You’ve been feeling like you’re in a serious career rut for some time but no matter how you look at it, you can’t seem to find a way out. Everyone keeps asking you “what do you enjoy?” “what makes you happy?” “what do you like?” Sound familiar? The truth is, you have no idea what you really want to do, so how will you ever find a career that fits?
If this is you, then take it from someone who’s been there, that it’s time to make finding career happiness a priority, because those feelings won’t go away on their own.
To get you started, here’s a list of things you can do that will help you figure out what career move might be the right fit for you. The best part? Taking action on even a few of these things will help you develop personally and professionally as well, who knows you might even get a promotion in the process.
Take a class or a course
If the thought of going back to school fills you with dread, then you’re in luck, because there have never been so many different opportunities to learn new things, even outside the classroom.
These days taking a course doesn’t have to mean heading back to University and stacking up more debt. There are plenty of different options available depending on what you’re looking for and what works for you.
If you’re not sure what direction you want to take your career in, a short evening class or mini online course might be just the thing you need. You can learn something new without necessarily breaking the bank. Picking up new skills can only add value to your career in the long run. At the very least, you’ll develop your learning skills, something you can’t put a price on and if you do opt for an in-person short course, then you never know who you’ll meet.
Research has shown that volunteering has many great benefits. And it’s not just the person that is served that benefits but the volunteer also gets something out of it too.
The benefits of volunteering have been found to include better health and wellbeing, lower mortality rates and lower rates of heart disease and depression. If none of that floats your boat, volunteering can be a great opportunity for improving your skills and standing out to potential employers, just make sure you add it to your CV and LinkedIn profile.
Oh, and if you feel like you just don’t have the time, volunteering can actually make you feel like you have more of that too compared to wasting time or even having a windfall of free time!
Take a personality assessment
While a personality assessment isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to figuring out the right career path for you, understanding your personality and preferences will give you a steer on the types of jobs and career options that are likely to be the best fit.
Ultimately having a career that aligns with your personality means you’re much more likely to enjoy what you do.
There are lots of different personality assessments out there, many of which are free and others paid. Regardless of which one you take, it’s a great way to increase your self-awareness which will help you with more than just your career.
Attend an industry event
You might already be attending events within your own industry but attending events outside our industry can also be valuable. For a start, it could give you an insight into what’s working in other industries that might be beneficial in your own, but where your career path is concerned, this is where you can meet a variety of different people doing different things that might just interest you.
Of course, you’ll need to make the most of the event and make sure you speak to people and where appropriate, follow up afterward.
Attend networking events
Industry events are not the only opportunity to meet the people who might be the key to unlocking your next career change. There are a variety of different networking opportunities out there and the more you can get out there and meet people the more your horizons will be broadened.
If the thought of “networking” sends shivers down your spine, find something creative and a bit different.
Some great networking ideas include:
Networking over Dinner
At networking dinners, you can build relationships all while enjoying dinner. Like at Table Crowd, or similar, where you find a table and go out and meet new people over a meal. The great thing about these types of events is that if you’re looking for something with a fewer people, you’ll be sure to find an event that’s a little bit more intimate and perhaps less daunting. Plus they’re perfect if you’re a foodie at heart.
This is a chance to network in a much more informal setting, after work and when people are likely to be in a much more relaxed frame of mind. Find a local Meet Up for professionals or even one that is centered around an interest you might have.
Round Table events
If you’re keen to learn from your peers or influencers, then a roundtable might just be the ticket. They provide an open forum where everyone can discuss a specific topic, learn from each other and challenge each other, all while building new relationships.
Mornings aren’t for everyone but, if you’re an early bird then find out what breakfast events are taking place new you. The benefit of a breakfast event is that you can make sure you go before your day begins and you know there won’t be anything cropping up that can give you an excuse to not go. Not only this, since it’s happening first thing, the people there, including any speakers and influencers will be in a fresh state of mind, untainted by whatever sort of day they might have had already.
Attend a weekend workshop and seminar
Going to workshops and seminars will provide you with the best of both worlds. You get to learn something new, while also eating other people and expanding your network. The best part is that conversation can start easily given hat you’ll already have a common interest.
Get some work experience
You might think you’re over the age when work experience is even a thing. The truth is, If you already have some idea of a career you might want to shift to, or even if you don’t, work experience can help you in lots of ways.
I learned this first hand when I had my sights set on switching from recruitment to Osteopathy. I already had a science degree, I loved science and I wanted to help people, especially 1:1. It seemed like a perfect fit. That’s until I spent some time with an actual Osteopath and watched him work. I knew there and then I just wasn’t keen on working with people in that way.
Eve thought I’d watched youtube videos and read lots of books, nothing really felt the same as seeing it in the flesh.
Work experience doesn’t have to last weeks and weeks. Even a single afternoon can give you an in-depth insight into a job or career that can make the world of difference.
Join LinkedIn Groups and Forums
So far we’ve talked a lot about networking face to face, but if you’re really not ready for this, there are LinkedIn groups that also provide an opportunity to engage with people in fields that might be of interest, ask questions learn and still expand your network and build relationships without having to leave your home… at least not yet.
So, if you’re ready to find a career that fits then it’s time to take action, and committing to even one of these actions is a great first step!