Everyone wants to get paid for doing something they love. But what if you don’t have a burning desire to be a fashion designer or a landscape gardener? If you are dissatisfied with your current job but don’t know what you want to do instead, it could be time to take a creative approach to finding your calling.
- Be willing to experiment
You’ve been thinking about making a career change for years and have looked into various things but nothing really grabs you. If that’s the case, it could be time to stop thinking and start doing.
‘Finding a career that fulfils your passion rarely comes from “thinking about things” warns career coach Ruth Winden of Careers Enhanced. ‘Many of my clients spend months, if not years “thinking” about their careers, stuck in a place called “analysis-paralysis”.
‘Career choices are rarely a result of logical and linear thinking so why not give serendipity a chance? If you’re struggling to find your passion, experiment, test things out and be curious about what you learn.’
- Shake it up
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, both personally and professionally. To break out, do things differently.
‘Do something that is vastly different to your current day to day life and job: Enrol in an evening class, volunteer for a good cause, join a club, travel on your own, change your routine. Make sure you spend time with people you normally don’t meet. Do things you normally don’t do,’ suggests Ruth.
‘Make it an adventure, enjoy the fact that you are doing something you never thought you’d be doing. And then – review your experience. What did you like? What did you not like? What have you learnt about yourself? How can you use this experience in your search for a new career?’
- Start your own career project
Many people aren’t aware of the career options open to them, or presume that “interesting” jobs only go to other people. If your choices feel limited, find out what other people do.
‘Make it a habit to ask people you meet about their work. How they found their career, what they enjoy – and what they don’t. Would they make the same career choice again – why (or why not)? If you ask people from a place of genuine interest, you’ll be surprised how much they share with you,’ says Ruth.
The internet is full of video clips showing people talking about their careers, their motivations, their employers and their career journeys. Check out the career pages on company websites or on LinkedIn; search YouTube, or go to websites that have a vast library of career stories, such as www.icould.com.
‘Which stories intrigue you? A good way to find more information is to search for relevant professional associations, as these can offer useful careers information,’ adds Ruth.
- Re-discover your old passion
If you were once passionate about your job, making a small change could be enough to get back that loving feeling.
‘It isn’t always necessary to change company in order to have a career change,’ says Rob Williams, an occupational psychologist and author of “Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests” and “Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests“.
‘Given the multiple functions and global reach of many modern companies, it is often possible to change job role within one’s existing employer – for example, by moving to a different department or team.
‘Changing sector, for instance moving from a private company to a charity or government-run organisation, is another option for changing career without needing to start over again from scratch.’
- Use transferable skills as a spring board
Think about what experiences and skills you have enjoyed using most over your working life. Make a list: giving other people advice, generating ideas, working outdoors, leading a team.
‘Ideally, your new role will retain enjoyable elements from your previous role while providing new challenges to re-invigorate your job satisfaction levels,’ says Rob. ‘For example, finance and IT specialists may retrain to be maths teachers, enabling them to continue applying their strong analytical skills but in a more vocational setting.’
Don’t worry if one clear link doesn’t jump out. Keep listing transferable skills and enjoyable aspects of each job until you can group them into “umbrella” careers that you can then research.
Re-ignite an old passion and combine it with something new that interests you and who knows, it might just lead to something new and exciting.
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