It can feel like a big life decision to Change Careers and start again in a completely different field. Especially if you were already a few years down the road in the career path that you first decided on. Perhaps you rushed into something straight after high school and weren’t thinking long term, or you ended up in a job. This just simply isn’t the right fit for you and doesn’t make you happy or feel fulfilled. Perhaps you have been doing a job for so long. You feel like it just isn’t for you anymore and you are just bored with it. Whatever the reason, you certainly don’t need to feel like you are stuck in a path that isn’t right for you and that you don’t love.
These days, it’s easier than ever to change careers. Between the amount of information available online at the click of a button. The wide availability of online schooling and full certificate degree, masters, and doctorate programs. As well as a job market that is accommodating and constantly changing and growing with the needs of society. It’s quite commonplace to start fresh and enter into a different career, regardless of your age and experience level.
How to know it’s time for a change
It may not seem obvious to you right away that your chosen career isn’t what you actually want to be doing for your whole life. Many people force themselves to go to work every day, go through the motions, repeat the routines, and then go home feeling unsatisfied and like their jobs are mundane. They tell themselves, “that’s just how life is” when in reality, a lot of people are just settling because it’s what they know.
While it may be unrealistic to expect to follow your dream and land a job immediately that you feel wildly passionate about and where you make your full earning potential right away. It’s definitely not unreasonable to want to enjoy what you do. It is okay to want to wake up in the morning excited to go to work and be part of projects you feel proud to be contributing to.
However, knowing when it’s time to make the change isn’t like flicking a switch, and the answer might not come to you right away. There are surefire signs to determining whether a change is in order though. So if these sound familiar, then it might be time to seriously evaluate whether you should change careers.
Yes, work can be dull sometimes, and it can be exhausting working an eight-hour day sitting at your desk for most of it. However, going beyond that, dragging yourself out of bed each morning shouldn’t be an exercise of sheer willpower. Everyone has mornings when they would rather stay in bed, or consider taking a personal day, but if you wake up every single day dreading the workday ahead, or leave work feeling completely exhausted. It could be a sign that a major change is in order. Likewise, if every single task that comes across your desk feels incredibly tedious, boring, and takes much longer than it should complete, it can be a solid sign as well. These dragging feelings at work can easily spill over into your home life, affecting relationships and your willingness to do other things that make you happy.
So, what can you do? Find out which aspects of the job are most draining to determine what needs changing, and then figure out which part of the job is appealing to you, or gives you energy or strength to get through the workday. That way you can narrow down what excites you, and it will help you decide if it’s time for a major change.
Do you feel apathetic towards your work?
Most people go through workdays where it feels like you’re just not in it, or can’t find the motivation. However, if it’s a constant feeling of being checked out and operating on autopilot. It can signal something more serious is up. If you aren’t invested in your work, it’s hard to care about what you’re doing.
So, what can you do? Find out what you do care about doing, whether it’s related to your current job or field or not. You may not need a total career change, but rather a job at a different organization, or maybe a different position within the same field.
Do you feel jealous of other people when they talk about their careers?
If you talk about your friends’ jobs or colleagues in other areas of the field you’re in, and you feel jealous or even resentment. Moreover, you could be giving yourself a solid clue as to what you would rather be doing with your time.
So, what can you do about it? Ask them questions about their work and find out which parts are the most interesting to you, or which parts trigger your jealousy. Would you rather be working outside instead of being stuck behind a desk, or with clients instead of working in-house? Is there a way to inject those aspects into your current job? If the answer is no, it’s time for a change.
How to choose a new career path
Choosing a new career that’s right for you and leaving your current career won’t happen overnight. In fact, it might not happen in a few months, or even a year. But learning what parts of the job excite you and bore you will help narrow down what you want to do instead.
Request informational interviews
If you find you’re more interested in another career, schedule an informational interview with someone who works in that field. You can reach out over LinkedIn if you don’t know anyone personally and offer to chat on the phone or buy them a coffee while you pick their brain about their job. Get to know the requirements and ups and downs before settling on it. This can help you to learn more about this job from someone who is very much in the center – if it sounds like something that would suit. Then, it’s time to take the next step and work out how you can progress to your chosen career. If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board, so that you can find something you are interested in.
Study while working
Once you’ve decided which career path you want to go for. It’s time to make sure your skills align with the job requirements. You may need to go back to school and study a different field or upgrade your current level of education to be qualified for your new career choice. It can be tough to go back to school full-time when you have bills to pay. But thankfully you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can work and still study so you can upgrade your education or take a full degree program with online courses. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in public safety or retired military personnel. You can upgrade your education with a safety master degree online program. Click here to find out more about how you can enroll in a course.
If a friend or relative is working at a job you might think you would be interested in. Ask if you can shadow them for an afternoon to see if it really is what you thought it would be. You don’t need to be a student to take advantage of this tactic. Trying a lot of different paths will help you narrow down the one you enjoy. At the very least, teach you what you are definitely not interested in. It isn’t easy to just decide on the right career, and very few people know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. However, without making a few mistakes first, so get out there are try different options.
Volunteer in the field
Volunteering is another way to dip your toes into a field before fully committing to find out what you like or dislike about the job. If you are considering working with animals. For example, consider volunteering at a shelter or rescue to get an idea of the perks and drawbacks.
Meet with a career counselor
If you have done your research and analyzed your skills but still aren’t sure where to go. It can be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless and confused. Don’t give up just yet and settle for your old career. Because there are resources you can utilize to help you make a career move. Career coaches are there to help you narrow down what makes you feel fulfilled. Moreover, analyze the skills you have, and point you in the right direction.
They can help you discover what you are passionate about as well as what the best aspects of your professional life are. They are skilled to help you with career planning, negotiation, and interviewing. So will help you to market yourself in a way that will stand out to employers.