Can You Change Careers When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing?
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If you dread Monday mornings because it means that you’re back at work or you simply just don’t look forward to going to work regardless of the day, then it could mean that you are ready for a career change and in need of doing something new.
Perhaps you fell into a job that you only planned to be at for a short amount of time. Or perhaps you are just stuck in a career that drains you and isn’t really ‘you.’ This might sound like you, but then when you think about changing career or getting a new job, where do you start with it all?
For starters, when it comes to looking at your career and changing jobs, there will be some things that come up time and time again, or even paradoxes as they could be described. They are challenges that you might have to face as you get on this journey to getting onto a career that you love.
One of the first things that will be a challenge to you on this journey is you yourself. You are the one that is wanting this new career and new life and to make changes.
But you are going to be one of the biggest obstacles in all of that too. You may be feeling uninspired on a daily basis, and really in need of something better for your career.
But you may justify your time away, or reasons not for doing something. And then before you know it, you are still in the same old job. Often the challenges that will come are not external; they will come from you.
So this is something to think about and eliminate as you go along. Being able to recognize it in yourself is one of the ways that you can start doing something about it.
One of the other paradoxes, if you will, is that you can’t simply figure it all out, just by simply figuring it all out. That really means that no matter how many books you read or lists that you make, there will always be things that aren’t going to add up or things that you can’t just work out.
You can take a whole heap of online tests that will tell you what career that you should do. But if you aren’t feeling it, then it won’t make a difference. So don’t just think you can always plan for what will happen. Sometimes they will happen.
One of the other challenges you may face is that you aren’t necessarily going to find a job just by looking for one. It may sound a little odd, but if you head off to the recruitment consultants to try something new or see what they would recommend for you, it could work. But it could leave you feeling a little cold seeking work this way.
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But when you are changing a career into something completely new, then you aren’t going to measure up to some of the roles, simply because you don’t have the direct experience or skills.
You will have transferable things, and experiences that can work in a variety of industries.
The traditional ways of getting a job, with recruitment sites, sending out resumes, or speculative inquiries, won’t always work when looking for a career change. Sometimes it will take is a little more specific.
So what are the solutions to these three issues? Here are some of the things that you can do to make it easier to switch career and easier to find the thing that you want (and should) be doing.
Table of Contents
Don’t Go It Alone
It can feel like it is just your career, so it is only up to you to do anything about it. You may dread going to work each day, but that isn’t anyone else’s problem, right?
Wrong; plenty of people can help you get to where you want to be. If this career change is a mountain, then it is your Everest. And do people climbing Everest ever do it alone?
No. they always have a team helping them on their way and guiding them. And this is what you need to do when it is time to switch careers. Ask others for help and advice, from current colleagues to family, and friends.
They can all offer you insight, as they will all have a different path that has to lead them to where they are today.
Find Your Passions
When you want to explore a new career, then it is a good idea to think about the passions that you have and the values that you hold. Where can a career fit into all of this?
For instance, if you enjoy helping others, would looking into Laurier’s online policing school be a good idea, if you want to create change in the world through a policing career?
Are you passionate about humanitarian work or does entrepreneurial work inspire you? Think about where your passions lie, and the standards that you have, and it could give you a new career angle to take that you will be much more passionate about because it is doing something that you’re excited by or that you care about.
Seek Out People, Not Jobs
There is a saying by Ben Casnocha that opportunities do not just fall out of the sky; they are attached to people. The saying says that if you are looking for an opportunity, then what you are looking for is people.
So when you go about a job hunt, reaching for the internet to submit applications or heading to recruitment agencies may be your normal point of call.
While they have a place, they are not a good place to start. What can be a good idea instead is to connect with people. Get talking to people in various careers and talk about what they do.
Get networking at different events if you can, as well as chatting to people through emails if face-to-face isn’t possible, but you’re still keen to hear what they have to say.
Build up relationships and it will be good for your career life anyway. But it will be even better if you can also find your dream role through this. Think about seeking out people first, and the job will follow the second.
Act It Out
The journey to change your career can be a long one. And as has been discussed, you can find it hard to talk about all that you need to, or you can talk yourself out of doing certain things.
But really, that will take much longer to get where you want to be.
If you find yourself overthinking things or trapped in a bit of paralysis of analysis about what you are doing, then it will have an impact. You put yourself off doing things when you analyze too much. So what you need to be doing is being more mindful about what you are doing and talking yourself in and out of. Sometimes, acting out something, rather than sitting an analyzing things, can actually have a greater impact on you.
For instance, things will change when you do something, act on it, and make changes. You could enroll yourself on a part-time photography course, for instance.
And quite quickly, after doing it, you are going to realize if this is something that you want to carry on doing it or not. If you hadn’t taken action, you could have liked the idea of being a photographer, but not know what the ins and outs were going to be.
You could have got all of the equipment only to find out later that this isn’t something that you want to be doing. So taking action on things can help the change happen as you find out what you do and don’t like.
So don’t just sit there doing nothing but analyzing things; take action and you will get to where you want to be sooner rather than later.
Making a change in your career isn’t going to be an easy process. But if you hate what you are doing at the moment and dread it, then it is going to be 100% worth putting in the effort and doing it. When it gets a little tough, then it is a good idea to remember that you are not just talking about a job alone.
What you spend most of your time doing will impact your life as a whole. How you feel every morning will have a knock-on impact on other things you do.
It will impact your health, as well as relationships that you have, with friends, colleagues, and family. When you are alive in what you do it does have a big impact on you and the people around you.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.