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Stress management and impostor syndrome: Overcoming the psychological challenges of career transition

- Reading Time: 4 minutes
Stress management and impostor syndrome are common psychological challenges faced by individuals undergoing career transitions.

Career change is an important step in the lives of many people. Whether by choice or necessity, making a career change is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Among the many challenges individuals face when undertaking a career change, stress management and imposter syndrome are two common psychological problems. In this article, you'll discover ways of overcoming them to make your career change a success.

Why retrain for a new career?

The decision to change careers can be motivated by a variety of factors, such as dissatisfaction at work, the desire to follow a long-neglected passion, or the need to adapt to an ever-changing job market.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to recognize that professional retraining is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Whether it’s the field of retraining, the training to be taken, the choice of trainer or the cost of retraining, there are many parameters that can lead to stress, hesitation or a feeling of unease.

What are the different types of stress?

Stress is a natural reaction to various intense situations, such as a major life change.

People undergoing professional retraining may face uncertainty, doubts about their skills and pressure to succeed in their new environment. In this situation, as in the workplace, there are two types of stress which it is important to distinguish.

Acute stress is a sudden, unforeseen increase in pressure on the body. It can be caused by an unexpected event or a completely new situation. Too much acute stress can lead to moments of panic or a strong sense of anxiety.

Chronic stress, on the other hand, is caused by exposure to an oppressive situation or environment over a long period of time.

Chronic stress can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, depression and, in the worst cases, burn-out (physical, emotional and mental exhaustion resulting from prolonged investment in demanding work situations).

However, stress is not necessarily a bad thing; it can even be a motivating factor. We need to distinguish between “good stress” and “bad stress”.

Good stress is stress mixed with excitement, renewed energy or interest in something new. It embodies the fear that drives us forward to do new things for our own well-being.

A career change is certainly a stressful time in your life, but it’s what will motivate you to give 100% during your training period. It’s what will make you want to discover new things, develop your career and make your passion your profession. Remember, it’s normal to feel stressed in this kind of situation, and it’s thanks to this stress that you’ll have the courage to move on to new horizons?

Imposter syndrome: what is it?

Imposter syndrome is a common psychological challenge encountered during career transition. It is characterized by a persistent feeling of self-doubt and fear of being seen as an “imposter” or someone who doesn’t deserve their place. People affected by this syndrome often find it difficult to take ownership of their successes, attributing them to luck rather than their own skills.

How to overcome stress or impostor syndrome?

There are many ways to manage stress, and each one works differently for different people. It’s up to you to find the method that will calm you down the most, because there is no miracle anti-stress solution.

Nevertheless, a good way to manage stress starts with good preparation, acting on what can be managed, without trying to manage what is out of our control. Here’s a list of tips to help you tackle your changeover in the best possible conditions:

  • Prepare yourself mentally: When you want to embark on a career change, it’s essential to prepare yourself mentally. To do this, you need to be sure of your choice: why start this training course? For what purpose? What are my motivations and abilities? What will I learn or be asked to learn? What are my strengths and weaknesses? These are all questions that need to be answered.
  • Finding the right support: Starting a new training course is an ordeal that requires investment. In moments of doubt, moral support from friends and colleagues can be crucial in helping you move forward. But your trainers are there for you too. Whether you have questions about the content of the course or about your abilities, these experts are there to support you throughout your apprenticeship.
  • Developing your skills: A lack of skills can be a source of stress when you want to enter a new field of activity. Knowing the skills you’ll be using during your training is a form of preparation in itself. If you want to be as prepared as possible, you can also practice on your own and start familiarizing yourself with the next tools or methods you’ll be using during your course.
  • Be resilient: Career transition is rarely a linear process. It’s important to expect setbacks and to be able to step back from the situation to deal with the obstacles that will arise along the way.
  • Change your perception of success: Recognizing your successes, no matter how small, is crucial to overcoming impostor syndrome. Keeping a success diary can help boost your self-confidence.
  • Stress management: Keeping your mind busy with hobbies or trying different relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, regular exercise and deep breathing, can help reduce the harmful effects of conversion-related stress.
  • Consult a mental health professional: If stress and imposter syndrome become a strain on your development, it’s important to seek professional help. They can offer specialized support and strategies for coping with these challenges.

Career transition is a courageous journey towards a new professional life. It offers you an unparalleled experience that will enable you to flourish in a new professional environment.

Don’t forget that every change brings its share of difficulties, as well as comfort and personal success. With the right mindset and the right support, you’re ready to embark on this great adventure!

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