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3 Steps to a New Career

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When you’re ready for a new career, it’s critical to survey all your employment options before you begin sending out resumes. An unfocused job search not only eats up more time than it should, it can lead you into interviewing for positions that are ill-suited for you. If career satisfaction is important to you, learn about what you should do before you decide on a new career path.

Evaluate Why You Want a New Career

For some people, the road to a new career follows a path that makes little sense in retrospect. It involves:

  • Becoming upset with a boss, customer or aspect of the job
  • Deciding you hate the job
  • Putting out resumes on your favorite job search engine
  • Interviewing for new career opportunities
  • Accepting the first offer you receive.

Although that approach can work for some people, it often creates a cycle of job dissatisfaction because it promotes a reactionary attitude. Typically, the petty annoyances of a job or the people in the office are minor things that only appear dire during times of extreme stress.

Rather than making a hasty employment decision, allow yourself to calm down. Is your sudden disdain for your current job an emotional reaction to something or have you been unhappy? If you determine that your desire for a new career is genuine, you’re ready to move to the next phase of the job search.

Seek Outside Advice about the Best New Career

This is still not the point in your new career hunt to send out resumes. Instead, visit with a career counselor or job coach about what career fields are most in demand. You may know you’d love building widgets every day, but there’s little point in devoting serious time to a job search when the widget building market is already at the saturation point.

If possible, let your job search be a blank canvas and your natural skills the paint. Job counselors can provide personality tests and skill evaluations to determine what fields you fit into the best. While there’s no rule that you can’t take any job you want, it’s satisfying to find a new career that feels made just for you.

Imagine Yourself in a New Career

Once you have a list of the jobs and industries that match your personality and ability level, spend a few days daydreaming about the possibilities. Can you picture yourself in one new career option over the others? Is more than one worth a closer look?

For each new career path, you may discover an experience or education gap. Your career counselor should be able to help you locate ways to fill those gaps. Now that you can picture yourself in the perfect new career and are taking steps to enhance your resume, you’re ready to begin an effective job search.

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