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If you’re feeling unhappy in your current job, it can feel intimidating to make a career change. The thought may even be frightening, especially if you have student loans or have obtained a highly sought after position. No matter what job you currently have, if you’re unsatisfied, perhaps looking into a different career path is something you want or should do. Here are some tips for getting started on this scary but very possible process.
Why Do You Want to Leave?
First, you need to think about why you want to leave your job. Do you want to make more money? Do you want to have a better work-life balance? Are you forced to work long hours? Are you burned out? Have you lost the passion you once had for your position? There are a number of reasons individuals want to switch their careers. Depending on why you want to make a change, you may find that pursuing a different position in your field may work for you. Perhaps you want to make the achievable switch from a high school science teacher to an experimental scientist. Perhaps you want to move up in your field of nursing and become a Nurse Practioner. Or, you might be in need of making a complete 360. Maybe you’re an administrative assistant and want to open up your own business. The possibilities are truly endless. Analyze your reasons for wanting to leave so you can determine your next moves.
Update Your Resume
Even if you don’t thoroughly enjoy the job you’re currently in, you’ve likely learned important skills and grown as a professional during your time in it. Soft skills, such as communication and listening skills, the ability to work with others, and time management, are translatable to many careers. If you’re currently one of the 38,000 working surgeons in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, your ability to communicate with other healthcare workers would certainly be useful if you were to make a major change and become a business professional or even a teacher or professor. With this being said, update your resume. Be specific with your skills and capabilities. When you go to interview for a new job, be sure to explain your skills using examples from your previous job and how they could translate to the new profession you’re pursuing.
Think About Likes and Dislikes of Your Current Job
As you think about your next career move, make a list. What do you like about your current job, and what don’t you like? This list of pros and cons will help you to determine what kind of job you’ll be happy with next. If you don’t like dealing with people, customer service may not be for you. If you enjoy working with kids, there are several jobs that provide that opportunity. Do you like working in an office? Do you want to work outside or in? Do you want to be your own boss? Think about what you enjoy now and what you’d like to do in the future.
Familiarize Yourself With the Career You Want to Pursue
Oftentimes, high schools and colleges send students to shadow individuals who work in a career they’re interested in. This is something you, even as an adult, should consider trying. Shadowing, volunteering, and perhaps even taking a course in a field you’re interested in is the best way to familiarize yourself with that career path. This is especially a good idea if the career you want to pursue is vastly different than the one you’re currently in. Search for opportunities and utilize resources, such as LinkedIn, to connect with employers and organizations you can shadow or volunteer with. LinkedIn has a high capacity to connect you with a new career or volunteering opportunity, as they’ve had a 14% user increase since 2018 with 675 million monthly users as of March 2020.
Utilize Your Resources
Using social networks such as LinkedIn is a great way to connect with others in the field you’re looking to pursue. However, professional connections outside of social networking are crucial to several industries, such as the business field. Knowing people in the industry, the roles they play, and having connections in a variety of places will help you go far. If you want to become an entrepreneur and add to the 28 million small businesses in the United States, having knowledge of how to work with others is important, but to be truly successful, you’ll need business connections. Start small by connecting with people over social media platforms, but as time goes on, offer to meet up and talk business. You never know how far you can go unless you move out of your comfort zone.
You don’t want to have any regrets in the future. Take your time to find a career, position, or opportunity that piques your interest and aligns with your passions. However, don’t wait too long to get started on pursuing a new career path. You never know what’s around the corner!