There are some people out there who know from early on what they want to do with their life. These people grew up with a stethoscope around their neck or they started lesson planning when they were eight. Whatever they wanted to be, it just clicked. So, going through school they were able to take just the right classes, talk to the right people, and apply for the right internship that would ensure that they were able to have the career of their dreams.
However, for many, many other people, life doesn’t go this smoothly. It takes a high school career, miscellaneous classes at a community college, and maybe a few years of job hopping before they even really understand where their passions lie. Finding a career that is rewarding and fulfilling can be more than challenging and sometimes it may mean that at some point, they switch careers.
If you’ve reached a point where you realized that you’re no longer happy in your career, and you’ve decided to make a change, there’s a good chance you feel more than a little lost and understandably frustrated. So what do you do now? How do you make this life-changing transition?
Before you put your two weeks notice in at your current job, here are some tips from a life coach in New York, Renee Christian.
Taking some time to be selfish is more important than ever. Oftentimes, people find themselves in these situations because they were making decisions based on other people’s needs or wants, or what just made sense at the time. If your parents wanted you to take over the family business, or if you were just taking a job just to take a job — these decisions could have lead you to where you are now. So ask yourself — What do you really enjoy doing? What are your interests and hobbies? What have you always dreamed of doing? This is where you can find a starting point.
Consider Your Priorities
When faced with a world of possibilities, you may not want to start planning a career as an astronaut, especially if you don’t want to go back to school for years. But take some time to think about what is important to you now, and also what is making you unhappy at your current job. Do you want a better salary? Are you bored completing tasks at work? Do you want a career that you feel has meaning and adds value to your life and others? These may not be easy questions, but determining your priorities and needs will help you narrow down your options and will help you choose a path, or at least a general direction to start heading.
One of the biggest mistakes that people can make during this transition is to jump into a career before fully understanding if they will enjoy that new career or not years down the road. If you think you want to be a teacher, consider job shadowing at a local school. If you want to give nursing a shot, volunteer at a hospital. Or talk to an advisor at a local college and ask if you could audit some classes that you may be interested in. Deciding which direction to go in will be the most difficult, and most time-consuming, but it’s better to spend the time now than to commit to years of school, training for a new job, and potentially time on the job, just to find that you don’t like this career either.
As you are weighing your options, don’t underestimate the value of talking to someone who has been through this before. Working with a life coach could provide a unique perspective and give you insight into how to navigate this journey.
A career change is definitely a scary challenge, but one that could result in an incredibly rewarding new position. Stay positive, focus on yourself and your needs, and you will find your new position, in life and in a new career, before you know it.