The average American changes jobs 12 times over the course of their career.
Many folks are committed to finding a well-paying position that highlights their strengths, deemphasizes their weaknesses, and gives them ample opportunities for growth and promotion.
If you bounce from job to job within your field and find that you are consistently unfulfilled, it may be time for a career change.
Many employees would be inspired by a chance to change their line of work, but feel that they have already invested too much time, money, and energy into their current field to make a switch worth the effort.
If you are ready to change careers, your dream may be more attainable than you think. Let’s take a look at some options.
1. Do Your Research
If there are certain vocations that strike your fancy, start with a basic internet engine-search and read some articles to get a better feel for what is required.
Pay special attention to the education or training required to transition into that field, and consider whether or not a formal degree is feasible given your current personal or financial situation.
Some career fields, such as real estate or cosmetology, only require you to obtain a certificate that can be completed online.
Consider your current career and ask yourself what you like about it. Are you a teacher who wants loves to write lesson plans, but gets worn out quickly in the classroom? Do you love talking to clients about home loans, but wish you could spend more time out looking at properties?
Think about which skills are your strong suits. Remember your time studying in school, and consider which projects or classes you were the most excited about. What subjects did you spend hours on, trying to understand them accurately and making your work perfect?
It may be worth it to meet with a career counselor, who can administer tests and help you determine exactly which types of jobs would best suit your skill set.
2. Find Some Good Contacts
Reach out to trusted friends and family and see if anyone has a contact you can talk to in order to learn more about a field you are interested in. Ask him or her about their hours, obligations, tasks, joys, and concerns.
Consider the types of people you enjoy working with now. What are their areas of strength, and how do they impact their field? Look for a career area where you will learn and grow from people with similar philosophies.
If there is no one in your current circles employed in those fields, consider joining online support groups for different types of careers. Look for established professionals you can reach out to, and keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.
You can shadow a professional and get a first-hand idea of what it would be like to spend your days doing something else. It will give you a realistic picture of what your schedule will be, and who you will be working with.
2. Get Some Experience
Before leaving a paying job to pursue a new passion, you can find creative ways to explore the field you are interested in. You may want to volunteer at an animal shelter if you want to become a technician or work in a local community center if you are considering a career in education.
Side gigs will also give you great insight. Consider freelancing online if you want to start writing, or selling things on Etsy if you are considering starting a direct-sales business.
You may discover that the line of work you had always dreamed about it is actually not a good fit for your personality. That is fine, and you will be relieved to know that you did not sacrifice a steady paycheck to pursue your passion.
Some employees may be able to get experience in a new line of work in their current career field. A teacher, for example, could ask to write a grant proposal and be able to put proposal-writing on her resume. You may be able to sign up for free in-house training in leadership, financial planning, or teamwork that will help you gain valuable skills for your next career move.
The most important character trait of those who eventually find their dream job is that they do not give up. When they realize they are not suited to something, they simply pivot into a new or related interest until they find something that gives them success and fulfillment.
Many fields are blooming with opportunities for those in minority groups. You can learn more here.
3. Get An Education
It is not always young people living with their parents who change lines of work. In some cases, mature adults with families realize the need to switch to careers where they can make more money or have more flexible hours.
It is important in these cases to consider the type of education you can afford to get in order to become qualified. In some cases, you may be able to get an online certification or take night classes at your local community college. In others, you may need to take out a loan in order to get credits toward a second four-year degree.
Ready to Change Careers?
If you are ready to change careers, do some research in the areas you are interested in. If the education, skills, and contacts required to suit your current needs and desires, you are in for an exciting ride!
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