Throughout your school career, you are led to believe that you have to pick a profession and that’s what you work for until you achieve it. Landing that “dream” job always seems to be the end goal. You beat all the levels, ran the race, and now you get your trophy. However, for many of us, that trophy does not shine quite as bright after a time. After spending some time in the career you put your blood, sweat, and student debt into, you may be finding yourself wondering “What now? Why do I feel like this shouldn’t be it?”. If you find yourself feeling this sense of dissatisfaction, it may be time to find a new road to walk. It’s time for a career change.
Before you go visit a guru on top of the nearest mountain, review these tips to figure out where this new road should lead before you end up in line at the unemployment office.
- Self-reflection. Why did you pick your current job and why are you still there? If you are currently at a job of convenience, this answer may be as obvious as ‘I’ve got bills to pay’. However, if you are at that original “dream” job, ask yourself: ‘why this one and what keeps me here?’. If your reason for staying has nothing to do with your actual job, you can probably move on to find a career you truly enjoy. Let’s say you only like certain parts of your job- well, great! You can use that joy to lead you to your next “dream” job!
- Skills don’t always equal passion. Yeah, you’re good at your job- it’s what you’ve been educated and trained for. But you don’t enjoy what you do. Well, what do you enjoy? What makes you proud of yourself? Is it something that you aren’t that good at? That’s fine! With experience comes wisdom, young Jedi. Take that passion and do some research on how to make that your career!
- Upgrade yourself. Just like technology, we can always benefit from an upgrade. So, don’t be afraid to take a class in a field that relates to that passion. Reach out to your former college for more information- most institutions have a network of career information for alumni. We all know you’ve already paid for that access, so you might as well use it!
- Try it out…with baby steps. Most careers can be adapted in average life. Want to be an accountant? Volunteer to be in charge of the budget for a community event. Want to be a writer? Start a blog or assist in your neighborhood newsletter. Give yourself a small taste of what that career would be like- before you buy the whole pie and find out you’re allergic to cherries. Also, don’t forget that job shadowing is still a thing! Who says you have to be a student? Aren’t we all still learning?
- Stay familiar, but push your boundaries. You can still spread your wings and fly while staying close to home. Look within your own industry for new positions that relate to where you want to go. You can still soar! Use the other tips to fluff your feathers before takeoff.
Changing careers can be scary and strange, but life is too short to spend it unhappy. The journey of life is rarely a straight line, so don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled! Who said you could only have one “dream” job, anyway?