By Catherine Lang-Cline
When we were children we were often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer typically was a simple response based on a career that seemed a bit heroic like teacher, fire fighter or doctor. Once we were exposed to more possibilities, the answer might have changed to something else, like writer, scientist or musician.
What might the younger you have thought about what you’re doing now? Is it something heroic? Is it exciting at all? Do you even want to get out of bed when the alarm goes off?
At some point, everyone reaches a moment in their life when they re-evaluate their career choices. They ask themselves questions like, “Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?” “Is this even me?” “Is this rewarding?” “Am I working in a job that I love?”
If you think you have been going down the wrong path, it is not too late to pick a new one. In each year that you’ve worked, you’ve acquired skills. Start lining them up to see if they could mesh into something different. Something that might lead you where you want to go.
Skill sets like project management, budget management, sales, managing staff, teaching, etc., are universal and can be grouped together and reshaped into something that you could better fit the job description of something that excites you. Maybe there’s something specific you can do that would be like gold for the right company. Leverage that.
True, you may need to take some classes to freshen up or learn more about the area you want to now pursue. You can do this while you are still employed, just to help make sure this is the direction you want to go. Also evaluate if you are willing to take a pay cut to get in on the ground floor in an area that holds more interest for you. Chances are that a company may be taking a chance with you and will need you to prove yourself.
Finally, you need to convince an employer to take a chance. Not good at selling yourself? Then find a great recruiter. And I do mean a GREAT recruiter. One that really understands where you want to go next in your career because it is very easy to just get you something in the field that you are already in. Recruiters have discussions with people about what they want to do next in their career every day. In most cases, it is quite possible to help people segue to a new path, one that feels more exciting and is a better fir for who they currently are.