At one time or another, many of us have felt stuck in a job and confused about what other options might be available. What can you do?
Proactively exploring your career options is a good place to begin. It takes courage to step outside of your comfort zone, but finding a challenging and rewarding job will be well worth it.
Use these three tips to help you find a more fulfilling job:
1. Do Some Soul Searching
It’s time to do some self-assessment and introspection. When’s the last time you took the time to think about what kind of career you want? It has probably been quite a while. Being introspective about yourself and your goals is a great way to decide in which direction you need to go.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- What patterns or career themes has my working life followed so far?
- What are my key skills, and where in the marketplace are those skills most needed?
- When have I been most successful, and why?
- What things do I need included in my work?
- What work environment do I find most enjoyable?
When asking yourself these questions, be sure to answer from both head and heart. Listen to your responses. You may want to write them down, as doing so will provide you with an opportunity to review your answers.
2. Do Your Research
After deciding what type of work you are interested in, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some research. A great way to begin is by setting up interviews with people currently employed in your desired field or at a company you are interested in. Topics to ask about might include what they like most about their work, what part of the job they find most challenging, and where opportunities can be found. Make sure to take notes, and take the time to send a note afterwards to thank them.
You can also find information on typical tasks and skills needed for a particular job, as well as job growth and trends, through online resources such as O*Net, a website run by the Department of Labor.
3. Use Your Connections
How have you gotten hired in the past? It’s likely that personal and professional connections, including friends, family, and fellow church and community members, played a part in at least some of your previous positions. Reach out again and let people know what kind of work you are looking for. Share your intentions with former supervisors, colleagues, business partners, vendors, and clients, and use any advice they can give you.
While being stuck in a job is a terrible feeling, you can use it as motivation while reflecting on what you really want to do. If you take the time to decide what’s next and put these tips to work for you, it won’t be long before you’re on your way to a more fulfilling career.