If you are lucky enough to be in a career that you love and have a job that you can’t wait to wake up to, congratulations, you are in the vast minority. Living in New York is itself a reward in a lot of ways and many of us simply tolerate our careers here as a means to an end. However, there are ways to seek out and find a career choice that truly fits your personality, goals, and ambition. Here are five tips on making it happen for yourself.
You may have a full-time job now and it may be years since you’ve last considered setting up an informational interview with someone. If you aren’t too psyched about the industry you are in, the easiest way to discover what else is out there is to schedule an interview with someone you know directly or through your network to find out what it’s really like. You can gain a lot of intelligence about a new position you’re considering from an informational interview, and it might even lead to a real interview if you make a good enough impression.
You may work odd-hours or work a 9-6 job. If you can somehow add a sideline gig in the industry you may want to switch to, now is the time to do it. Maybe you are sitting in a finance job and you have always been curious about public relations, starting your own business, or the entertainment industry. If you have a unique talent (singing, art, or have a voice built for radio) maybe start posting a gig on fiverr.com. The beauty of experimenting is that it’s risk free and you don’t have to leave your current job if you don’t want to. And if you find something you like, well there you have it.
OK, if you are a professional depressive and are only happy in a job you hate (you know who you are) then this might not help you too much. But honestly, if you can’t stand redacting one more brief or running yet another loan scenario through your pricing model, it’s time to get out. What do you really want to do? Get away one weekend, drive out to the beach before it starts to cool off and ask yourself what it is that you really should be doing. Write down the results and follow suggestions one and two above.
Myers-Briggs is always the first personality test that comes to mind but there are countless others out there than can help you identify what your natural inclinations are and what industries and functions fit you best.
Hearing what others say about the kind of person you are in a particular job can help you commit to a career or convince you that it’s time to switch. If you find that your friends outside of the office think you are a completely different person than you are in the office (for example, you are way more happy outside the office, so much so that it weirds them out) then you may want to reconsider your options. However, if the opposite is true then maybe you’ve just validated your career choice.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at email@example.com.