feel stuck, take time to ask yourself what it is that you want from your career and use the input to move forward.

This advice was given by my client who changed career from project officer in an NGO to a doctoral researcher in academia. Moreover, she also decided to leave the career she built for herself in the Netherlands and move back to her home country.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone“Pushing yourself into that uncomfortable space where you doubt your abilities is where the magic happens.”

This advice was given by a client who transitioned from her career as an HR manager in the healthcare industry to a director of participation in C-suite educational organisation. “Life is too short to not have some aspects of what you love present in your professional career,” she said. “Your job doesn’t have to finally define you, but it should make you feel that you are a valued team member, and that the purpose of the organisation is aligned with your values and beliefs.”

Find the right support“Ask for help – different people need different types of support at different moments in their life, so don’t be afraid to ask until you feel you knocked on the right door.”

I truly believe that the more people who support you in your journey, and the more people (given that they are positive ones) that know about your plans, the better. But, as my client writes, we need different types of support at different times. Sometimes we need professional support from a coach or a mentor, sometimes we need the support of our family or friends. The message however is clear – “keep on knocking!”

Learn how to deal with setbacks“Build mechanisms to deal with setbacks so that you won’t get discouraged quickly.”

This advice comes from my client who made a spectacular career jump from strategy and business development manager to managing director in a sustainability scale-up. “There will be setbacks: for every two steps forward, you’ll take one step backwards,” she said. “Real change takes time. Do not get discouraged.”

But if you are serious about the change, the best thing to do is to anticipate when setbacks come, so if and when they arrive you will be fully prepared. She also mentions that “if you apply for a new job, always have 3 applications in the pipeline. If one opportunity falls away, you are still left with hope for the other two.”

Learn to use your frustration to your advantage“It is ok to feel frustrated. Frustration can be a powerful tool that helps to motivate you. Use your frustration to come up with new ideas and new direction.”

I love this piece of advice as our society often pressures us to quickly soothe uncomfortable feelings. And of course, there is no point in feeling frustrated endlessly, but if you use your frustration as a tool it can give you lots of insights and ideas.

This piece of advice was given by my client who left the NGO world in order to follow the entrepreneurial path and with time started his own chocolate factory, how cool is that? He further says “follow your natural curiosity to experiment with different ideas. You can’t process everything simply by thinking it through. But by following your curiosity, in time, you might just discover what motivates you.”

So, now I am curious to find out which piece of advice did YOU find the most valuable or the most surprising? Share in the comments below! And if you did your own career jump, share with others what would your advice be!

How many times have you thought that you wish you had more time on your hands so that you can follow your dreams? Or that you wish your life would be different and you could distribute your time better so you can follow your passion? 

If you have asked yourself these questions, there is a high chance that you might be standing in your own way. You might be sabotaging yourself subconsciously with some specific behaviours and actions. 

5 most common self-sabotaging behaviours In this article, we will explore the five most common types of self-sabotaging behaviours and the psychology behind them. As you read, try to identify if any of these behaviours resonate with you and if you are standing in the way of your own success, happiness and growth.

People-pleasingThe first self-sabotaging habit we might engage in is people-pleasing behaviour. People-pleasing refers to putting other people as our first priority. It is when we let others use our time, resources and energy first, while we are left with just a tiny bit of time and energy to tend to our own needs. 

People-pleasing is a habit that stems from the core belief or self-sacrificing schema that other people need us more than we need ourselves. We might believe that our own needs are not as important as other people’s needs; that others need and deserve our time and energy more than ourselves.

In other words, we think that other people’s dreams are more important than our own dreams. So we choose to help and support them with their dreams while neglecting our own. By doing this we are putting ourselves at the bottom of our priority list and sabotaging our success and happiness.

