On the first day I came back to work after a long holiday vacation it hit me: I don’t want to do this type of work anymore. I’m good at what I do but I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and I want to change careers. The problem is I don’t know what I want my new career to be. So how do other people figure that out? Where do I begin?
Well, you are not alone. Who among us hasn’t returned from vacation and thought: I really need to do something else with my life. Been there.
But, back to your question. First, let’s try the easy way.
Same career, but a different venue –For instance, If you’re tired of being an accountant at a large manufacturer perhaps you wouldn’t mind being an accountant at a non-profit whose mission you love. I, for example, worked in corporate HR for years, until I burned out. But I still loved the principles of HR, and found a way to do what I love on my own terms, as a consultant and a columnist. So, are there parts of your profession you still love that could be accomplished in a different setting or different industry? If no, let’s look at how you can find that second career.
Different career, different venue – For figuring out which new occupation or calling is best for you, I recommend the classic book, What Color is Your Parachute 2017, now updated for the digital age. (There’s a retirement version for Boomers, too).
Cautions: Many people try to make these decisions on their own and wing it. They might start out with their resume, look at transferable skills, and research careers with the best job outlooks. This is a mistake. That might be okay for a recent college grad but not for those exploring a second career. You must start with yourself. Who you are, what fulfils you, and gives you a sense of purpose.
Another common mistake is to take a shortcut of the process and say “I know myself, I don’t need to do the worksheet”. But you don’t know yourself. In order to generate a clear direction you must do the requisite introspection, reflection, and self exploration. Depending on what book, worksheet or process you’re doing, it may take a weekend or longer, but don’t skimp on this step. When done well, you will have confidence that you have discovered the right direction/calling for your second career. And that confidence will increase your chance for success. Best wishes on your journey.
©Copyright Eva Del Rio