Have you ever felt that you weren’t truly working to your true potential? Plenty of people feel apathetic toward their jobs due to a variety of reasons. Most of those reasons, on some level, have to do with a lack of passion for their current field. The cliché states that if you “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Take these four tips to heart as you contemplate a career change — and they may lead you to your dream job.
1. Identify your true passion. Think about the life experiences that sparked such interest and focus that time simply flew as you happily toiled away… Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you enjoy helping people overcome problems? Can you teach a skill to others? The hobbies you pursue outside of your current career can be the gateway to the job for which you were born.
2. Become a detective. Search out the clues as to why you’re looking to switch careers. What’s driving you to change? Some of the things that prompt career changes are stress, work/life balance, lack of challenge, or limited growth potential. Once you’ve identified the culprit(s), do more digging into the potential fields you want to pursue, and ensure that you won’t be signing up for more of the same.
Most importantly, don’t settle. Once the newness of a position wears off, the things that nagged you before will be irritating you again…putting you back at square one.
3. Look before you leap. It’s exciting to pursue your passion, but that excitement can quickly turn to dread if you’ve thrust yourself into an unstable industry. Talk to others that work in the fields currently and find out if companies are hiring, freezing or downsizing. Horror stories abound of new hires sent home from training jobless as companies grind through reorganizations.
It may be prudent to hold off on chasing the dream job until the industry reaches stability. If you suspect there is a drawback, use the time instead to further your education for the prospective field. Education is one thing that can never be taken away from you. It’s yours for life.
4. Build a proper foundation. Once you’ve done all the necessary legwork to identify your dream field of work, do a little self-analysis. Do you have enough experience to be an initial success? Where are the gaps in your knowledge? Lay the groundwork for a successful career change by doing an internship in your prospective field. Find out what happens after the store closes and the doors are locked. Behind the scenes, reality can be quite different than your perception. It’s important to go in with your eyes wide open.
What is one part of your job that sparks passion and pride in you?
Ryan Mack is a partner at TruYuu, an online service that helps people present themselves as more than just a resume to employers. You can connect with Ryan and the TruYuu team on Facebook and Twitter.