Tired Of Your Industry? How To Make The Leap To A New Career
You’ve come to the realization you're miserable in your job, and you know it's time to move on, but sometimes it's hard to figure out your next step. You want to make the right choice, but how do you know if it's the job itself or if you need to do a career overhaul and change industries? Figuring out the difference is the tricky part but once you get over that hurdle, you can explore the numerous possibilities and opportunities.
Signs It's Time to Find a New Destiny
Do you feel like tossing the alarm clock across the room when it goes off in the morning? Dreading the thought of facing another day at work as you drag yourself out of bed? These are just two indicators it's probably time to make a change. However, these signs could point to your job or your industry. To figure out if it’s your industry, consider the following indications:
- You're bored and disengaged from your job
- Hitting a dead-end when you're seeking career growth
- The industry you work in is stagnating
- Your workday is spent daydreaming or wishing you were someplace else
- You spend your free time looking at opportunities—and they aren't in your field
If you’re exhibiting even just a few of these, it's time to take action. Considering people spend about 90,000 hours of their lives at work, do you want to spend this time in an industry where you aren't happy? Especially, if you find the work itself to be mind-numbing, unchallenging, or you feel you're not growing professionally. If this is the case, it's likely time for a total career makeover.
Choosing Your Industry
You've decided to go for the big change, but if you don't already know what your dream industry is, it's time for some self-evaluation and soul-searching. You don't want to make a decision on a whim or take a road you'll regret. Start with a clean slate. Let go of any preconceptions so you don't have obstacles blocking you from discovering and getting in tune with what it is you really want. Ask yourself these questions:
- What's my passion? Reflect on your life and pull out the things you love to do.
- What do I envision myself doing? Is it indoors or outdoors? 9-to-5 or something more flexible? It's not just the work itself to consider, it's the environment too.
- Not a clue? Take a comprehensive career assessment. Discover things about yourself and unearth skills, interests, and talents, you may not have known you possess.
Some people just "know" their passion at a young age, others don't until it finds them or they take the time to figure it out. The key is to open your mind to new possibilities and see where it takes you on your journey. Find a mentor or career coach—someone who can offer objective and realistic advice. Be sure whoever you choose can help you to see beyond your own biases and/or self-imposed roadblocks. Once you figure out the prospects you'd like to pursue, you can look at the feasibility factor.
How to Go About Making the Leap
Now that you've discovered a potential career that excites you, it's time to take action. Salary shouldn't be your first consideration but realistically, you have to pay your bills, right? That being said, you'll want to be sure your envisioned job is practicable.
- Where are the jobs? Do industry forecasts show promise? Research trends and get yourself up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry; the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good place to start (new 10-year projections were just released on October 24, 2017).
- Are you qualified or do you need more education, training, or certification? How much of a money and time investment would you need? Get that ball rolling, especially since this may take a little time.
- Make a name for yourself. Build your own brand, both online and offline (a strong LinkedIn profile is a good place to begin).
- Have you looked at industry groups and/or attended events? If not, start! As you network, be sure to ask lots of questions, show interest, and, while you should ask for advice, don't be one-sided in your questions. Ask other people about themselves, their accomplishments, and what excites them about the industry. Get some perspective and show interest.
Employers these days are far more likely to hire someone who was referred. The more you become a familiar face and become rooted in your new industry, the better chances you'll have to land the job.
Moving from one industry to another is not an overnight process. It takes time—you have to be patient once you commit, and, perhaps most importantly, be honest with yourself. If not, you'll probably find yourself back at square one.
Imagine a day where you're jumping to the floor rather than tossing your alarm clock on it. In the end, if you plan your new career right, it's worth the effort. Consider it like any other investment you'd make, you have to put something of value in to get a good return.