The figures vary depending on the research, but it’s estimated that between 40% and 80% of people are unhappy in their job. If you happen to be one of them, you might be wondering what you can do. Is it just a case of staying where you are and persevering in the hope that it might get better? Or would a change of career be a better idea?
There are a vast variety of reasons why people hate their job. It might be the company itself, the boss, or co-workers. The reasons may also run much deeper. Perhaps the job gives no satisfaction, purpose, or happiness. Whatever your reason is, making a career change can also be a very challenging thing to do, and this is what often puts people off. If you dread going into work each day and spend your day gazing at the clock waiting for the day to end, here are some tips that will help with your current dilemma.
- It May Take Time to Find “the One”
If it were a simple case of reading a few books, doing a couple of hours of research and choosing a career, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and it will take time. The right job isn’t going to fall into your lap, and it might take a few tries before you find your dream gig. Don’t be afraid to try several different careers. You might be surprised which one grows on you.
You also need to spend some time “getting to know yourself.” It can sometimes be a very painful journey, but it is a worthwhile one. If you know what you really want, you’re going to save time, effort, and heartache in the long run.
Research is another essential part of the process. The more information you arm yourself with, the better position you’re in to make a decision. Start by writing a wish list of what you want in your dream job. Research different roles, speak to people who work in your target field, and look for work experience opportunities.
- Don’t Put Off What You Can Do Today
It’s very tempting to sit back and wait for the perfect opportunity to show itself before you do something about it. We’re creatures of habit and aren’t confident being out of our comfort zone. We feel much more comfortable when we know what to do next and can see a safe path to get there. If you continue to wait, day after day, for that eureka moment, you might be waiting a long time. There’s nothing wrong or unusual about not knowing what to do. You’re not going to know whether you’ll be successful at something unless you try.
- Go Back to School
Going back to school may be necessary if you need to get new qualifications or skills. It is possible to study while working by enrolling at a college or university that offers online courses. It might not be financially viable to quit your day job and go back to school full time. However, if you want to gain qualifications in criminology, for example, establishments such as Wilfrid Laurier University have a range of online criminology programs to choose from.
- Change Your Career Gradually
There’s nothing wrong with radically reinventing your career overnight, but a much better approach is to take things slowly. It’s far more realistic to work towards a new career over time. Make changes in your current job, study a course in the evening, and see if there are any shadowing opportunities available. It’s also going to help if you learn new skills to make yourself more attractive to potential employers. Taking this kind of approach could mean you move into a new career via a series of jobs rather than one giant leap. An important factor to consider if you want to protect your salary rather than be forced to go back to entry-level wages.
- Think About Who You Want to Work With
A very common mistake that people make when looking for a new career is that they overthink about what they want to do without sparing any thought for who they want to work with. Don’t make the same mistake and find ways to meet people who are doing a job you’re interested in and see whether you think you’re going to get along. A good place to meet people is at a networking event. It might also be possible to shadow someone when they’re working.
- Find a Job That Compliments Your Lifestyle
All too often we find ourselves creating a lifestyle around work rather than the other way around. To be happy in your work, it has to allow you to live your life. Finding your dream career is going to be difficult if you’re looking for one that defines you as a person. Change your approach and look at things more holistically. Think about the other things in your life that make you happy and decide whether your ideal job will be able to accommodate that.
Having a job that pays well is important, but you also need to ensure your mental health, relationships, and personal goals are taken into consideration. If you’ve decided to change your career, now is the best time to ensure your work lifestyle matches your personal one. If you need further guidance to help you pick the ideal job for your life, there are some things to need to think about.
Figure out what you want from life and the steps you need to take to improve it. Spend some time analyzing what’s important. Change your search parameters and look for your ideal job rather than your dream one. It should be one that matches your individual interests, skills, and values. Before you ditch your current job, analyze what it is about it that’s making you so unhappy. One of the best ways to find out whether a position is the right fit or not is by cold-emailing people who hold those current positions. Connect with them and ask them what their day-to-day life is like at work.
- Don’t Give Up at the First Hurdle
You have to recognize that failure is all part of the process. Put yourself out there, learn some new skills, overcome your fears and limitations, and you’ll learn more about yourself. It’s also going to help you get closer to your goal. Failure also builds confidence and gives you the courage to continue. The more times you fail, the more lessons you learn and the less scared you’ll be the next time around. Don’t be afraid of failure. There’s no way around it; you just have to go through it.
Don’t get bogged down in thinking you’ve only got one chance to change your career. Thinking you’ve got to find your true calling is only putting yourself under extra pressure. It’s very likely you’ll be changing direction several times, so think more in terms of what you’d like to try next. Technology can help you with a few ideas. Career planning tools can be used on websites such as TargetJobs and Prospects. It’s also a good idea to think about the skills you’re good at and those you enjoy using. Consider the kind of environment you’d like to work in and the people you’d like to work with. This is going to help you narrow down your options and allow you to do some more targeted research. Don’t forget there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind.
- There are No Limits
If you think you need a change of career, just go for it! Anyone can do it whether you’re young, old, wealthy, single, or childless. With the support of friends and family, you’ll be able to stay motivated, push yourself forward, and make better choices. If you haven’t got any family or friends to look to for support, there are professionals such as career coaches and mentors. Connecting with others in the field you’re interested in might also bring you into contact with people who might be happy to help you with their insights and knowledge. Join LinkedIn groups, participate in social networks and events.
While you’re looking for a new career path, it’s a good time to tidy up your personal brand online and smarten up your CV. Time spent on writing a cover letter is also going to worthwhile. A CV gives a prospective employer all the relevant details about your work history, but a cover letter gives them a picture of who you are as a person. Your CV will just be glanced at, and all the relevant information noted down. Your cover letter, on the other hand, will be read very carefully. The words you use, the information and aspirations you share will indicate whether you’re the best fit for the position. Something else you can look at while you’re looking for the next career challenge is to keep up to date with your skills, knowledge, and experience whenever possible.