For some people, job dissatisfaction is the result of a crummy boss or stifling work environment. For others, the problem lies much deeper; it’s a need to reevaluate your career path and find a more suitable fit.
If you’re considering a career change but not sure which direction you’re headed, consider these words of wisdom:
Do some self-reflecting. Take time to give your current work situation a thorough analysis. Determine which elements you enjoy, what rubs you the wrong way and what you’d change if you could. Think about practical solutions to the problems you identify whether it’s changing to a different role in the same field or exploring a new industry entirely. Avoid the temptation to focus on the negative. Rather, take plenty of time to consider the positive aspects of your current job, since that insight can help inform your next step. For example, if you enjoy the limited contact you have with customers, a job with more customer-facing interaction might not be a good fit.
Ask for input. Sometimes loved ones hold the key to a happier career path because they can point out details you don’t recognize. They might recall a time when you were most relaxed and happy, or they might point out talents or skills you take for granted. Often, these natural abilities are an excellent foundation for a career because you’re well-equipped to be successful.
Consider your personal interests. Keeping your personal life and professional life separate isn’t necessarily a bad idea but finding a way to merge the two can be useful. This is especially true if you’re able to combine training or skills with something you’re passionate about. For example, if you’re an avid outdoorsman, you might find great satisfaction in applying your business management background to work for a company that specializes in camping gear.
Understand what motivates you. Landing in the right job isn’t just about having the right qualifications for a position that interests you. At the end of the day, you’ll feel most content when your job offers meaningful rewards. Motivators can be financial, or they might have more to do with the ability to learn and grow. Some people are willing to sacrifice a bigger paycheck to know they’re making a meaningful contribution in a field they care about. Knowing what outcomes resonate best can help you find a more rewarding career.
Do your research. Changing your career path is a big move, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. Before diving in, spend time looking into the field you’re considering so you have a better sense of factors like growth opportunities, job availability, qualifications, compensation and more. If you find you aren’t quite qualified for the job you think you want, explore what it will take to get there whether it’s training, education or putting in your time to gain experience and work your way into the role you desire.
A career change may be just what you need to shift your life in the direction you want.