If you find yourself dreading Mondays and living for the weekends, clock watching, day dreaming and having no passion or interest in your current job, chances are that a career change may be in order.
For some, even a lay-off can become a great opportunity to re-evaluate their situation and consider options.
Before taking any leaps into the unknown, it might be a good idea to ask yourself some questions:
- Are you willing to invest the time, energy and perhaps additional training/schooling necessary to make the change?
- Do you know what it is you want to do and have you researched the new career?
If the answer is “yes” to the first question, but “no” to the second, you might want to spend some time considering potential career paths. The first steps include identifying personal core values that are essential for you in the workplace. You bring meaning and purpose to your life and a high level of engagement and energy to your job, if your it is in line with your interests, values and aptitudes.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I passionate about?
- What does my perfect work day look like? (e.g. working indoors or out? With a team or alone? at a computer, machine or truck all day or interacting with people? How do I prefer to dress — casually or formally?)
I recommend spending time to explore interests and options. A good way to get started is by getting your hands on the book What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles (which you should find at most libraries). In this book, you’ll find many exercises that will help you identify your skills, values, interests along with exploring your personality type, preferred working environment, etc. The online service Career Cruising can also be a valuable online tool which you can access at a JVS Employment Source Centre near you.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down you should create an action plan. Identify the steps required to make the career change. Make a list of what you want to achieve, and then use SMART goal setting to ensure that they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Do you need additional skills and training? If so you will need to budget for tuition fees, living expenses etc.
What transferable skills do you already have that will help you in your next career? Enlisting the assistance of a career coach or employment counsellor is helpful with the decision-making process. You will also want to start networking and considering workplaces that suit your values and interests.
A career change requires commitment, action, research, planning and hard work. In my upcoming blog posts I’ll talk about more strategies to make that career change a reality.