On the Wrong Career Path? Use These Tips to Find Your Way
If you dread going to work and spend each day in a perpetual state of boredom, it’s time to make a change. Many people devote several years — or even decades — to a certain field, before making the switch to something they’re truly passionate about.
Perhaps you chose the wrong career or maybe your interests have changed since you entered the workforce. Either way, you’re too talented to waste your time traveling down a career path you don’t want to be on. Learn how to switch gears to work you’re truly passionate about.
Take Inventory of Your Skills
Starting over in a new field might seem daunting, but you’re probably closer to a new career than you realize. Over the years, you’ve acquired a wealth of skills at various jobs, and many are likely transferrable.
Make a list of your skills so you know what you’re working with. When you’re finished, circle those you enjoy using the most and focus on jobs that involve this type of expertise.
Consider What Makes You Happy
A full-time job consumes at least 40 hours per week of your time, so it’s important to choose fulfilling work. Think about when you’re happiest, and allow this visual to guide your search for the right job and company culture. For example, if you’re most content when you’re working with people, you might thrive in a client-facing role at a company that measures success by customer satisfaction.
Explore Your Options
A career change is a big move, so take time to determine what you really want. Seek out volunteer roles like those you’re thinking about transitioning to so you can try them on for size.
Not just an option for college students, some companies might even allow you to complete an internship to see if a particular career is right for you. The last thing you want is to inadvertently steer yourself down the wrong path again, so give anything you’re remotely interested in a try.
Seek Guidance From a Mentor
Navigating a new career path on your own can be a challenge, so find a mentor who can help. Choose someone in the field you’d like to break into because they’ll have a wealth of relevant expertise you can benefit from. They can help you use your transferrable skills to find the best type of job to focus on. Starting in the right place is key, as this will serve as your base for future growth within the industry.
Your mentor may also be willing to share their contacts with you, allowing you to get an “in” with people who can help you get hired.
Don’t Fear the Unknown
Stepping out of your comfort zone is intimidating, but don’t allow anxiety about the future to hold you back. Breaking into a new career path will take a lot of hard work and energy, so be prepared to make some major changes. Feeling a bit anxious at first is completely normal, but you have to break through the unfamiliar to reinvent yourself in a brand new realm. When you’re settled and happy in a new field, you’ll be forever grateful you were brave enough to make this change.