So here you are, working in a career you always thought you wanted. The one you went to school for. The one you trained for. The one you started working in with such eagerness and hope. The one you honestly believed was your dream career that would fulfil you for life.
Sure, you enjoy working your way up the corporate ladder. Sure, you enjoy an increase in salary. Sure, you enjoy the new responsibilities of each successive job, knowing that you can – and do – handle them with ease.
Life is good, right? Uh, not exactly. Slowly but surely, reality has begun to sink in. Your career isn’t what you thought it would be. Your jobs don’t really satisfy or fulfil you. No matter how much money you make or how much responsibility you assume or how many people you manage, there’s no spark any more. Your job gives you more stress than fulfilment.
Maybe it’s time for a career change.
Thinking About Changing Careers
Surprisingly enough, career changes aren’t all that uncommon nowadays. And the desire to change careers is even more common, especially among women. In a new survey of over 3,500 women, 57 per cent of them said they are seriously considering changing their career. An additional 32 per cent of them said they are potentially considering changing their career. In other words, only 11 per cent of the women surveyed said they are happy with their chosen career.
The four most common reasons women give for wanting to change their careers are the following:
- They don’t feel like they’re learning anything new or developing any new skills.
- They don’t like being stuck at their desk all day every day and would rather be “out and about” more.
- They don’t like having to do the same things over and over again and would prefer doing something that makes them think and problem solve.
- They don’t feel that they’re living up to their own potential and would prefer having the opportunity to be more creative.
If you are one of the women looking for a career change, your first step may well be to stop being your own worst enemy, or at least your own biggest obstacle. Obviously, you can come up with numerous reasons why you should stay in the career you’re in, even though you’re unhappy working in it. Some of the biggest reasons include the following:
- Your current salary
- Your current job title
- Your current professional prestige
- Your fear of admitting you “made a mistake” in your career choice
- Your fear of trying something entirely new
Add to all these the fact that you may well not know what it is that you really want to do, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. At the very least, you’re priming yourself to continually procrastinate over doing something about being totally unsatisfied about where you are and what you’re doing.
One thing that may help you get over your self-imposed hurdles is to view your desire to change careers as an expedition, not a day-trip. Changing careers is not going to happen overnight. It likely will take you several months or even longer. But if you don’t begin the journey, you’ll never reach your goal.
Beginning the Process
It may seem obvious that the first thing you need to do is to determine what career(s) most appeal to you. But what seems obvious at first blush can be considerably more difficult to put into practice. You’re not looking for a mere job change here; you’re looking to change your whole career focus. Consequently, try asking yourself questions such as the following:
- What do I really want to spend my life doing?
- What values do I hold dear that I want to exemplify in my work life?
- What are the things I care most about?
- What are the types of experiences I most want to have?
- What things do I most enjoy doing?
In other words, forget about careers and jobs per se. Instead, focus on you and what you want out of life. And don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you what you should want. Take responsibility for your own uniqueness, your own essential you.
Once you know yourself better by answering questions such as the ones listed above, then you’ll have a much better idea of the type of career that likely will fulfil you. After all, this isn’t really about changing careers, is it? No, it’s about changing your life for the better.
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