When you’re burned out in a job, it’s usually a good idea to hunt for a new one. After all, 40 hours every week of your one life are at stake, and no one should have to suffer through their work, week after week. But what if you’re burned out not just on your specific job but on your current career path? In the middle of a recession, is it foolhardy to make a significant career move?
Whether you’re a nurse who wants to become a schoolteacher or an IT guy who wants to try your hand at farming, starting the process of changing career paths is not for the faint of heart. However, don’t let that bit of cautionary advice scare you off of doing it. From getting a degree to getting down to business, here are a handful of tips to help guide you if you decide to take the career change plunge — even while we still reel from The Great Recession.
Here’s the thing: if you are unhappy in your current career path, the best time to make a change is right now — no matter whether “right now” happens to fall during a boom time or a bust. All markets go through cycles, but your life will only last as long as you get to live it. If you know that what you’re doing isn’t providing you with a satisfied life, then start taking the necessary steps to change it.
Getting an Additional Degree or Certification
Even if you already have a four-year degree, it might not be within the field or industry that you’d like to start working in. Do a bit of research on job boards and the like to see what kind of experience and credentials will help you gain access to your dream job. It may be that a master’s degree could help you get your foot in the door, but sometimes, all it takes to get your resume into fighting shape is a course or two that would allow for a new certification. Whatever it is that will give a potential employer the confidence to believe that you know what you’re talking about, do it. What the arc of change in your working life is more likely to show potential employers is that you’re a well-rounded individual whose diverse background will bring depth and wisdom to your new chosen field.
Do an Internship
Many career paths still work with the old model of apprenticeship. If what you’re hankering to do involves any kind of skilled trade or craft, simply inquire about an internship. From kitchens and bakeries to newspaper rooms and woodshops, a lot of work is still learned on the job, and if you’re someone who picks up skills quickly and knows how to hustle, an internship can very well lead to actual employment.
Appeal to Friends and Family for Leads
If you know someone who is doing the kind of work you’d like to do, then ask him or her questions and get some sound advice. From being able to finagle an interview on your behalf to saving you from making the career mistakes they made, a confidante on the inside can be an invaluable asset.
Tighten Your Belt
If you haven’t been saving money for that time in the future where you embark on a totally new path, now is the time to do it. Cut all extraneous spending from your budget. Are you unsure as to what’s extraneous? Here are some suggestions that will really add up:
- Stop eating out and take all of your meals at home.
- Make coffee instead of spending two to three dollars at your morning cafe.
- Cancel your cable subscription and check out movies from the library.
- Pay off your car, or sell it and buy one that won’t require a monthly payment.
If what you’re doing for work is a thorn in your side, there’s no time like the present to make a change. If you do your research, work hard and stick to your goals, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to switch career paths. Work can be one of the most satisfying things a person does — if that sounds nice, and it isn’t how your career currently makes you feel, then start the process of changing it.
About the Author: Kelly Rowe is a contributing writer who just completed her master’s degree and works in human resources.