Feel like it might be the time for a change at work? Or are you ready to venture into a new field altogether? The hardest part is knowing where to start. Before you jump into anything, take some time to really think about what you want and why you’re looking. Consider these questions:
- What is it about your current position you’re unhappy with?
- What are your favorite tasks or responsibilities in your current role?
- What are your least favorite tasks?
- How much of a change do you want to make?
Make sure to answer them honestly and thoroughly. Cite specific examples from your work life so you can see where the stress or dissatisfaction stems from. Write down your answers so you can revisit them—you might want to add to them as you go along, or revise them once you’ve discovered something new about yourself.
Take an aptitude test for added clarity. There are a multitude of personality and career-oriented tests out there. The Myers Briggs personality test and CAPS (Career Ability Placement Survey) are a strong pair—they’ll tell you specific traits about yourself and what career field is best for you in one swoop.
Next, schedule some time with your professional mentor or someone you can go to for career advice. It can be anyone from a close co-worker you can trust to a family friend who has known you for a long time. Bring the answers from the questions above and the results from any aptitude tests you have taken. This will show how dedicated you are to finding the right position or understanding how to improve your current role.
Before you update any professional social media sites (such as LinkedIn or Monster), make sure your résumé is up to par. Does it reflect your current interests, abilities and personal style? Your résumé might be the first and only impression you will make, so ensuring that it effectively communicates everything an employer needs to know about you is crucial. Need a little help adding that something special? Make it memorable with custom letterhead to stand out from the pack.
After you’ve completed these steps and you’ve found that beginning a new career path or looking elsewhere is in your best interests, consider this course of action:
- Update your resume. Create custom resume paper to help you stand out from other applicants.
- Determine if you might require additional training or education to pursue a position in another field.
- Let family and friends know you are interested in a change. You never know where your next job offer could come from. Sometimes a strong connection is all you need to find the perfect career.
- Engage on professional social media sites like LinkedIn or Monster. Here are a couple of articles on how to make the most of LinkedIn: