Feeling unmotivated or downright unhappy with your job? You’re not alone. The study reveals that 51% of Americans are disengaged at work. The majority of the nation’s workforce shows up in the office every day without feeling a real connection to what they do. Many professionals also dread or hate their job. Needless to say that professional fulfillment and growth are impossible under these conditions.
If you think that your life wasn’t supposed to be like this, you’re absolutely right. But what to do if you have no clue what kind of career could possibly bring you fulfillment and satisfaction? If you are unhappy at work and confused about what to do next, then it’s time to discover your calling. Today’s guide from our professional resume service will give you practical steps for determining your professional passions and taking action.
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It’s great if you have a hobby which could possibly be monetized (here’s our guide on how to make money on your hobby: http://resumeperk.com/blog/tips-how-to-turn-your-hobby-into-a-dream-job). But what to do if your perspective is blurred and you hesitate about which direction to take? Follow these steps that will bring you clarity and help shape the professional future you’ll be happy with:
Finding your calling is often mistakenly confused with an insight that will hit you one day. Unfortunately, this never happens. Otherwise, we would have been a nation of people who are thrilled about their jobs. If you have no idea what type of career could bring you fulfillment and satisfaction, this knowledge won’t come out of the blue. You’ll need to analyze the retrospective, do research, and maybe to seek expert help in finding your direction.
So, here’s your number one tip: don’t wait for your calling to come out of nowhere. Take charge of understanding what makes you happy and is viable at the same time. This mindset will help you not to give up and actually achieve what you’re after.
If you feel miserable, try to get to the roots of why happen career crisis and what causes your work dissatisfaction. This will save you from making hasty decisions and will make your search of purpose more weighed and meaningful.
You are not happy with your job. Now, try to define which exact factors freak you out. Is it an overly authoritarian boss, a hostile culture or the fact that everything is done really slowly and you can’t make a tangible contribution? If that’s the case with you, there’s a good chance that the change of the company or department will solve your work unhappiness issue.
However, if that’s the nature of work that frustrates you, you’ve got to dig deeper. Would you like to derive meaningful insights from data and you are forced into doing routine tasks that don’t require much thought? Or maybe, spending the entire day in front of the screen and with little human contact stresses you out? Write down which aspects of your work make you unhappy. These are the clues of what you’ll need to avoid when choosing a new career.
Now it’s time to mentally consider the possible career options. For that, you need to look back on your life, review your hobbies and current interests. Think of everything that makes you happy, that you can do for hours, and that you’ve always dreamed of doing but didn’t dare to.
You don’t have to be passionate about something to consider it as your calling – a moderate interest is sufficient. Also, get rid of the misconception that a calling should be something extraordinary, such as arts or acting. In fact, anything that you can do for hours and that brings you fulfillment could potentially be your professional calling. If you help choose volunteers for a nonprofit company on weekends and enjoy filling the positions with the right people, this might be a sign that a career in HR is your potentially good fit.
If nothing crosses your mind at first, try writing down your childhood hobbies, visualizing your ideal day, and recollecting your dreams. The answer doesn’t always lie on the surface, so you will need some mental work reinforced by further actions before you have this “Aha!” moment.
So, you have defined a number of activities that could be turned into a career (or a business, or freelance as lifestyle). You might have listed plenty of fun and exciting things, but note that not all of them will survive the reality check. We are assuming that you need to pay the bills and provide for a family, and you probably expect to earn no less than you are making now.
For that, you need to evaluate the earning potential of each career option. For instance, if you were a photographer for a college newspaper and believe that you will be able to take quality shots after a few months’ training, this idea is worth consideration. However, if you imagine yourself as a dancer but don’t have any background, such an option might be too far-fetched.
By the way, career experts recommend that you explore relevant fields and occupations before diving into a completely new area. Many professionals who were deeply dissatisfied with their jobs found their calling in a close field. It’s faster, it’s easier and it puts your current skills into practice so that you don’t have to spend time and money retraining.
As you’ve narrowed down the list of potential callings, it’s time to take action. Find the ways to learn more about each option you have in mind and immerse into what their daily grind entails. For instance, career consultants recommend that you invite a person engaged in your dream field for an informational interview.
Tap into your network or use LinkedIn. You’re likely to encounter a number of rejections, but some people will be glad to share their experience and insights. Another option is to volunteer or to find an internship for your target profession. Your goal here is to witness the career from the inside, without romanticizing or omitting its certain aspects.
Let’s return to the above-mentioned photographer example. You might be surprised to find out that this job is not only about taking pictures, but also includes traveling across locations, carrying heavy equipment and dealing with difficult customers. Getting exposure to these subtleties will either anchor your decision or save you from the wrong career transition.
What if you don’t have any hobbies or passions? What if you weren’t much involved in out-of-work activities and devoted all your time and energy to your career in finance but now you’ve realized that it’s a road to nowhere?
In this case, you can’t go without expanding your comfort zone. Your goal is to enrich your life with new impressions, meet new people, and learn new skills to achieve a perception shift. In other words, if you don’t see a road in front of you, you’ve got to create it.
Attend an introductory lesson in coding. Sign up for the guitar class and learn to play your favorite song. Do anything you feel the slightest emotional connection with. As you fill your life with the new impressions, new emotions, and new people, you might come across the solution to your career maze or find a labor of love just by occasion. Nobody knows how it works, so you’ve got to experience it by yourself.
If you are stuck in the hatred job, you might feel the urge to hand in the notice any second. However, don’t make impulsive decisions. Choosing the right timing can save you a lot of money and nerves.
In most cases, it’s reasonable to stay on the old job while you are preparing for a transition: taking an online class, comparing multiple options or looking for a new job. Thus, you won’t encounter a personal financial crisis and the transition will go relatively smooth. If you can keep on the job for a few months more, be sure to do so.
However, there are exceptions. If your hatred job entails toxic environment, causes you mental health problems or your personal life suffers, quit. No paycheck is worth a nervous breakdown and a constant feeling of misery. After all, you can find part-time employment or do the same things on a freelance basis while you’re working towards pursuing your dream job. Here’s some more expert guidance on how to quit a job: http://resumeperk.com/blog/how-to-quit-your-job-in-the-right-way.
As you can see, most of the above tips are about mindset. Indeed, once you encounter a serious career frustration, the first thing you need is to set yourself up for finding a solution. Don’t identify yourself with that unengaging job. Know that your calling exists, and the lucky ones can find it in a matter of days. And even if it takes you longer, the path and the feeling of professional fulfillment will be worth it.
If you don’t plan to start a business, you’ll still need a good resume to get hired in your dream industry. At Resumeperk.com, we staff resume writers specializing in multiple fields. The writer will translate your old experience for a new field to help you get noticed in a competition. We guarantee that you’ll be happy with a new resume, otherwise, we’ll rewrite it for free. Interested? Take a look at our resume packages and prices.
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