If you start dreading your return to work on Monday before the weekend is over, it may be time to change careers and find a job you love.
Since the pandemic hit, workers have been reevaluating their work lives. For many, this means making a career change.
What does it take to change careers? Let’s explore how to find a career you love and what steps you can take today.
Struggling with your career path?
It is not uncommon to have many jobs, or even explore several different career fields, over your lifetime. My father worked for the same employer for 30 years, but that rarely happens these days.
This isn’t surprising given the fact that most of us are in our early 20s when we pick a career path. Does anyone know at that age what type of job they want for the rest of their lives?
If you are feeling stuck in a career that no longer interests you, it could be time to look into other options.
How To Find Career Happiness
Career satisfaction is based on a number of factors – and they are different for everyone.
As you explore how to find the right career, you will need to reflect on which factors are most important to you.
Negotiating salary, work environment, flexible hours, benefits, company culture, and how the organization’s mission aligns with your personal values are all factors to consider.
Tactic for Success
Researching your new industry is key. You want to be sure you’ll enjoy the new field. Talk with people who are doing the job you desire. Find out what their day-to-day work involves. What do they love? What do they hate? What do they wish someone had told them before starting? Learn all you can!
Should you go back to school?
A new industry may mean that you need new skills. Many clients ask me if they should get a different degree to change careers or if following these best practices for writing resumes during a career change is enough.
In some cases, this will be necessary, but it isn’t always. Before investing in additional training, see if you can learn the skills from someone in the field, volunteering, or even working as a temp.
Trend on the Rise
A recent survey indicated 63% of employers are willing to hire someone with transferable skills and train them, but 50% of employers say candidates need to be able to articulate their skills better. You must be able to show how your past experience translates into the skills you will need for the new career.
The Importance of Transferable Skills
The most difficult aspect of changing careers, in addition to learning new skills, is helping an employer understand that even though you may not have worked in this role before, you have used the skills needed.
For example, in the last recession I was between journalism jobs and no one in my area was hiring writers.
Because of my interest in helping job seekers, I applied to be a career developer with a local organization. Most people working there had a background in social work.
However, I was able to explain that journalistic skills like listening well, asking good questions and taking notes would be helpful in the role.
I was hired and successfully used these skills to assist clients.
Tactic for Success
Get clear on what you want in a job. You need to identify what you love doing and why. Make a list of the things in your current role that energize you and those that don’t. How do you want your career to look different than it does now? These are key factors in identifying work you will love.
Think about the skills you use most. How can they be applied in different ways in your new industry?
You can use our guide on tips for finding a job to help secure the job of your dreams.
Once you have decided on a new direction, take these steps to start exploring a new career:
- Identify your transferable skills – These are skills that can be used in multiple jobs. A few examples include communication, time management, building relationships, customer service, teaching and problem solving.
- Address any skill gaps that you have – An employer may need to train you on some skills, but try to learn what you can ahead of time. Check YouTube, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning for video tutorials.
- Network with people currently in the industry you want to enter – Set up informational interviews with people in the role you want so you can ask questions that will give you a good idea of what their daily work entails.
- Update your resume to highlight relevant experience – The standard chronological resume format may not be the best if you want to change careers. Look online for samples of functional or combination resumes.
- Be prepared to explain how your past experience is relevant – You must paint the picture of how your skills fit the position. This is essential during an interview, but should come through in your resume and cover letter also.
How long does it take to find a job you love?
Some career changes will take longer than others. Sometimes, you may need to start at entry level in the new field and work your way up.
You may need to volunteer to gain experience. It will take time, dedication, and hard work.
It is never too late to start a new career journey. It may take time to change careers, but finding work you love is worth it.