“The future depends on what you do today.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
You’re unhappy in your career and you want out.
You are grateful your career has got you to the position that you’re at – the house, car, savings, holidays, and overflowing wardrobe but it’s not enough anymore.
Material wealth can no longer numb the pain of your dissatisfaction.
You want more. In fact, you need more.
You want to be a contribution. You want to feel as though you have a purpose and you want your life to have some meaning.
You want more time and freedom to make the most of your life. You want to continue to make memories and leave a legacy.
But, you have bills to pay. The job market is still recovering and the cost of living is continuing to increase.
You have responsibilities. You can’t just quit without giving it a second thought. You can’t afford to take a pay cut and you don’t have enough spare cash lying around to retrain or up and go travelling for six months.
Besides, even without the financial constraints, you’re not even sure what you would or could do instead and you have no idea how to find out.
You’re not that passionate about one particular thing. You have no idea what you would happily spend the rest of your days being paid to do. This just adds to your frustration.
Being unhappy in your job is bad for your health
I believe many women are simply bored with their life.
Once “real life” kicks in, women’s lives can begin to shrink and the interests they had in their twenties can gradually disappear and they forget what used to make them come alive.
Life becomes monotonous and much of our time is given to others – family, friends and employers – and we start to feel as though we have nothing meaningful to show for our lives.
I’ve been there and I have felt that void.
In my late twenties I was unhappy in my career. I had absolutely no interest in the sector and I was totally unfulfilled by my work.
Using the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) hours the company gave us each year to give back to the local community, I mentored teenage students at a nearby school. I loved it. I was making a real difference in the lives of the students I was working with and I knew that what I was doing mattered.
At that point, I knew for certain that I was in the wrong career.
In fact, looking back I think I knew on the first day of university when I began studying a degree in Computing, that it would not be for me. I liked reading, writing and art; my course was nothing to do with either.
However, I did what was expected of me. Studied, graduated and got a good job with a reputable company with great benefits.
The thing is, no matter how reputable the company and how great the benefits, when something is not for you, there’s only so long you can deny your true feelings.
Eventually my unhappiness (and really poor ergonomic workstation setup), caused me to experience serious health issues. I experienced migraines, back problems, anxiety and many sleepless nights. I was signed off for 3 months followed by another 5 months and I never returned to the company on full time hours.
As my health problems intensified, I knew something had to change.
I found working with young people fulfilling and I loved the mentoring aspect. I knew that to be happy in my career, I needed to make a difference and feel as though what I was doing mattered.
Over a period of three years, I began to explore my interests and identify my strongest skills.
My desire to move into a more meaningful career gave me renewed energy and I began to take action to change my career.
5 places you can go for career change inspiration
Here are 5 places that provided valuable inspiration and resources for my career change:
Attending talks is a great way to learn more about a particular subject as well as discovering new topics.
If you know the career you want to move into, research related talks in and around your area.
If you have no idea what you might like to do instead, go to as many different talks as possible. After all how can you know if you’re interested in a career or topic if you know nothing about it?
Talks are also a great way to meet new people and many are free.
Exhibitions are good as they generally have tens if not hundreds of organisations under one roof linked to a particular topic or industry.
So if you are considering working abroad for example, you can attend an exhibition and speak to a multitude of people who will able to advise and support you.
I love books and I love libraries.
There are books on every topic you can imagine. Not only can you research different careers, but spending a few hours physically browsing books can inject new inspiration into your life or spark your curiosity for new subjects.
I love art as much as l love books and I love galleries as much as I love libraries.
When you are feeling dissatisfied in your career, your viewpoint can become very narrow and can cause you to overlook opportunities available to you. Art often challenges your thinking and encourages you to look at things differently.
5. Online groups and communities
LinkedIn groups, Meetup.com, Facebook groups and Google communities are just some of the places you can start networking online to not only connect with like-minded people, but also to stay updated on trends within certain industries and demonstrate your own skills and knowledge.
These are just 5 places that have worked for me, not only for helping with my career change, but also with re-igniting my enthusiasm for life and rediscovering what makes me come alive.
Wherever you choose to go, ensure it is a source of inspiration as well as accurate and up to date information.
Sharing is Caring
Which places have you found helpful to your career change? I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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P.S. If you want more valuable career change tips, check out my book Get a Career & Life You Love available to purchase on Amazon.