Choosing a new career path can be exciting and it can be terrifying. If you’ve found your passion, then you’re on cloud nine. If your company of twenty years is closing and it’s all you know, the transition could be rough. It’s amazing how many people are miserable, stuck in a dead end job or long for something else. Yet they stay until they are forced by circumstances to make a change.
My favorite career movie is Office Space. It’s realistic, funny and far too true. Spoiler ahead if you’ve never seen the flick. The entire movie is very good but the most fascinating part is the ending. The main character ends up leaving his job at a software company to become a construction worker and finds peace. He needed a career guide. No, I’m not telling you to quit your job at Such and Such IT to join the ranks of backhoe drivers (unless of course you want to).
What I am saying is where you work and what you do affects you. It affects you emotionally, physically, financially and mentally. If your boss is cursing at everyone every time she visits your branch that’s not healthy. If you count the days until Friday and have a knot in your stomach come Sunday night, it’s time to create a career guide.
People have developed ulcers, migraine headaches and much worse because they have stressful or unfulfilling jobs. Is it worth it if all you want to do is get in bed once you leave work? It sounds silly, but I know someone who complains daily all he wants to do is leave work and get in bed. Enough of the lecture. You know if you want or need a new position. Choosing that new position and securing it won’t be a challenge if you have a career guide.
So here is a quick and easy way to choose a new career path:
Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. In the left column at the top write the title: What I’d love to do. In the right column at the top write the title: what I know I can do. Your objective is to find a happy medium that will place you on a career path you love and will sustain your quality of life. Under each column create a list of about ten different career possibilities.
Once you’ve completed this process go through the left column and cross out anything you cannot realistically accomplish. Now go through the right column and cross out anything you will probably dislike doing. After you complete this step, you will have a better idea where you will fit in. Are there positions you can do within the area of things you would love to do? This will serve as the beginning of your career guide.
This is a quick way to get an idea of what direction you want to take. Check out job descriptions, salary ranges and local positions available based on your results. This will give you even more insight into your options. Once you have identified the position you want, find out if there are additional credentials you can attain to better qualify for the job. Be able to site previous experiences that can be used in the new position. Having a career guide to steer you in the right direction will reduce the frustration that comes with choosing a new career path.
Want more information to improve your job search? Check out our Job and Career Guide page with more My Career resources.