Are you feeling bored, unappreciated or downright miserable in your current job? It could be that you are not just in the wrong job but the wrong career too. This can have a detrimental impact on your mental health and well being so it is understandable if you are desperate to make the jump to another career. It might seem like a daunting and overwhelming prospect but here is the good news – finding the perfect career for you isn’t necessarily out of reach. Here are some tips on how to handle a career change.
Deciding What You Want To Do
It is not always easy to know what direction you want to head in. Sometimes, the driving force may just be the persistent feeling that you are not happy in your current role and that you would benefit from a change in career. Thinking about your interests can help. If you are passionate about what you do, it stands to reason that you will be happier and have greater job satisfaction. Turning a hobby or interest into a job is not always a pipe dream.
Researching The Role
You may have your heart set on a particular field or job role but what if it is not as feasible as you had hoped? Make sure that you find out as much as you can about what you will be expected to do in this role as it may not be as you have imagined.
Using Your Skills
You may not feel that your current skills will easily cross over into another career but you might be surprised. Many of the skills that you have already developed can probably count as transferable skills that are valued in a wide range of jobs. These can include written and oral communication skills, research skills, being good at public speaking, being computer literate, time management skills, management experience, being able to work independently, and teamwork skills.
If you are not sure what your most valuable skills are, try asking friends and family. They may be able to offer a different perspective as most likely, they will see you differently to how you see yourself. It is worth bearing in mind that these kind of skills do not necessarily have to have been developed ‘on the job’ – you may have picked some of these up in your everyday life.
Of course, some jobs will require you to have specific skills, in which case you may find that you need to retrain before you can make a viable career change. Depending on the skills needed, you may be able to develop these at evening classes or through volunteering to avoid having to leave your job before you are ready to put your plans into action. I did this and you can read my story here.
Don’t Rush Into Anything
You might not yet know exactly what you want to do but even if you do, it may take a while for it to actually happen. Don’t let impatience have a negative impact on your plans. Being unhappy in your current job can mean that you do not pay enough attention to thoroughly researching your next move.
Summing Things Up
Changing career can seem like an overwhelming prospect, particularly if you have been in the same field for many years. It is true that making a career change will not usually happen overnight but it is by no means as impossible as you might assume. Depending on the career, you might already have transferable skills that you can use in your new career so it is not always the case that you have to retrain if you make a change. Of course, this will be the case in some careers though. If you are not happy in your current job, why not look into the possibility of changing careers? There are options.
So, have you made a big career change? What kinds of things did you do to make the transition easier? How did you over come any barriers you faced while making this change?
I went worked as a consultant out of business school and then turned into a travel writer! Transition was made easy by increasing gradually the work load as a writer until I dropped my day job three years ago. I find personality tests like Myers Briggs to give you a pretty good perspective on what kind of jobs would particularly suit your personality and way of thinking.
@ Pauline: That is an interesting career graph. I would love to become a travel writer some day.
I did those tests when I was younger with a career planner. It was really interesting. It also put me in personable jobs like hospitality, travel etc. I guess that is because I am an extrovert.
Good points. I recently went through a career change about six months ago as I was just miserable at my previous job. I think one of the big keys for me was not to jump at the first thing available. You can pretty much justify anything to yourself when your miserable and want out. I took time to research what I wanted to do and once I determined what I should do I went after it.
I agree. I have been tempted in the past myself to jump the ship as fast as I can but that is not smart as we know. You need to know what you are getting into or the change could back fire.
Yup. I did – and it wasn’t easy. I did some training in that field, but came in fairly unprepared as to how hard it is to start basically from scratch. I should have been much more assertive about being shown the ropes and getting my questions answered!
We all have lessons learned. I too have made mistakes. I have found the value in finding a mentor and asking questions. It can really help.
I don’t see that I will change what I do. I have too much invested in that, but I have spent the last year and a half working toward making how I work more satisfying, which involves some pretty dramatic changes. I’m not sure how it will all shake out, but I don’t want to become a burnout. I think I’m on the right path.
My husband is working on the same thing as you. He has had to make some changes in order to keep is sanity and to not burn out. It is a slow process but we are both hoping it pays off.
Definitely a good tip not to rush into anything. If you’re not happy, suck it up for a while and start working on a transition career or something similar. I don’t think many people wake up one day and realize they need a new career. It’s a slow transition so approach it with careful planning.
Agreed. I also think the issues that make people want to change are slow growing too. If we are more astute to our surroundings, we can sometimes prevent ourselves from getting to the point of needing a change.
Yes, it’s time for me to find one. I plan on doing some volunteering in my desired field to see how that goes, before I make the switch.
That is what I did. It is really helpful to see what you might be getting into.