When I start talking to people often one of the first things they ask me is “Flavia, how do I change my career as I have no idea of what else I could do or where to start?”
Fair question! It is already hard enough to make a career change when you know what exactly you would like to do. But if you don’t know what you want or you struggle to find your way to a more fulfilling job – at the risk of sounding cliché – consider these few points.
Enlarge your radar screen
You may realize that you are so taken by your current job. Or that all/most you know is your industry. So, be curious, ask friends and acquaintances what they do, where they work, what’s special about their job and company, etc. In addition, interview people who are in a job role that you think may be interesting for you.
Consider enrolling in a course, doing some pro-bono work, shadowing a friend in his work for some time. This may help you understand if a certain path is for you. Or it may make you cross it off from your next possible career move. And, sometimes it’s easier to start from defining what you do not want to do next!
Don’t do it alone
Talk to other professional, network, meet different types of people, connect with your school alumni association, ask those who have been in transition how they did it and what worked well for them. And if you are shy, no problem. Prefer one-to-one coffee chats to big networking in events.
The more people and ideas you meet, the more you’ll enrich your life, and you may more easily arrive at your “aha!” moment.
Write down your career criteria
Take the time to think about what is meaningful for you, what elements make your working time valuable, in which environment you perform at best and that make you feel good. Make a list of your top 10 criteria. These will help you identify what you have to look for in your next job.
It’s not going to be easy. Growing up, making choices and undergoing change is difficult. And it will take time too. But, it’s your career, your life, your dream. And you are the only one who can define what is the right choice for you and that will give you purpose. Don’t let your inertia stop you!