We’ve all been there. You are coming to the realization that the career you’ve chosen may not be for you. Maybe you are just burned out at your current job or you just don’t find a purpose in what you are doing. Perhaps fear is holding you back. After all, you make a fairly decent living at what you do now – why would you give that up? But if you are dreading going to work every day, it may be time for a change.
If you are considering jumping into a new career, below are some helpful hints to get you started.
No idea what you want to do?
Many of us desire to do something different – we just don’t know exactly what that it is. If that sounds like you, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Here are some ways that you can get to know your professional side a little better;
- Career test – Whether you go to a professional or complete an online assessment, this can give you an idea as to what your skills and work personality are. You may be surprised to find out that you have designing, planning, or writing skills that are just looking for a way to get out.
- Career assessment – This one may be tough, but spend time taking a good, hard look at your previous jobs. Consider what you did well and excelled at. Think about where you were challenged and areas that you could improve. If you were longing for something more meaningful, what triggered this?
- Do something different – For many of us, over-analysis can paralyze us. Trying something new can open doors. Consider taking a continuing education course at a local school, join a networking club, talk to friends – just do something to give yourself a new experience and perspective.
- At the end of the day, you should be able to identify what you like to do and what you do well. This helps to give you an idea as to what drives you and what you are passionate about.
Find a profession that suits you
If you went through the exercise above, start listing your skills and experience. Spend time searching the internet for careers that rely on those skills. Narrow this down to the ones that pique your interest – the ones that you can see investing your time in to achieve.
After fully understanding what the career entails, you should consider –
- Your skill level and experience fit the bill? Or will you need additional training, possibly even a college degree?
- Speak to others in the profession. Is this a fulfilling career for them? Is there anything you should consider before making this jump?
- Many times, we envision this new career as a turning point in our lives. If you are able to shadow someone in the profession you are interested in, it can give you a real-world perspective.
Should you quit your day job?
You found your new career but are now wondering, should I quit my day job? The answer to that depends entirely on you and your financial position. Perhaps you’ve chosen a career that allows you to work part-time. You can keep your day job and work toward building up to something new. When you are ready to make the move, you’ll be in a better financial situation.
Other times, it may be best to just jump in with both feet. Your new career could suffer if you don’t give it your all in the beginning. It may be tough for a while, but you’ll make up for it over time.
If you are in a job or a career that you just don’t like, staying there can do more damage than good. But for many of us, fear of the unknown holds us back. We may not know what we want to do or could take a hit financially that we aren’t sure that we can handle. If you can take the time to figure out what career would better suit you and position yourself financially to make the move, you can have a job that you are excited about.