The feeling that you need a big change can come from a lot of different places. This time of year, we tend to reflect on the past, and that gets us thinking about the future. Our jobs are what we spend a large part of our life taking care of. It’s easy to get into your own routine, doing the same things day in and day out and then all of the sudden, you realize you don’t get any fulfillment from your job. If you’ve reached this point or feel it coming soon, it’s never too late to do something about it.
Sure, it can be intimidating, thinking about a career or job change. Most would agree that the fewer times in your life you have to make such a big switch, the better. So, before you up and leave your company riding on the adrenaline of wanting to DO something with your life, get out a piece of paper and a pen. You’re going to need it.
Industry aside, a job has so many elements that make it into the job you hate, love or covet. The first step to finding a job you love is analyzing the job you have. It’s also not a bad idea to analyze jobs you’ve had in the past, as these will give you a lot of information as well.
What do you like about your job? The hours? The people? The culture?
What do you hate about your job? Your boss? Your responsibilities? Your vacation time?
Define what your dream job looks like as best you can on paper. This definition should come pretty quickly after analyzing your current position. Think about elements you’re not willing to compromise on vs. things you might be okay with giving up, assuming your absolutes are met. Knowing the difference between these upfront makes decision time much smoother.
Treat the companies and people you’re considering working for the same way you expect to be treated in the workplace. This goes into effect the moment you begin looking into different positions. From the very first time you reach out – recognize that they are evaluating every ounce of your interactions. On the flip side, you should be evaluating their side of each interaction as well. While they’re likely putting their best foot forward, it’s important to try and understand the culture of the company before making a commitment. While you can always read about it on their site, what you get in-person/over the phone is much more telling.
While an in-person evaluation is more valuable, you definitely need to do your research before reaching out to any company. Your resume should be tailored to the company, your conversations should be driven by the information you already have, and anything new that you get in person will be much easier to soak in when you have a solid foundation to work from.
Don’t be afraid of feeling unsatisfied in your job. As soon as that thought enters your mind, allow it to fuel your plan for change. Simply thinking about your dream career is the first step to making it happen.