Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stage 1 of the 4 Stages of Change and How to Overcome Obstacles.

I recently read an article in a fitness magazine about the stages of change in terms of changing your habits to become healthier. However, as I read the article, I began to think that the same concepts can apply to someone who is looking to change their job or career.

The article talked about Dr. James Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Change tool, conceived in the 1980’s. Over my next four blog posts, I would like to explore the four most critical stages from Dr. Prochaska’s theory of change and translate how I think each one applies to job seekers.

Stage 1 – Precontemplation
In this stage, you are not quite ready to make a move. You may wish for change but have no plans to make a change in the immediate future. For people who are stuck in this phase, it often takes a significant life event to motivate them to change their thinking. The birth of a child, the death of a family member, or even a lay-off at work may be the only thing that can motivate you to move forward. However, thinking about making a change has its benefits, as it prepares you to open yourself to new opportunities.

The biggest obstacle at this stage is the belief that the change will require too much effort or work and will cause unbearable discomfort. People often underestimate the benefits of change and overestimate the costs.

Strategy to Overcome and Move Forward:
Write down all the benefits that you would receive from making a change. Before you can move to the next stage of change, you must recognize that the benefits of change will be worth your efforts. Focus on the positive aspects of what you will receive as a result in making a career or job change.

Another obstacle in the precontemplation phase is fear from previous failures. These fears often cause us to place limits on what we believe we deserve or are capable of.

Strategy to Overcome and Move Forward:
Evaluate your previous failures and try to define what caused those failures. Was it lack of preparation for an interview, a work situation out of your control, or did you sabotage your own success? Work on improving your sense of self-worth and increasing your confidence before you embark on the next stage of change.

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