I’m in the wrong job!!

“It sounded like a good job…one that I could learn and do reasonably well. And it paid, well, good enough. Now a few years later, I hate it!”

Sound familiar? I’ve heard it a lot and there are several ways to tackle this one.

1. What is it about the job that you hate? Which tasks? Which people (personalities)? What aspects of “the system?” Is it the employer or the whole industry? Before you can create a cure, it helps to know the symptoms. What things do you not hate about the job? The more specific you can be, the easier it is to find a remedy.

2. Are you ready to make the leap and change careers? You don’t necessarily have to start all the way over. Take inventory of what you do well – especially those things that are just part of who you are and how you do things (transferable skills). Get a friend or two to help you with this. It is often hard to see these things accurately about ourselves.
Do you know what field or industry you want to work in? If so, what technical skills or areas of knowledge do you need to develop? The Dept of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a good place to start looking. Then, you must talk to people who are in the field to get a reality check.

3. If you want to change industries, then use your current skill set to get into an organization within the industry. All organizations have the same basic infrastructure. Use their tuition reimbursement program to go to school while you work and gain industry knowledge – a big plus when it comes down to candidates with the same degrees. Experience often trumps good grades.

4. Talk with others who have made career changes. You may not go the same route, but you could gain a new direction or resource.

The key is to create a plan for making the career change, then work your plan. Be open for opportunities that take you toward your career goals. Having the goals helps you avoid the opportunities that take you off course.

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