Is it time to hit the reset button professionally?
Many people pursue a career out of habit or out of a desire to utilize the education that they already have. But sometimes, at a certain point, their heart just isn’t in it anymore. Instead, they are drawn to pursue another field and shift away from their current desk job to something else. Whether the reason is to help others, get out of the corporate scene or turn a side hustle into a career, it’s time for a change.
While it would be ideal if you could just say that you want “that” job and get it, career transition is not that easy. At least, without a plan it isn’t. Here are a few ideas that will help you identify your best opportunities and make that big career jump.
1. Work Your Passions
Do you have a passion for cooking? Maybe you enjoy doing hair and makeup? Or are you a weekend warrior with stellar carpentry skills? All of these talents, and many more, can be leveraged to launch a new career. Start by building a portfolio of you in action and the results of your work by posting videos on YouTube or starting your own website. This will lay a good foundation to show potential employers or clients what you are all about.
Perhaps you have a variety of skills you can tap into, but instead of selling a product or service, you want to share your expertise with others. If you are interested in teaching what you know, try creating online courses with a platform like Skillshare or, for more lengthy courses, Academy of Mine.
3. Publish a Book
Are you an expert on your favorite topic? Consider writing and self-publishing a book. Amazon’s self-publishing service has made publishing your own written works easier than ever before. If you created a portfolio as part of your educational experience at TESU, your personal Google site (which is yours forever) can be a great jumping off point for writing your own book.
4. Job Split
If one full-time job is not working out for you, consider taking two part-time positions to build your skills in an area of interest, if you are financially able to do so, of course. Do you want to own your own retail shop but don’t currently work in one? Find a part-time job where you can learn the ropes.
5. Spin Your Skills and Knowledge
There is always something from a prior job that will help you be successful at a new one, so spin what you know. I have gone from working backstage in professional theater, which led me to a public relations and marketing role in theater, which then led me to a marketing and communications role at a university, to then working as an advancement and alumni affairs professional at a university. With every step forward, I focused on the previous experience that could get me there.
6. Leave the Guilt Behind
If you feel like you owe your college education with time in the related-field, don’t feel guilty. It doesn’t have to drain you. It is okay to make a fresh start in a new area of interest and gain experience by taking classes. Education is never wasted, and you may find that your previous education and knowledge is a distinctive strength in a new career.
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again and again: network, network, network. Do you know anyone who does the work you want to do? Talk to them about how they got to where they are or if they have any advice for you. Work those TESU LinkedIn and Facebook connections! It’s what they are there for!
Whatever you do, don’t think small. This is more than a job search. Look at this as an opportunity to recalibrate the direction your life is heading. You are in control of your destiny. Good luck!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for accuracy.