Career Change, Part 2

So you've decided that now is a time to make a change, and you've thought about what motivates you in a career.  How do you figure out what you're looking for?

Start with your strengths.  You might know what some of them are - they're the things that people have complimented you on, or the areas where you know you really shine.  If you don't know, ask your friends and family what they see.  If you hear something more than once, that's a salient point for you.  

Think over your performance reviews and consider what those people in your career have said about you.  Consider the positive feedback you've gotten in work situations as well as the classes you aced in school and college.  

There are plenty of career books available, and I'd recommend What Color is Your Parachute?  You can check them out of a local library.  There are also many career inventories available online.  But it can be hard to know what might work for you until you know what the day-to-day of a job is like.  

If you're curious about this, the best way to find out is simply to ask someone who has the job you want.  Make sure to ask about their least favorite part of the job, and the sacrifices they've made for it.  

Now that you have an idea of what you're looking for, and you've considered what it's like to hold that job, think about how many jobs are available in that field.  If it's something that's generally considered to be fun by many, then it's likely you'll have a hard time getting paid to do it.  But just because there aren't a lot of jobs in your chosen field, that doesn't mean it's off the table altogether.  Maybe you're happy with a small paycheck as long as you enjoy your work (see part one about career motivation).  If not, think about adjacent fields - maybe you can't get paid to knit, but you might be able to get paid to work at a knitting publication with fellow enthusiasts, or maybe you can stick with your current job so that you can earn money in order to buy expensive yarn and go to knitting workshops and classes on your off-hours.  

Everyone faces the decision of what to do with his/her life, and the answer has to be satisfying and motivating the the individual.  Think carefully about what is most important to you and keep those values uppermost in your mind as you move forward.