It’s natural to want a career change after a while. Job satisfaction ebbs and flows with time. But when that desire reaches a fever pitch, you should find another field to better use your talents and passions. Now, that’s sometimes harder than you think—this process takes soul-searching, communication with others, and discrete action steps to be effective. To learn more about the three keys to successfully changing your career, read this handy guide.
Understand the Heart Behind Your Restlessness
Embarking on this process means there are some deep-seated reasons your current work leaves you unfulfilled. To make sure you find an industry you know will be different, you must understand yourself.
To be fair, not every career shift is due to unhappiness—if you lost your job or moved for financial or other reasons, consider what you loved about your workdays. You want to hold on to that kernel of good and ensure your next field has a similar dynamic. At the same time, understanding what turned you off focuses your search. For example, if you didn’t like that your work involved long stretches of solo desk work, you may want to steer clear of that in the future. Make lists to organize your thoughts and isolate core work tenets you care about.
Talk With Trusted People About Your Unrest
A second key to successfully changing your career is to talk with trusted people about it. Jobs are, at the same time, common fodder for conversation and hard to talk about when they get difficult. Rather than stifling your unease to appear competent, open up to others who can help you process things. Close friends and family can hold up a mirror to your skills, priorities, and work style that drive you toward a happy career change.
On a practical note, they also have knowledge and connections. For instance, if you are beginning to reassess, striking up a conversation about your friend’s field could spark your eventual shift. Or, if you have an idea of where you’re heading, friends and family can help you start networking.
Set up an Action Plan
Sooner rather than later, you need a specific action plan. To build one, you must know most of the necessary steps and how long they’ll take. These steps can range from going back to school, teaching yourself new skills, obtaining a certification, preparing to interview, adjusting your resume, and maybe even moving. Be realistic with your timeline, and don’t quit if it takes longer than you want.
Communicating the value of your past experiences is a tough one—interviewing for a dental assisting role is profoundly more different than interviewing for a journalism position. Above all, be creative about your presentation. Every work experience is valuable; you just need to learn how to articulate how.