What to Do When You Realize You Are On the Wrong Career Path

If you started down a career path that you aren’t passionate about, you aren’t alone. An infamous 2017 Gallup poll found that around 70% of Americans either aren’t engaged at work or hate their jobs outright. If you count yourself among the most disgruntled American workers, there is still hope. No matter where you are in your career, there are steps you can take to pursue your passion. These tips from Tegonity can help you get started.

1. Figure Out What You Want

It may seem obvious that you need to know what you want before you pursue a career, but you should resist the temptation to go for a career just because it sounds like a good choice. You should truly understand both yourself and your choice of career before making any decisions. To do this, it may be helpful to write down all of the things you can remember enjoying thoroughly. The Muse recommends thinking about how the various activities you enjoy can fit together under one umbrella, and allowing that to guide your journey.

Since most jobs are based on providing a service or product to a specific population, you should then decide which group you would most like to benefit with your work. If your choice of career is ultimately self-serving, you may find yourself growing tired of even the most pleasant working conditions. Conversely, emotionally fulfilling aspects of your job can sometimes negate a major downside, such as a long commute.

2. Do Your Research

Once you have decided what you would like to do, you should try to understand what kind of lifestyle your chosen field will allow you. Today, there are more resources than ever before devoted to promoting salary transparency and linking job seekers with suitable jobs. Know how much you can reasonably expect to make in your new career, as well as what kind of conditions to anticipate while on the job. You should also figure out exactly how much additional education you will need to have a strong chance of landing your dream job.

3. Cover the Logistics

While changing your career to something more satisfying may be the right move, it isn’t always easy. With bills and other responsibilities, it is often difficult to make a major lifestyle change. Make sure that you can cover your expenses or reasonably expect to pay off any debts you incur. If you have children, pets or other family under your care, always make sure that their needs are taken care of before taking a leave of absence from work.

If you are settled into your adult life, earning an online degree may be the best education option for you. Huffington Post notes online classes have a number of advantages over traditional classrooms, like learning at your own pace and avoiding the ever-present issue of campus parking, so you shouldn’t feel like remote learning will have you missing out on vital schooling experiences. From accounting to criminal justice, there are myriad options available for people wishing to switch careers.

As an example, if you love working with computers, you can earn an advanced degree from an accredited university in information technology. As a result, your education can yield a career in technology management, data analytics, cyber security and more.

4. Stay the Course

Once you have made the decision to switch tracks, you should commit to your choice. The uncertainty of quitting a job or going back to school can feel scary at times, but, provided you have done your research, your efforts should pay off in the end. Avoid dwelling on how you should have made your decision sooner, for example; the present is the only time that counts.

Finding and landing the right career sometimes takes decades. Remember, many others have also changed their lifestyle well into adulthood and succeeded. When you know yourself, do your research, plan for success and commit to your course, you give yourself the best chance of success.

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