At a Crossroads in Your Career?
Although it’s what many strive to do, in actuality there are very few people who pick a career in their early twenties and stay with it for the rest of their lives. Over the course of our professional lives, our aspirations, priorities, and needs naturally shift and change. For most of us, that means that at some point or another, we are going to want to change our focus and transition into a new career.
Sometimes the decision to transition into a new career will come from a point of inspiration — you see something that you could be doing and you recognize a great deal of potential impact you could have working in that field. Other times, the decision to do something new is spurred by a dissatisfaction with your current career and a desire to find more fulfillment than you are.
Whatever is inspiring you, there are certain things you should consider when deciding what path to go down next.
Embrace Your Strengths and Achievements
The key to breaking into any new field or career is, of course, landing the job. In order to do that, you need to be willing to promote yourself and to convince an employer that you are dedicated and ready to take on this new endeavor. Confidence is key. How do you boost your confidence? Evaluate yourself and be really honest with yourself about all of the hard work you’ve put in over the years to get yourself to where you are today. What skills do you possess? What achievements or accolades have you built up over the years? What past successes have you had that can translate to your new field?
Clarify Your Goals
Don’t just decide what you want to do — figure out why you want to do it. What is your goal in taking on this new career? What end result do you hope to see for yourself professionally and personally? Understanding not just what you want to do but why you want to do it will help you be really clear with yourself about your intentions and whether this move is setting you up for the long-term fulfillment and happiness that you’re hoping it will.
Don’t Just Focus On Shiny Objects
Similar to thinking about your goals and why you want to achieve them, think about the things that are (really) most important to you about a new career. Many professional careers come with a lot of bells and whistles — higher salaries, bigger benefits. The material aspects of a job may be necessary and good, but they also aren’t where the important stuff like fulfillment and happiness lie. Focusing solely on money isn’t going to set you up for long-term success in terms of inner happiness. Be clear with yourself about what it is about your new career — outside of the money — that you want to pursue.
Be True To Yourself
This one is often overlooked, but it’s really important: don’t make compromises in terms of your own ethics and morals in order to get ahead! Doing so will not make you happy. If you are at a point where you want a change, it’s because you want to feel good about yourself and the impact you have through your work. Engaging in something that isn’t true to who you are — for example, stepping on toes to get ahead — is not going to help you.