It’s almost always time to consider a new career when you aren’t happy with your current one. In the middle of a global pandemic, it’s becoming clearer how easy it is to jobs. People who once worked in factories or retail are finding new careers through remote work. Others are starting first time businesses or returning to school to prepare for entirely new careers. If you’re not sure how you’re feeling about your job or if now is the right time to make a change, read on.
Are you satisfied with your current career?
If you aren’t satisfied with your current job or career, ask yourself why. Is it that you feel forced into it because U.S. mortgages and health care monthly payment expenses are so high? Perhaps it’s that your peers or colleagues belittle you and only offer negative feedback? Could the problem be that your boss is never around to handle management issues? The little things might not make such a big difference on their own. When they start to add up, however, it can be a great time to consider trying something else.
The first thing to do is decide whether the problem is the job or the career. Where you might struggle at one company, another company that values your hard work might be the only solution you need. If the issue is around the daily tasks you perform, pull out your computer for a quick Google search.
Maybe you work as a master’s degree program admissions administrator but feel like your work isn’t helping people the same way work as a registered nurse might. Google terms like ‘what is an FNP,’ ‘American nurses,’ ‘healthcare education,’ and ‘geriatric care.’ Begin to explore what it might take for you to get licensed by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Make a list of how much education you’d need and the best way to go about it getting started.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
If money’s the problem and maintaining good credit is getting harder, think about jobs that will help you keep your credit report clean. If you’ve been passed over for loans for home improvement projects or got told no to your plan to refinance your car payment, it’s a problem. You work too hard to have the additional stress of finances weighing you down.
For example, if you’re set on remodeling the bathroom, it might be time to look for a career that will pay you more. As crass as it might sound, being a homeowner is expensive. The last thing you want is to live off home equity loans or to pay higher interest rates on your vehicles just because your current line of work doesn’t pay enough.
Start with looking at your current skills. Consider new ways that you could use those same skills. Maybe you’re highly skilled with home improvement and could put those skills to work with a building or construction start up. Soon enough, with your credit score repaired, you could be picking and choosing between the type of loan you want for your next home repair instead of being turned down for yet another line of credit.
Do you spend time obsessing about other careers?
Careers, of course, are about more than the wallet. People of all ages dream about jobs they’d enjoy. If you were a kid who watched television and said you’d one day become a primary care physician, public defender, nursing practitioner, or work with demolition, it might be time to go back to your roots. If you find yourself fantasizing about other work you could be doing while at your current job, listen to yourself.
Do some research. If you are interested in law, look up the role of criminal defense lawyers within the legal system as compared to personal injury attorneys or those who represent doctors with legal suits around competence. The more you know about the career you think you want, the easier it will be to decide whether to make the leap.
What are you passionate about?
In addition to feeling valued for the work we do, most people want to be passionate about it, too. Whether you’re being paid an average salary or barely making late payments, how much money you make likely isn’t as important as how work makes us feel. That is, if you’re handling financial products that change people’s lives and help them to secure low-interest rates and feel good about helping them, you’re probably okay. The problem comes when you’re processing these same financial documents and getting no feeling of satisfaction through your average day. If this is you, look to find other fields that are meaningful to you.
The following are easy ways to ascertain your passions.
- Consider volunteer work. The first time you spend a day helping an elderly person get their groceries, you might realize something about yourself.
- Ask your friends and family members about the perfect jobs for you. They know you best and might be able to help. Plea for them to brainstorm with you and list the pros and cons.
- Take on a gig job or part-time job to experiment. You never know if that advocacy work or social media promotion gig will inspire you.
- Go back to school. Finishing that graduate degree you started years ago might lead to something new.
- Consult with a third party like a therapist. It’s a good idea to talk it out.
- Get online training for new skills. You never know what will click for you, and the first time at something new could be all it takes.
At the end of the day, not only is career satisfaction a great way to ensure a happy life, but enjoying the work you do means that you’ll naturally do it better. Whether you’ve always wanted to study criminal law and become a public defender, or you’ve considered a collegiate nursing education for years, now might be time to consider changing things up.