How and when to change your career direction

How and when to change your career direction

Do you think about a career change? Need to know what you want to be when you ‘grow up’? You know you want to do something different but have yet to figure out what? You’re not alone.

Various factors can contribute to the desire to change your career; sometimes, these changes need to happen early to stay competitive. It’s easy for people who are stuck in jobs they don’t want or companies where their work is no longer valued to feel like there’s nowhere for them to go.

Fortunately, there are plenty of outlets and opportunities for those who are ready and willing. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Here are tips you can leverage to move your career in a new direction.

Know your reasons

First, you have to ask yourself why you want to change careers. What do you find most appealing about the new field? Why are you interested in something new? Write down your answers so you can use them as a resource in the future.

When you are clear on your reasons, you can use them to guide your actions. You may need to network more in the new field if you become interested in it.

A list of why you’re making the change will help you feel confident when meeting with others. If you are trying to make a change because you are unhappy in your current job, it’s always a good idea to consider why you aren’t happy.

Are there things within your current position you can try to improve that will make it better? Or do you think the new field will do it for you? Research the new area and find out if it’s right for you. That way, you’ll be surer of your next move.

Try new things to see what you like

If you’re looking for a new career, try doing random things in that field. A big part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is knowing what you don’t want to do.

If you can try different aspects of new careers, you can find what you like or dislike. For instance, you might love networking and business development, but implementation might not be your forte.

This scenario will help you narrow down your choices in the future. You may enroll in an online MBA program at Walsh University to boost your diversity. With such a program, you can cultivate practical managerial skill sets and competencies in leadership.

Such traits will help you better understand your interests, values and long-term career goals, enabling you to lead ethically and strategically.

Get rid of your fear of failure

Fear of failure can be one of the most debilitating thoughts when considering a career change. You may see a new career and think, “That is not something I could do.”

If you want to change but the fear of failure is holding you back, stop yourself and remember that millions of people have done the things you want.

Changing your mindset to focus on what you want to do instead of what might go wrong will lead to your psyche following your thoughts. Eventually, this shift in perspective will lead to a change in the career direction or position you are looking for. The result? Success!

Keep track of your progress

It’s easy to feel like you are making progress only if you are going in the direction you want, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, your progression could be a little slower than you imagine. That’s why it’s essential to keep track of your progress.

This will help you stay motivated and on track instead of giving up because it looks like things are moving forward slowly. Sometimes, it can take years of working at your new career before you feel confident it’s where you want to be.

You’ll see how far you have come by keeping track of your progress. This action will inspire you even more about your new career path.

You may even find that the original fear of failure is still there, but now it’s coupled with a sense of accomplishment that helps you work through it.

Signs it’s time to change careers

In our ever-changing world, it’s not unusual to wonder at some point if you’re in the right career. For example, your current career is leaving you feeling empty and unfulfilled. Or maybe you’re an extrovert, and your job makes you feel drained.

There are many possible signs that it’s time to change our careers, so we’ve put together this list of key signs to help you decide if the time has come.

Your job makes you feel empty or unfulfilled

If you’ve felt something needs to be added, or you need to get more out of your work, it could be a sign that your career could be better for you.

Don’t try to tell yourself that everything will be better if you push more to get more things done. Instead, take the time to take an honest and objective look at your career and how it makes you feel.

Work isn’t meant to be a slog. It’s supposed to challenge you positively, making you feel good about your accomplishments and moving you forward.

Find a mentor

Finding a mentor can be one of the most helpful parts of finding a new career path. Mentors are people with experience in their field or who have started successful businesses that they can share with you.

In today’s society, many people rely on social media to find mentors. For instance, you can find them through LinkedIn profiles or volunteering with organizations focusing on careers or business development.

If you need an extra push, consider joining a professional organization. Membership in a professional association can open doors and provide essential networking opportunities, which can be especially valuable when you are still in your current position.

You can also tap into mentoring resources from your association or get an introduction to a mentor through a contact. The bottom line is that you should always look for connections and mentors, no matter your position.

You have daydreams of what else could be

Have you been dreaming of something else? Maybe it’s painting or music or something new entirely.

You may have been daydreaming of moving to a different country. Perhaps, you envision yourself doing something completely different. Whatever it is, it’s possible that what you’re doing right now isn’t the right fit for you.

Possibly even the career will only work out in the short run but think of this time as practice while you’re exploring other things. If, at some point, you decide to return to your old career, it’ll be that much more well-rounded and fulfilling.

You’ve lost your passion for your job

You may still be passionate about what you do. However, if there used to be a higher degree of passion and excitement, it might be time to take a step back and decide what’s changed.

It’s OK if certain aspects of your job are less fun than before or you enjoy less than others. But if most of the work doesn’t excite you, it might be worth exploring other options.

You’ve lost sight of your goals

Do you even remember what your career goals were? That’s OK because it’s normal to shift your goals over time based on what you learn and where you are.

What matters is if you still need to figure out your overall career direction or the specific steps you need to take to meet those goals. If so, it could signify that it’s time for a change.

Being insistent on staying in your current career path just because it’s what you have always done will only slow you down. Instead, take some time to reflect on where you are right now and your goals.

You’re bored

Feeling bored or uninspired may signify that it’s time for a change. If you find yourself sighing at the same old routine every day, with slight variation or excitement, it might be time to shake things up.

The best careers challenge you every day and make you feel like you’re growing and striving to reach new levels of success. So, if things have been stagnant for too long, it could be time for a change.

Final thoughts

Moving your career in a new direction can be scary, but it’s also an inspiring time. It can be a breath of fresh air to take some time off and ensure you’re on the right track with where you’re headed.

So, if you’re having doubts about your current path or want to reevaluate how everything is going, keep going. Allow yourself to explore other options and see where that new path leads you.

If you decide to call ‘time’ on your career, that doesn’t mean you’re turning into a slacker. It means that it’s time for a change. What matters is that you do what feels suitable for your unique situation.

Rosalind Smyth