ASK AMY: I’m bored and tired, how can I speed up the job exploration process?

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Dear Amy,

I’m bored and miserable! I want to change careers (from finance to nursing possibly) but after working all day long, when I get home from work I am too tired to take the time to do job searching and personal exploration. Can I speed up the process?

-Too tired in Teaneck

 

Dear Tired,

Unfortunately… no. Like anything in life – career exploration is a process that requires your time and energy. If you try to speed it along, and choose a new career without really testing the waters, you’ll end up just where you started – bored and miserable. The good news… once you discover a new interest or career (be it nursing or something else) your energy for that new idea will grow. You will start to get excited about your new project and the energy and time will mysteriously appear. Carve out a Sunday here and there. Just a few hours goes a long way. Give yourself a reward after – a cup of coffee and a croissant – for your hard work. Here are a few steps (baby steps work best) to get you moving in the right direction.

4 Simple Steps to A Successful Career Change

1. Identify your interests
Write a list of 15 to 20 things you want to do – careers and hobbies alike. Write down any 15 careers that interest you. Forget about salary and about how realistic they are. Forget what people would think if you ultimately chose to transition into those careers.

2. Identify your network
Who do you know who knows someone working in one of the areas that interest you? Look through your list of facebook friends, email lists and phone contacts and start writing down names of people who can help you in each of these areas. Contact people on your list and ask for information and insight into your new field.

3. Ask for help
Send an email asking for an introduction to a contact in your potential new field. Do it now – before you chicken out!

4. Get some exposure to your new field – even before you quit your day job
Try informational interviewing and job shadowing with people who are working in your ‘new’ profession. Obtaining a part-time job or volunteering in your new career field not only can solidify your decision, but give you much needed experience in your new career. You might also want to consider temping in your new field. Work weekends, nights, whatever it takes to gain the experience.

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