AvoidanceAnother self-sabotaging habit is avoidance. Sometimes we tend to avoid something that we find uncomfortable, difficult or boring. We might avoid doing these things due to negative beliefs such as that we are not knowledgeable enough to deal with them. So we simply resort to procrastinating and avoiding it; we hide it under the carpet or inside the closet to deal with it at another time. 

For example, we might be in a relationship and we want to have a difficult conversation with our significant other, but as it is uncomfortable, we decide to avoid it. By doing this, we stay in an in-between space where we do not make any decisions or take any action. We keep avoiding the conversation and as time goes by, nothing changes, you don’t move in together, have children or separate.

We simply stand in the way of progress in our relationship and happiness. Similarly, sometimes we can stand in the way of our success at work. We might avoid a conversation with our boss to ask for a promotion or discuss our future in the company. So time passes by and we stay at the same level, inside our comfort zone where there is little room for growth.

RestlessnessA third self-sabotaging behaviour we sometimes turn to is restlessness. Restlessness means that we desire to always be doing something, we want to be in all possible places and say yes to everything. In this way, we never choose, we do not choose to follow our passions and dreams. And, to make something a reality, we need to choose.

We need to stay committed to our dream, but a restless person that says yes to every opportunity that appears utilises all their energy, time and resources in all kinds of different things, and has little left to spend on what really matters to them. 

Yes, sometimes being restless and pursuing different things can give us satisfaction. It keeps us busy, entertained and we get to learn so much about different things. But after some time we might realise that we haven’t really done anything that we find meaningful. We find ourselves at a moment where we have done so much but not achieved or found what we truly care about. Especially as a restless person tends to move to the next goal before completing their current goal. 

For example, a person can begin learning how to play the piano, but when it becomes a little bit more complicated, they move on to the next thing. So this person ends up knowing a lot of things, but all on a surface level. If you ask a restless person what their passion is and what gives them energy, they might find it challenging to distinguish their true passion.

Therefore, being restless can be fulfilling in the short term, but in the long run, the person might look back and realise that they have not really gone deeper; they have not actually committed to something and invested in that one dream that truly makes them happy.

PerfectionismPerfectionism can be another self-sabotaging behaviour. Being a perfectionist does not mean wanting to deliver everything perfectly. It means that the perfectionist never feels that they have done enough and always ends up pushing for more. 

Perfectionists tend to never reach the point where they feel satisfied with their work, put themselves out there and eventually deliver something. So the perfectionist eventually gets exhausted and loses motivation. As the perfectionist has gone into so much detail and micromanaged every step of the way, they eventually stop doing what they are doing and stop loving their project.

There simply is no energy or motivation left to complete what they have started. So being a perfectionist is not always healthy, there are toxic perfectionists that focus only on the details and push themselves way too hard, sometimes to the point where they burn out.

Self-victimisingThe last self-sabotaging behaviour is self-victimising. People in the self-victimising role feel that it is better to put the responsibility on somebody else, life or the world and fail to take responsibility. 

For example, a self-victimising person might have thinking patterns such as:

“If the world had treated me nicely, then I would have grown.” “If my family would have had more money, then I would have been able to succeed.”  “If I had started earlier working on my career or studies, then I would have saved so much time and I would be so much more successful.”  As you can see, self-victimising people tend to put the responsibility on somebody or something else, creating the perfect excuse for their current situation. This way they do not have to take any action now, they can just stay stuck in their victim role with the perfect excuses and become passive observers of their own life.

So, why do we self-sabotage ourselves?We have explored the five main ways in which we might self-sabotage our growth journey. Sometimes self-sabotaging behaviours stem from beliefs or schemas about how other people need us more than we need ourselves, or that the world is to blame for our shortcomings. Or sometimes the habits stem from our desire to do everything or to avoid difficult conversations or situations.

Whatever the reason, these behaviours can stand in the way of our success and happiness. If some of these behaviours resonate with you, please feel free to share your thoughts with us. And, if you need any help untangling your self-sabotaging behaviours, send us a message. You are not alone.