Realizing you made the wrong choice in a career can be hard, but the best road is to plan what to do next instead of being unhappy at work. Take control of the situation and start actively seeking new options. This is what you can do after you decide your career isn’t for you.
Leave Fear Behind
Fear is one of the main factors people stay in jobs they hate: fear of the unknown, leaving the safety of a good job, and possible failure on the new journey. But this is something that depends entirely on you. You can confront that fear and decide to make the change anyway.
The sooner you decide to change careers, the sooner you can start doing the things needed to enter a new profession. In this case, the only obstacle is yourself. Just think about how much happier you will be doing something that you actually love every day.
Get To Know Yourself
One of the reasons many people end up choosing the wrong career is because they let social or family pressure choose for them. And when they realize they are unhappy with their work, they have lost years gaining experience in something that won’t matter in their new career. But it is never too late to make the change.
The first step is knowing yourself and what you like. If you can’t answer what makes you happy from the top of your head, then you probably haven’t spent enough time looking inside. So, put some time away to spend alone time and think about what you really want to achieve in your life, what kind of work will make you feel proud, and what things in life you are passionate about.
Another thing you should look for when doing this self-discovery is what are your strengths and weaknesses. By identifying them, you can then know which jobs will put your strengths to better use. Also, you could do a personality test to know which careers are better suited for you. CareerKarma, for example, offers a free career test and gives you suggestions on career paths.
Research Other Careers
After knowing what you want, it is the perfect time to start researching other careers. A personality or career test will probably give you several options to choose from, so you can start from there. It helps to look at information about anything related to each profession.
At the end of your research, you should have a list of all the options with some basic information. Things like average entry-level salaries, how you can become one, if you need to go to college or just take a professional certification, how long will it take to graduate, and relevant companies in each sector. Also, you should take into consideration if your career is in high demand and what is the predicted growth for it.
It will be a waste of your time if you invest in a career change only for that job to be replaced by robots and AI five years from now. So, also research if your career will disappear or not in the next decade. A safe bet will be to choose something tech-related because all the new technology that will replace some jobs will need professionals to develop, deploy, and maintain it.
Informational Interviews and Shadow Jobs
Part of researching new careers is to learn how it really is to work in it. The first option to know this is by setting up informational interviews. These are conversations with professionals from the careers you are interested in, where you can ask anything you want to know. You can reach out to people on LinkedIn or other platform; if you are polite, they will probably agree to talk with you.
Another option is to find a shadow job; this is when you look for a professional that lets you shadow them for a couple of hours or even some days. That way, you can see first-hand what the job entails and what the day-to-day activities are like. This could be a little more difficult to find, but it is common enough to find many opportunities in job searching platforms like Indeed.
After deciding on a career, you can try volunteering to test out your choice. Making a carer change requires a lot of time and effort, and it will be wrong if you do everything and realize after being on your new position that you don’t like it either. Instead, you can volunteer first, and besides trying out the profession, you will learn things that will help you in your new career.
Learn The Necessary Skills
By this point, you should be confident about what will be the best career option for you. Thus, you should identify which skills you will need to learn and plan to acquire them. In the worst case, the option that will take the most time and money will be to go back to university to start your new career.
Today, however, there are many other options to enter a new career. You can start with professional certification and then after some years working you can go for a university degree if necessary. For example, in the tech industry, you can enter the industry in a few months if you graduate from a coding bootcamp.
You can even select a profession in the same industry where the skills and experience you already have will be enough to get you that new job. Either way, you should choose the fastest and cheapest path to make the change as smooth as possible.
Lastly, you can analyze your skills set to decide which skills and abilities can be useful in your new career. It depends if you are changing to a completely different industry or not, but, most likely, interpersonal skills will be the most valuable.
Things like creative and innovative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, and resilience are sought after, no matter the profession or industry. So, highlight these skills on your curriculum to give you a push over the fact that you are an entry-level candidate.
A career change is a frightening and long journey that not everyone is ready to take. But it is also gratifying when you finally have a job that makes you happy. You can start by letting go of that fear and learning what you really want out of your life.
Research every aspect of new careers to select what you think is better suited to your strengths and personality. In no time at all, you will be able to start looking for a new job in your desire career.