The average career professional will spend over 90,000 hours working in their lifetime. This is second only to sleeping – which you spend over ⅓ of your life doing. Without even thinking about any other reasons, this is a huge reason you want to be in a job and career that you enjoy. It’s hard to be happy when you spend eight hours a day doing something you don’t like.
Before you know it, the months and years have clicked by and you have become stagnant and complacent in a job that is not serving you in any way, except a paycheck.
If you know that it’s time to focus on being in the right career, here are 5 strategies to transition to another career.
1. Figure Out What’s Wrong Now
Yes, before you jump ship to go to a new career-you first must figure out what is wrong with the career you are in! Many people get to the point of extreme frustration and are ready to jump but haven’t carefully evaluated what is causing their frustration. They just know they want out of their current situation and that it’s not working. However, it’s important that you figure out what is making you frustrated and unfulfilled before you move on to the next thing. These are clues on how to pick the next opportunity correctly. You do not want to go from one bad situation to another.
2. Take Time to Self-Reflect
Most unfulfilled career situations are the result of a faulty career foundation. Take inventory of how you ended up in your current career. Did you choose your career based on money, your parents’ guidance or did you just “fall into it.”?
Your career happiness is dependent on 4 critical factors: your personality, your interests, your skills and your values.
So how do you pick the right career? Get in a quiet place and reflect on these 4 areas and what the true answers are to each of these.
What is your natural personality when you can just be yourself-are you a visionary or more comfortable with details?
What things interest you and take away all sense of time?
What are the things that come easy to you?
These answers that take place in your self-reflection will be monumental in helping you figure out what careers are suitable for you to transition to.
3. Explore and Talk to Others
As you narrow down your options for your career transition, take time to seek counsel from others. One way to do this is by doing informational interviews with professionals in the careers you may be thinking about. They can give insight and transparency into the career. It will be helpful to hear about their career journey and lessons learned.
Next, you can do additional research on external labor or career sites to get a wealth of information about the careers you are contemplating. Some key things to research are the job outlook, salary information and the job market in your geographic area. This will help you have a well-rounded and realistic information about the possible career choices.
4. Decide on an Exit Strategy
Now comes action! Once you have completed the other steps, you have the knowledge to move forward, but it requires action if you want to actually change your career. Give careful thought to your exit- decide what, when and how your exit will be and then solidify a plan to execute.
It’s very easy at this stage to just sit and do nothing, but you must press forward to plan your exit. Do not take your transition lightly. You have spent years building your current career reputation and you do not want to tarnish it because you have not been thoughtful on how you exit.
5. Leverage Your Current Job
Next, it’s important you remain fully present in your current job and use it as leverage to transition to your new career. Focus on maintaining key relationships and having a strong professional network when you transition. Also, take advantage of training or work experiences that can help you in the new career. Leave respectfully and continue to build your portfolio while working your exit strategy.
A career transition towards something greater can be rewarding. Remaining stagnant and frustrated in your situation will only keep you stuck where you are. Life is meant to be lived and not just tolerated. Our careers take up a significant amount of time in our lives and you owe it to yourself to have the career and life you want and deserve.
Start today towards something greater!