Finding a career is a bit like finding a partner; it’s something you’ll be stuck with for a long time, so it’s best you do your research and test the waters to find the right one. Switching careers is fairly difficult once you’ve gained a footing in the industry, but it can be weeks, months or maybe even years before you realise that you’re working at a company that is holding you back.
Find what you truly love to do
Let’s do a simple exercise. Take out a notepad or open up a word document and type in your age from when you were a young child to the age you are now. For each year, write what you enjoyed doing and what gave you a great sense of happiness. Perhaps you loved to watch cartoons when you were younger, maybe you love video games, or maybe you enjoyed building things with Lego and doing silly DIY projects with your friends and family.
The point of this exercise is to find a common pattern in what you love to do. Once you realise what truly makes you happy in this world, you can start to pick a career choice that you are truly passionate about.
Ignoring social stereotypes
One of the things that pressure us into a premature career choice is the idea of gender stereotypes. For instance, construction workers and mechanics are male-dominated with a very small percentage being female. Likewise, nursing and teaching jobs are mostly dominated by females. However, this doesn’t mean that a woman can’t be a construction worker and it doesn’t mean a man can’t be a great teacher. These social stereotypes are part of society which makes them hard to avoid, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from doing something you are passionate about.
Perhaps it’s not your career choice, but your location choice
It’s possible that you might absolutely adore your choice of career, but you simply hate the people or location that you work at. If you’d like to work abroad, then make sure your skills are able to transfer to a new location and that you understand the language well enough. Traveling while you work to absorb different cultures is a fantastic idea and very few people in the world get to experience it. You could also just travel to a different location within your country, move to a different workplace or even turn your skills into a self-employed freelance career.
Keep in mind that if you do plan to move locations that you first check what permits or licenses you need first. For instance, moving to Australia might require you to get a white card online in order to work at specific jobs.
What you should take away from this article is that no matter what your passions or hobbies are, you can turn them into a job. The first, and arguably hardest, step in changing your career is to identify what the problems are. Be it the role you have at work, the people you work with, the location you work in or even just the industry as a whole, you need to figure out what it is about your career that you don’t like and fix it one problem at a time.