How to Counteract your Brain Wiring During a Career Change: Part 2

This is Part 2 of an earlier contribution from Career and Leadership Coach, Rebecca Dallek.

Rebecca DallekMost mid-lifers will remember the commercial put out by Nancy Regan’s “Just say no” campaign.  It showed a “normal” brain and then showed an egg cracked on a hot pan and said “this is your brain on drugs.”

At that time Scientists believed the only way to the change the brain was through surgery, injury, or harm by medications and drugs.

Let’s start by saying I’m no neuroscientist.  I’ve read, attended lectures and talked to experts enough to know that your brain plays a huge role in your career change or lack of change, for that matter.

What qualities do career changers possess?  They are usually risk takers, they are willing to go out on a limb, experience failure and have the grit to keep going, they leave the house in pursuit of something.

Notice that I didn’t say they were smart, outgoing, witty, magnetic, well-educated or rich.

All of the qualities I described for career changers are not necessarily innate. They can easily be developed and honed through experience and repetition.

This is where the brain comes into play.  Scientists used to believe that that brain was static.  Our synapses were in place and set for life by the time we reached our adult years.  Attempting to change behavior or routines were really about overcoming our brain. (more…)

How to Counteract your Brain Wiring During a Career Change

stressThere are two important parts to your brain that play a critical role in your ability to change careers. The first is your frontal lobe. This is the place of reason, options, possibility and belief in opportunity. The second is the amygdala, which is where fear and “fight or flight” reactions hang out.

When the brain is confronted with something it fears, your amygdala gets activated. The amygdala’s job is to keep you safe, and career changing is not safe to the brain. Since the brain senses something risky afoot, it will do anything to sabotage you. The amygdala might activate some of your old behavior patters or it might engage you in a way of thinking that counter act your desire for change. (more…)