by Samantha Wilson
If you’re unhappy at work it might be more than your cranky coworkers and skinny paycheques, it could be time for a career change.
An unrewarding career can affect all aspects of your life. If you’re unhappy with your current work life, take some time to figure out if you need a new job or if a new career is the answer. The following career change tips will help you get started.
New Job vs. Career Change
First, ask yourself if your job blues revolves around external situations at your current workplace or an overall dislike of your profession. There are many reasons for job dissatisfaction that do not necessarily warrant a career change. A recent survey on job satisfaction found that the top three reasons for work woes are: Dislike for one’s supervisor, feeling underpaid, and a desire for growth. A good career change litmus test is to ask yourself if minus the micro-managing boss, stingy salary and nonexistent growth opportunities (or whatever your gripes of choice might be) would you be happy with your core responsibilities? If you answered, “no” the answer might be beyond your current cubicle walls.
Choosing a New Career
If you’ve come to the conclusion that a career makeover is in order, not just a new job, you are not alone. Changing careers multiple times is common in this day and age. The average individual will change careers 3-7 times in a lifetime. If you’re not sure exactly where your heart is leading there are many resources that can help take the guesswork out of career change such as: Po Bronson’s bestselling book, What Should I Do With My Life? & What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Changers by Richard Bowles
Smooth Career Transition
What happens when you quit your six-figure marketing director position for an hourly position as a teacher’s aid only to discover that you hate children?
The thoughtful approach is to test the waters before diving headfirst into a new career.
Volunteer, moonlight, experience something new, work weekends get some exposure to your new calling before taking the plunge. Not only will this save you potential heartache and financial hardship, it will also provide you with resume building material if you do decide to pursue a career in that field. Learn more about your transferable skills (adaptability, speaking and listening, etc.) and try to improve them specifically, boost your productivity efficiency. Start networking with experts and just amateurs in your chosen field. Make contacts, attend events and workshops and create a list of possible mentors who could help you with any questions. Volunteering may help you gain experience and network with even more people.
Small Steps Toward Career Fulfilment
Inertia might be the biggest stumbling block to that longing to change careers. It’s all too easy to stay with the status quo, especially if your situation doesn’t fall into the “completely intolerable” category yet. However, days quickly turn into weeks, weeks, into months, and months into years and 10 years later you find yourself in the same unrewarding career. The trick is to take baby steps.
You can’t change your life overnight, so accept that this will take time.
First of all, listen to your intuition. Your instincts will always dictate what makes you happy. Small steps begin with thought-out strategies. It takes time and effort to make a successful transition between careers, so be ready to work hard on that and anyone that says the opposite isn’t actually being honest with you.
So start small, vow to devote 15 minutes a day to pursuing your new career and build from there. For example, read one article a day on your new career choice, search the job boards for just 10 minutes a day. Revamp your resume a sentence a day. Take little steps toward career fulfilment and before long those steps will turn into miles and you’ll find yourself in a career that enriches your life and energy instead of depleting it.
Photo credit: Ross Findon, Unsplash