When you find yourself unhappy in your current career, it can be downright miserable. Whether you feel uninspired, unfulfilled, undervalued, or a combination of all three, it’s rough. The good news is that you can always make a change. Whether it’s finding another job in your field, switching careers completely, or going off on your own to start a business or freelance, the opportunities and options are endless.
The problem? How to figure out what you want to do, where to go next, and how to get there. I thought I’d share some suggestions based on my experience of starting off in a field I really had little to no experience in and how I would go about switching careers again if I ever decide to do so.
Figuring out what you want to do in your career move is a lot about following your personal interests and passions. Not sure what those are? Think about what you gravitate towards. What could you never get tired of doing? When do you feel the happiest? Are there any careers that fulfill those interests and activities?
Network, Network, Network!
Did I say network? No really, reaching out to past connections and making new ones is probably the best way to start a career change. I’m constantly talking to friends and acquaintances in various career fields and they inevitably know of a job opening at their own company or someone in their network’s. Don’t have a big network to rely on? Look for Meetup groups in your area, network in Facebook groups in your related field, look for events and conferences coming to your area or nearby areas, or reach out to your university’s alumni association for get-togethers in your area.
Try Something New on the Side
Want to switch from your desk job to something completely different like running your own small business? Start it while you have your job! It’s rough, but if you’re passionate about something, you’ll find the time to give your budding business life.
Spend Time on You
Make sure you’ve done your due diligence in spending time on yourself. What the heck do I mean? I mean putting time and effort into crafting the perfect resume, an engaging cover letter, a beautiful portfolio (if applicable) and a website, if necessary in your field. Make sure to clean up your online presence. The chances of you being Googled before being considered is basically 100% these days so be sure everything checks out!
Take Career Assessment Tests and Quizzes
Still not sure what you want to do? Try taking a personality test like the Myers-Briggs or stopping by your local college for a career assessment test. You might be surprised at the results!
If your future dream job is something in the nonprofit field, why not try volunteering there first? Maybe you’d like to work with animals. You could volunteer at your local animal shelter, foster a pet, or assist in transporting animals between shelters.
Take a Risk
Making a big career move is always risky in some regard – will you like the new position? Will you be even more miserable there then your last job? What if something happens at your new company and your job is at stake? Life is all about taking a chance, and as long as you feel the reward is higher than the risk, I say go for it!
Sometimes finding a new position isn’t easy. I know first hand that you may end up taking a lot of phone interviews, filling out a lot of job applications, and making a lot of resume modifications before you find the perfect position. Keep at it and you’ll be greatly rewarded!
Have you considered a career change or have you made one already? If so, what do you think is the most important thing that helped you make the change?