Why changing careers is just like trick or treating

Author: Debbie Tyson

It’s November 1. Many people are experiencing the week after Halloween sugar and genetically modified food hangover. What better time to create a lighthearted metaphor between changing careers and trick-or -treating – especially to give a laugh (and maybe spark some insights) to all the parents and caretakers of kids out there who have had to deal with this week’s dreadful sugar induced meltdowns.

Reason 1:

There are so many types of candy you might be handed on Halloween night (i.e. Twizzlers, Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups, Tootsie pops) and everyone has their preferences and dislikes because we all have different taste buds. There are similarly so many different career options out there and you will be drawn to some more than others because of your experience, your upbringing, your strengths, personality and values. And what a glorious thing because we need carpenters, IT professionals, writers, teachers etc. to make our world work.

Reason 2:

It’s hard to know what you like, and don’t like, without trying it. Maybe you'd be blown away by your love for cola flavored gummy bears, but didn’t even know they existed before you dug through your child’s Halloween bucket (not that I did this). With a career change, it’s important to explore the options you’ve considered as well as the one’s you’ve never even heard of. There is a world of possibility out there – you just have to be willing to uncover it. There are many creative ways to explore a variety of career fields – networking, job shadowing, workshops etc.

Reason 3:

You might like elements of one candy or career field but not others. For example you might love the peanut butter flavor, smooth texture and neatness of Reese’s’ pieces but shy away from Peanut Butter Cups because you aren’t a huge chocolate fan or they melt too quickly for you. Experimenting means we get to dissect experiences and ideas to pick and choose what works for us and gives us data to pull together to make good decisions.

Reason 4:

If you didn’t get what you wanted or needed on your first go around (on Halloween night or in your current career) swap the candy you don’t need with someone who would be delighted to have it. Swapping candy for a win-win (M&Ms for Skittles anyone?) is remarkably similar to networking for a career change. Network with colleagues and friends, and friends of friends to share ideas to move your career exploration and aspirations forward….one Milky Way at a time.

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