We often envy those people who know what they want to do with their professional lives at an early age. They have a well-defined idea of what success looks like and how to achieve it, while the rest of us are still fumbling around looking for answers.
But even the most confident people in the world go through times of incertitude. In fact, it’s common to want a career change once you’ve achieved some level of success in one direction.
Your perception of the world changes with each new experience, and your preferences and availability shift as you grow older.
Plus, staying in the same line of work all your life can get boring. Of course, there’s always the darker side of the coin, where you can’t continue in the current career because of loss or bodily injury (among the most common causes).
In a nutshell, career changes are normal and sometimes even welcomed. Still, we tend to struggle with recognizing the need for a change. So, if you feel you’re a bit lost and looking for career-related answers, make sure to keep reading!
Do You Need a Career Change?
If you’re not sure if you are at a professional halt and may need to reinvent your professional life, here are a few signs to help you figure things out:
#1: You’re Always Exhausted
If you live for the weekend and hate Sunday evenings, your body may already be giving the signals loud and clear.
While it’s true that being tired can’t always be associated with the need for a career change, if you dread going to work and your mornings are miserable because of this, it’s time to have a chat with yourself.
Plus, do you remember the last time when you felt passion for a work project? If you’re apathetic and feel disconnected from the work you’re doing, these are also signs that it’s time for a pause.
#2: You’re Only In for the Money
While we all work to earn a living, we should also feel passion and curiosity for the job and not feed squirrels. When you’re just going to work because you have bills to pay and no other options, it’s clear something needs to change.
It’s important to have a career where you feel like you’re following your calling in life. This way, you also feel your work is meaningful and has an impact – what you do matters. In short, a career you like must provide both good financial support and professional satisfaction.
#3: Your Job Impacts Your Personal Life
Sure, every job has its rough times when you either have to deal with unpleasant people or have to do overtime. But when the difficult period ends, you feel a sense of accomplishment and are happy to take on a new project that’s less demanding.
However, if you don’t like your current job, this will also impact your personal life. Things like being tired all the time, headaches, bad disposition, and even anxiety and depression can easily creep into your personal life and make everything seem grim.
Time to Get Out of this Rut!
Now that you’re sure you need a career change, it’s time to check your skill set and put together a plan. If you feel your skills don’t match the new path, look for ways to acquire them.
This may be a bit difficult if you are on a tight budget, but there are ways around it. Here are a few channels where you can get the right skills without a substantial initial investment.
#1: Join the Construction Trade
If your path goes in this direction, there are lots of programs (like the ones run by Constructionready.org) where you can get training on the job. Plus, if you find the right apprenticeship, you can get paid while deepening your skills.
#2: Join an Online Community
Nowadays, you can learn a lot of things online by simply watching YouTube videos, reading, and getting in touch with professionals willing to share their experience and expertise. It takes a bit of digging and maybe some trial and error, but it is worth a try.
Yes, being a volunteer doesn’t pay, but it does provide you with a solid network, access to valuable people and companies, and (most importantly), it teaches you the inner workings of a new domain that presents interest for your future.
Career changes don’t happen overnight. You need to invest time and effort (sometimes a bit of money as well) to get things off the ground. But your reward will be unmeasurable since it comes with professional satisfaction, exciting projects, and a new desire to make an impact.
So don’t be afraid to take the first steps, but also don’t give up at the first signs of trouble. Things may get rough for a while, but you will be able to pull it through!