First things first, it’s time to determine if it’s actually a new job you want, or if it’s a totally new career. Ask yourself: What are the reasons I’m looking to change things up?
If it’s something like:
- My boss is a jerk
- I’m not getting paid enough
- I don’t click with anyone I work with
Then you’re in the clear, it’s probably just a new job that you’re looking for. A change in environment and the opportunity for a pay rise will scratch the itch. But if you answered something like:
- I don’t find the work satisfying
- Thinking about work fills me with dread
- I’m just so bored all the time
It might not be the job that’s the problem, but your whole career. If you imagine yourself doing the same job at your dream location, with your dream salary and the greatest co-workers you could possibly imagine and there’s still a shadowy pit of dread in your stomach, it’s time to start evaluating your options.
Where to from here?
If it’s a new job you’re after, switch tabs now, if it’s a new career, keep reading.
We know totally transforming your career can sound really scary, but when you break it down, it’s really only two steps:
1. Working out where you want to go
2. Working out how to get there
Just like planning a holiday, right? Okay, maybe not quite the same, but in our opinion, it is just as exciting!
Working out where you want to go
This journey is going to look different for everyone, so it is important to remember that working out where you want to go might not be a linear process. However, a good place to start is writing a list about: a) what you like doing and b) what you are good at.
Once the list is complete, see if there are any overlaps between the two and it might start to give you an idea of possible career paths.
Recognising Your Strengths
Your previous work history and your new career path might seem like they are on totally opposite ends of the spectrum, but it might actually give you some unique advantages you haven’t thought of. The leap from real estate agent to film director might seem like a stretch, when you break it down however, the overlap in skills might surprise you. Both occupations require you to have excellent communication skills, impeccable time/project management skills and importantly know how to sell a feeling to their prospective audience/buyer.
Seek Expert Advice
Start by reaching out to people in the field you are looking at transitioning into. How did they get there? How did their colleagues and their networks get there? Did they undertake formal education/training, or take a less traditional route? It’s becoming rarer and rarer that two people in the same career would have taken the same path to get there, so reach out to as many people as you can to see what options you might have. This also has the added benefit of making new connections!
If you’re finding the ‘how to get there’ step overwhelming, book a consult with a career counsellor or mentor. A career mentor can provide you with clear, objective, professional advice and break down your path into achievable goals. Most importantly, career mentors keep you accountable and remind you why you decided to make the change in the first place.
Too often when thinking of making a career change, we tell ourselves we will ‘wait for the right time’. Well, we’re here to tell you that the right time, is now. That is not to say call your boss and quit your job immediately. But if you ‘wait for the right time’ to start planning out your next move, you never will. The ‘right time’ will pass you by and you won’t even notice. If not now, then when? We promise, in 12 months’ time, you’ll wish you started today.