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Advice for Changing Career Paths

Many of us start out with big career plans at an early age. Be it a pipe dream of dutiful heroism or an ambitious idea to start your own business, all of us have envisioned the ideal career of our future.

Life often has other plans in store for us, we can’t all be astronauts or millionaires. Maybe you fell on hard times, maybe you thought you’d move on from that starter job but never did, maybe you look back on your work history and realize you never quite accomplished the goals or dreams you set for yourself. Complacency can be a hard habit to break.

Well, no job is going to be perfect; work is work, and there’s satisfaction to be found in all kinds of industries even if you didn’t dream about them as a kid. But, you should take a hard look at where you’re at and ask yourself: is this the career I see a future in? If the answer is no, don’t fear, you’re not alone. There are plenty of constructive steps you can take to make the right kind of change.

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Make a Pros and Cons List

What do you love about your current job? What do you hate? Consider not just the work itself but the environment and context. If you like the work but simply can’t stand your boss, changing careers entirely is probably overkill – you can always look for a similar job at a competitive company. But if you like one aspect of the work but are uncomfortable with another, you can start to parse out what aspects to look for and what to avoid in a new field.

For example, let’s say you work in an administrative role and you do enjoy collaborating with a team, but dislike troubleshooting technical problems – you’d probably want to consider a change to sales as opposed to data entry.

Immerse Yourself

Will your dream job require new training, education, or experience? It may seem intimidating to “start over,” but diving into something new – something you actually enjoy – can also be exciting and worth the leap of faith. Be it taking night classes, volunteering, or finding a mentor to show you the way, get your hands dirty in the field you strive to work in, even if it’s just being around the people who do. It’ll rub off eventually, and the change in environment won’t seem nearly as scary the longer you’re in it.

Brush Up on Your Job Hunting Skills

Take a look at your resume in light of your new interests, highlighting work history that’s applicable or translatable; practice drafting cover letters, acknowledging your desire to revitalize your career and seek new opportunities; look up job sites to see what’s out there and spur your interests. Take a look at our related articles to find out more:

If you’re still not sure what direction you want to go in, staffing agencies can also be a great way to pick up side work in a variety of industries and get a feel for what appeals to you – the networking alone is important, not to mention the possibility of getting hired on permanently when you land the right fit.

Take It Slow

Set goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term. You don’t have to quit your job immediately, slashing and burning bridges in an effort to force yourself to change. Do research, talk it over with friends and family, approach the Human Resource Department at your current job to see if perhaps there are other openings within your company.

Changing careers doesn’t necessarily mean changing employers, depending on where you are. It might be that they can put you in a position that’s more challenging or suitable to your tastes. You’ll never know unless you speak up, and if it turns out you do need to leave, you’ll at least be prepared when you do.

Remember: it’s your life, and you always have a right to change it.


Next Steps

If you are in the Milwaukee area and want to start a new job, contact the team of (awesome) recruiters here at SITE Staffing. Whether you are looking for a temporary position or a full-time career, we have the network of employers and expert career coaches needed to help you make a change.

You can also check out some of our most popular and helpful career resources below!