- Are you feeling burned out at your current job?
- Are you dissatisfied with many aspects of your current role?
If you find yourself asking these questions, perhaps it is time to think about a career reinvention. Here are ten steps you can take to help get on your new path more quickly.
- Accept where you are NOW in the process.
A transition is a process and has three phases: (1) begin with an ending, (2) move into a neutral zone and (3) end with a new beginning.
To be successful you have to accept where you are in this process and not rush it. This is especially true in the neutral zone, when you have no idea where you are heading.
- Get your emotional and physical house in order
The more you prepare yourself for a career change, the easier it will go. A few things you can do to get ready are exercise and/or meditate to reduce stress, renew a passion you have ignored, take a class, get your finances in order, and volunteer.
- Consider taking a mini retreat to clear your head
I often suggest that my clients get away for a few days and take a personal retreat. The solitude allows you to see and experience the world differently and opens you up for deeper reflection.
You need to find a place that will allow you to slow down, reduce your activities, and get away from technology. What is important is to do the retreat alone.
- Evaluate what you like, dislike and are good at
You need to take a step back and think about your career likes and dislikes; otherwise, you might just grab any opportunity that comes along. So grab a piece of paper and write down everything you do NOT like about your current job. Once you have done this, jot down what you enjoy about your current and past roles.
Finally, switch directions and think about what you are good at. For career satisfaction, it is important to focus on those activities that come to you easily and that you enjoy.
- Think about what energizes you
If you find things you are interested in and passionate about, career enjoyment will likely take care of itself. Reflect on your past and the things you have enjoyed. Then, go back and look for themes.
- Get your finances in order
Career change can require additional expenditures for things like taking training courses, joining professional associations, buying new technology, having a new resume and LinkedIn profile written, etc. Plan for these expenses and have a realistic budget.
- Brainstorm possible future career paths
Once you have had a chance to assess your career likes, dislikes, skills, values, and passions, it is time to brainstorm career options where you can meet most of the criteria you have outlined.
Recruit a few brainstorming partners and ask them to take 30 minutes of their time and brainstorm possible career options for you. Once you get your feedback back, sit down and sift through the ideas. Narrow these down to a few options you can begin to research. Do your homework and learn more!
8. Do your homework and learn more!
The quickest way to research a potential field or occupation is to arrange informational meetings with individuals currently working in that field. Ask them as many questions as possible about how they got in their field, what they like and dislike, what they recommend for you, etc.
- Dip your toe in the water and take action
Now that you have narrowed down your potential choices and hopefully have found a field in which you want to work, get some real world experience and road test this career. There are many low-risk ways to do this — do “pro bono” work or find part-time paid work.
- Recruit your support team and get rid of the “naysayers”Having a solid support network can be the key to success when changing careers. You may encounter naysayers along the way. Say goodbye to them and find a supportive team.