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Top 5 challenges women face when trying to change their career

October 31, 20236 min read

In my work as a transformation catalyst, I often work with women who want to change their professional direction but are unsure how.

They are fed up with their current situation. They know what they are doing now does not support the lifestyle they really want - financially, emotionally, aspirationally, or otherwise.

They feel stuck, caught between worlds.

If you resonate with any of the challenges below, let’s explore how to solve them so you can move forward with confidence in the direction you really want to go.

  1. Fear of failure and starting over

Going from being proficient at something to being a novice is jarring. And being new at something means not only a lot of learning, but potential failure too. As you embark on your new future—or even simply contemplate it—you may be inundated with concerns like:

  • Am I a fool for giving up something good enough for something unknown?

  • What will people think?

  • What if I fail? How will I recover if I fail?

  • What if I don’t like my choice after trying it?

Preparing your mindset is critical to overcoming these fears and concerns. This isn’t just about positive thinking, but embracing both the good and the bad of this new stage of your life in a way that is empowering - instead of crippling.

  1. Resistance from people who do not want you to change

Even if you are fully committed to your new direction, others in your life might not be.

When you take steps to move on, you may inadvertently trigger the fears of people who are comfortable with you in your current role. This may cause them to passively - or not so passively - resist your efforts. They may even try to sabotage you.


There are three strategies you can choose from in this situation:

  1. Calm their fears by reassuring them that you will still be around for them, though perhaps in a new capacity.

  2. Connect them with other people who can fill the void you leave.

  3. Cut ties with them if the relationship cannot be salvaged or if it’s simply time to part ways as you exit one season of your life to begin a new one.


As you prepare to move on, ask yourself what relationships will be most meaningful in this next stage of your life.


  1. Going from somebody to nobody


Resistance from others is one thing, but what about resistance from yourself?


This often happens when you have achieved a certain level of success in your current career, and a part of you is unwilling to let that go. After all, you worked for years to build up your current reputation and professional capital.


How can you just throw it away?


Plus, it is just so easy doing what you know well.


It’s important to realize that when you change professions, you are not losing any of your previous experience, or the goodwill you’ve established over the years. In fact, you may find that your true fans are just as excited about your evolution as you are, and will support you.


As for your experience, taking ideas from one industry or profession and applying them to a different one is often what leads to the greatest innovations.


Bust through your fear by asking creative questions like, “How can my expertise be applied in fresh new ways in my new endeavor?”


This is a time to give yourself permission to pursue what you want. This is especially important if you have spent a lifetime fulfilling obligations to others. Build the rest of your life on who you are on the inside, instead of continuing to show up as others expect you to be.


  1. Saying goodbye to the good part of your old identity


Even if you’re “SO DONE” with your current profession, there are probably some things that you like about it. For example, if you are selling a business you’ve had for years, it can be difficult to say goodbye to the loyal employees you worked side-by-side with for so long.


The truth is, letting go is hard, even when you are the one breaking up with your old life. Be compassionate with yourself and others, providing the space needed to let go of the past and make way for the future.


  1. Struggling to answer the simple question, “What do you do?”


It used to be easy to answer that life question, but now… it’s complicated, especially if you’ve got one foot in your old profession and one foot in the new one.


Which elevator pitch do you use? Which logo? Which website URL? Which title on your LinkedIn page? How can you clearly communicate your new personal brand when you are still figuring out what it is?


In other words, “Who am I now?”  > > > Cue identity crisis.


Even if you have made a clean break, you may struggle to confidently introduce yourself. You may still not be entirely sure what lies ahead.


This is natural, and the cure is to get clear on the elements that make up your new identity:


Why + Purpose + Passion = New Identity.
Have a process or system to confirm your thesis?



Wondering, “How do I do it?”

Maybe it’s not the mindset stuff that you struggle with, but the practical side of things.

  • How exactly do you start out in your chosen field?

  • Where do you look for work?

  • What is the competitive landscape like?

  • How do I start a new business in this niche?

  • Perhaps there is so much to learn and do, it’s overwhelming and you have no idea where to start, what activities are fruitful, and which to avoid. 


For this, you need guidance from an expert who has traveled the road you are on, who can tell you what to focus on to get started, and who will help you develop a solid strategy for moving forward.

And, because they’ve experienced many of the same challenges you are facing, they can also help you with the mindset side of transition and reinvention.


 Join a community of others like you!


If you are ready to commit to a transformation that is in alignment with who you are now and who you want to become, join me in the Encore System Masterclass starting in just a few weeks.


Benefit from personal coaching, a step-by-step system with proven strategies, along with a supportive community of women, while you choose, script, direct, and star in your encore!

Book your free Encore discovery call today and let’s explore if you are ready to create the future you desire.

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Isabel Alexander

Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander (Banerjee) cultivated an award-winning, $10+ million global chemical business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms. Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate and nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds. With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor, and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence. Founder: Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement) and Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact. also Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com) LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

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Isabel Alexander

Women of Influence Award, Canada’s Top 100 Business Women, Profit Magazine

I will guide you to reclaim time and energy and focus on actions  that support the lifestyle and interests that you love.


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