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  • Rachel Schofield

"New Year, New You" is an idea that sucks

Why valuing “Old You” is a much better approach to a career shift

Now I may be burned at the coaching stake as a heretic, but I’m just going to say it.

“New Year, New You” sucks.

This idea you need to leave behind your existing identity and become someone totally different is a bonkers approach for career shifters.

“New You” will kill your confidence and give your brain way too much ammunition for a counter-offensive against your 2023 career dreams.

Here’s why:

❌ Yes, you’re absolutely ready for something fresh and different in your work. But assuming that means you have to be a different person with a whole sack full of new experiences and new skills causes many people to lose faith in themselves and get overwhelmed.

❌ Your brain isn’t good with uncertainty and unpredictability. Chances are you don’t yet know exactly what this supposed “New You” looks like. Boy, will your amygdala not like that.

❌ Career changers regularly worry they’ll have to start from scratch and go back to professional square one. “New You” subtly embeds that idea, diminishing all your transferable wisdom and abilities and leaving you feeling under-equipped for a different role.

So what to do instead?

It’s not so catchy, but go with me here ...

“New Year, Evolving You”.

Hang on tight to “Old You” and all the brilliant expertise, strengths and accomplishments you’ve racked up.

This is still the same you, experienced, skilled and valuable, simply evolving naturally in a new direction.

Here’s how:

1. Look for the common threads between all your jobs (and interests) to date and the vision you have for your career shift. Just because you studied sciences, became an accountant and now want to be a graphic designer doesn’t mean you’re binning “Old You” and starting with nothing at 30, 40 or 50.

2. There are always recurring themes (whether strengths, passions, skills or values) that have brought you to where you are now and will continue to help you. List all the existing attributes, abilities and contacts you can take with you or build on for your next move.

3. Where you discover a genuine gap in your skills or experience that you think needs filling for your “Evolving You”, get creative in your approach. Not everything requires expensive retraining or a shiny certificate.

You’ll find more on this in my book “The Career Change Guide - Five Steps to Finding Your Dream Job”.

It’s packed with exercises, practical strategies and case studies to help you identify and land the job you really want this year.

If you find my newsletters valuable, I know you'll love it. The Telegraph has included it in a list of the best self-help books to buy to transform your life in 2023! 🎉

You can pre-order it now on Amazon. It's barrelling into the world on 19th January. Alongside all my normal gems, I'll be talking more about it and sharing some of what you'll find inside over the coming weeks. I hope you'll forgive me because: a) I'm pretty excited b) I really believe it's a great book that will help you and c) a woman's gotta eat

Stay curious,


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