Being in a dead-end job suck. Waking up every day doing something you hate or feeling unfulfilled can make you miserable. One of the reasons people hire me as a life coach is to help them figure out a career path. Some of my clients came to me because they were unsure about how to use their skills. Others were unsure about what they would like to do in life or were unfamiliar with industries or fields where they may be valuable. It gets more complex when people struggle with deciding to start a business or work for someone else. The mental struggle is real.
In my view, some of the struggle comes from:
people lacking a clear career vision
people don’t know what they are capable of doing, or how to figure out their career interest or purpose
people don’t know enough about industries or different fields and how to capitalize on their skills in multiple areas
This list can be summed up in one simple phrase, a lack of information. Therefore, one of the key strategies I use in career coaching is helping people gain knowledge and gather information to help them figure out what they want to do in pursuing their dream career, personal passion, or life’s purpose. Armed with knowledge, you can better determine what you want to do, and how you want to move forward. But before you do anything, it will be important to change your mindset.
First be open to change and avoid beating yourself up because you never knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. I didn't figure out what I wanted to do until my mid-30s. It is OK that you don’t know, yet. There are tools to help you figure it out (I am going to share a few below). Remember, you do not have to stay stuck in a job you don’t like. I don't care how much debt you have or your experience. You can change jobs, careers, or start a business. However, you must realize change is possible for you. You can’t let your fears stop you. You can pursue your career goals and maintain your basic needs and family care. But, you must trust that you can and take steps to do it. Or, accept being stuck. Your choice.
So, here are some strategies to help get clear on your career:
To increase your accountability and get help with creating a career action plan, identifying resources, assessments, and sticking with the process, hire a life or career coach.
To find out about industry trends, skills and education requirements for different careers or jobs, refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook that is published by the U.S. Gov.
Talk to people who work in industries or fields you are interested in learning more about industries, jobs, or career options.
Use LinkedIn and FB groups to connect with people in various industries or fields and ask them about their careers.
Talk to friends, family and neighbors about their career.
Complete a personality or career assessment to understand your preferences and ideal career options.
Contact the SBA or SCORE to get a free business mentor.
Join industry organizations and subscribe to industry publications.
Attend career/job fairs, not just for applying for positions, but to talk to people, connect with recruiters, and hiring decision makers.
Try temporary or contracting work assignments to get a hands-on feel and experience for different jobs and industries.
Look into schools and training if you need to enhance your skills or knowledge.
Create an action plan and develop goals to help you put a career strategy in place.
Once you put one or more of the above approaches in place, you will be able to figure out what you want to do as far as a suitable career. As you work on your strategy, remember to have fun and be flexible. Figuring out your career goals is a learning opportunity. You will discover your talents, interests, and what is possible. You will also make great connections with other people who can be important in helping you find your next position, or helping you catapult your new business, depending on what you decide to do.