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Considering a career change? How do you find a job you love?

With the world of work changing so rapidly, high numbers of people experiencing burnout and a desire to work in a company that aligns closer to personal values, many people are re-considering their career.

Like for many others, the idea of a career change crept up on me very slowly. I didn’t know I wanted to change careers. I did know I had started to fall out of love with my job. I felt stuck and work had become monotonous. I became disconnected. Just like ‘going through the motions’.

But when it came to working out ‘what next?’, I didn’t know where to start.

I started scrolling job sites and registering for job alerts in the hope that something would 'jump out' at me and shout 'I'm the one'.

This soon became demoralising as I realised I was looking for job titles very similar to the one I was already in, in very similar industries. Weeks would pass and I’d think - ‘I may as well stay where I am’. But this cycle continued and every now and then I’d begin my periodical search for my new career.

You're not alone

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. When people approach me for coaching, they share similar stories of having searched job sites and becoming despondent, questioning if they’ll ever find a job they love. Not knowing where to start to how to identify their dream job.

Navigating a career change can be a challenging prospect, especially when you’re not sure what you want to do next, and this puts many people off - preferring to stay put.

But change is possible if you let yourself think about it and help is there too.

If you’re thinking about a career change, here’s a few tips to get you started - these steps are often missed in place of more ‘practical’ activities, like updating your CV or LinkedIn profile. Those too are important, but come after this evolutionary, exploratory phase:

Do the inner work

Spending time on yourself is probably the most important element when it comes to considering a career change - it’s probably not what you want to hear - but this work will support in making all decisions - not just career change ones. It takes time, yes, but it is worth it.

Knowing what you want from a role before diving into something new will give you a better chance of success. Understanding what motivates you, what you love about your existing role and what the pain points are will help you narrow down future options.

It’s also worth exploring why you want to change careers in the first place - what’s the root cause for this change in direction? This could be so many reasons, and often we want to jump ship before really investigating what the real problem is - Is it the type of work you’re responsible for, not enough challenge or too few progression opportunities, organisational miss-fit, work life balance, no longer interested in the field of work. Is it the work at all, or is there some other area of life that is impacting your satisfaction at work?

Having an answer to these questions is empowering so don’t bypass it.

Know how your values can help you make decisions

Most of us have a sense of what our values are but knowing them intimately can support you when it comes to navigating big transitions. You can use this information like data to prioritise what you're looking for in a role, career, team, organisation or work life balance.

Diving deep into your values means you’ll know what to rule out and what your non-negotiables are. Once you have this, you can refine your research and you can ask questions to help you match up your values to the company’s.

Explore and be curious

Remain open to trying new things especially if you don’t know what you want to do next. Maybe it's not feasible to quit your job and ‘try on’ other careers. But what can you do outside of work hours to help you fact-find? Are there hobbies you want to try, volunteering opportunities, research into companies and industries, work experience or extra training?

Be sure to engage in open conversations with others who work in a field you may be interested in and get their real life take on it. Utilise your network as best you can by reaching out to those who could help you in your search, or introduce you to others who can. Your network is an important resource when it comes to transitioning as you never know who may be able to help you.

Building strength in your strengths

Utilising your strengths makes you stronger - what are your unique skills and strengths that you enjoy using? Look back over your career history to identify your skills and strengths - get familiar with these and practice talking about them in a positive way. This will help you match-make your skills to a new area of work (and identify gaps you want to fill), but also be useful for updating your CV and the interview process.

This can be hard to do alone - many people lack confidence when speaking about what they’re good at. Ask a friend or someone you trust, what they perceive your strengths to be. Look back at feedback you’ve received in the past, what are the trends? There are also many online tests you can complete to help you recognise your strengths so if you get struck try one of these.

Look for what lights you up

If you’re changing your career because you’re no longer interested in your existing area of work, take time to work out what it is you are passionate about.

This might instantly come to mind or you might need to spend some time working this out.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.” Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

Unlike Steve Jobs, many people don’t grow up believing passions and jobs align in the same sentence. Research tells us that when we work with passion and in areas of strength, we’re more likely to operate in that flow state - where time disappears without us knowing. We’re also more authentic, content and confident.

Keep notes about what you’re passionate about and be aware to notice if you’re saying no to things, based on a limiting belief. Remember this is data acquisition, so capture everything.

Maybe it’s completely unrelated to what you do now, perhaps it is a social, environmental or political issue, maybe it’s grown from a hobby you do. Notice when you hear of a job, or you see someone working and think ‘wow, I’d love to do that’. Capture it all.

Changing careers is a process and it can take time to work out what you want to do next. I've never heard of an 'overnight career change'. Like I found, it is something that starts as a tiny inkling and develops over time. Give yourself time, be patient and try to enjoy the journey as much as possible.

How can coaching help?

It can be hard to navigate a career change alone. Working with a coach enables you to have a partner so you can share, without judgment, the thoughts you’re having. Coaching helps raise your self awareness so you can develop a considered plan of action for yourself. Working together, I offer resources and guidance to support you in your career change exploration and keep you accountable on your plans to move forward.

If you'd like to know more, get in touch. or arrange a chemistry call here at a time that works for you.


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