Written by Dr. Andrea Potthoff
Determine areas of interest
When deciding on a new career path, it can feel daunting to even figure out where to start. Many people tell me that they do not like their current job, but are unsure about what they would like to do instead. Taking time to explore different areas of interest can be a useful place to start. One of the most research-supported tests of career interests breaks different tasks into six domains. A free test to determine your interests is available at: https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip. Taking this test can help narrow down what type of career you might like to pursue.
Identify action steps
As you consider new career options, the challenge of making such a change can seem insurmountable and this can lead to a steady loss of motivation. Instead of focusing on the final goal of a new career, consider individual action steps that might help get you there. For example, maybe you need to meet someone already in the field or find your first paying customer. For others it might be mastering a particular skill or attending a related seminar. The smaller you can make each of these steps, the better off you will be in reaching your new career.
Any major life change has a number of potential barriers that need to be overcome. This is especially true when considering a career change. Some careers have many more barriers to entry than others (e.g., education, tuition fees, training time). Once you have identified a career you might be interested in, list out all of the potential barriers. Initially this may cause you to feel overwhelmed and defeated. However, return to the list after a few days and explore the feasibility of overcoming each barrier. For example, if your chosen career would require additional education, brainstorm ways you might be able to pay for tuition, provide an income while in school, and manage new academic responsibilities.
Speak with a professional
There are many different types of professionals who can assist you as you prepare to make a career change. You may choose to work with a therapist who specializes in this area or a designated career counselor. If you attended college or are still in school, you may have access to career specialists that can help you determine next steps, rework your resume, or help you identify your interests and abilities.
If you would like more information about making a career change, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 612-470-4099.