You’re long past the age where people ask you what you want to be when you grow up — but you’re still trying to figure out what to do with your professional life.
Maybe you’re in a dead-end job, or maybe you’re in between jobs. You know that you need to make some changes, but you just can’t figure out what you want to do.
It’s time to block out some time in your calendar to sit down with yourself and make a plan. Here are some things that can help point you in the right direction of your perfect career.
Mark the day when you will quit your job on the calendar
You’re about to embark on a journey of self-exploration, and just like a vacation, this journey will have a hard end date. A deadline gives you the urgency you need to figure this all out and creates a frame for your actions. Don’t feel guilty when you come to work each day knowing that this job has a set ending point. Remember that company loyalty is rarely reciprocated.
Don’t worry about how long you’ve been on the job. If you have financial reasons to stay, such as seniority or a pension scheme, certainly take those into consideration. But do not let yourself be stuck in place out of a feeling of obligation.
Look for self-improvement opportunities at work
Before you leave your current job, explore every benefit your current company offers. If they pay for education, take a class. If they offer industrial discounts for airline tickets, do travel. If they have a mentorship program, sign up. Take advantage of every resource at your disposal while you still have them. Don’t feel guilty about using these resources when you’re planning to leave. Of course, you also shouldn’t be slacking off or searching for a new job while on company time, either.
Build your network
At work, in your neighbourhoods, on your social media groups, ask everyone you know and trust about their workplace and their job. What do they love about it? What kind of staff can they never find enough of? What could they imagine you doing there? Can they give you a tour of their workplace?
Nowadays a lot of companies are running employee referral programs, so your friends can be rewarded by the company while helping you to get a job.
Take a career aptitude test. It can help you identify what your skills and preferences are and make suggestions on what careers might be within your skill set. You may even learn about a career you didn’t know existed. ( see also How to discover your purpose in- ife? )
Try volunteering and look for opportunities to pursue your passions in your current job
For obvious reasons, a volunteer job is a lot easier to get than a paid job, and the commitment tends to be low. So it can be a good opportunity to try out new roles and to uncover passions you didn’t know you had. Make a list of what you’re passionate about.
If you’ve already tried the first few steps on this list, you’ve had the opportunity to explore your interests. Now have a meeting with yourself where you list those things. Rank them. You only have one life. Is it most important to you that you spend it in a career that helps children, or is it more important that you get to use your organizational skills? Once you have a short, well-edited list, post it in a place that forces you to look at it every day.
I started teaching yoga classes on a voluntary basis in „ Fit 2Fly „ Fitness center dedicated to cabin crew while I was a cabin crew myself at Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. Being a yoga practitioner for several years I discover a big joy in sharing my knowledge and skills with others, inspiring them for more conscious and healthy living. Watch this: 5 minutes yoga inspired abs workout
Don’t be shy to share your skills, applying them to another project or department.
Remember that you’re more than your job
Look beyond your current job description when you assess what you have to offer. Consider every positive goal and outcome you’ve contributed to at work, and how you helped achieve them. Keep those successes in mind — whether or not they’re part of your official job title — when assessing what abilities you could bring to your next job. See this video: What are the strongest skills of ex-cabin crew?
Go back to school
Before you’ve identified your new career goal, taking a class can help you explore your interests and skills. After you’ve identified a career goal, taking a class can help you get there. It could be a whole new degree, but it could also be a certification in a software program, a public speaking class, or a professional training program. A lot of reputable schools such as Harvard give you access to their lectures online for free, alternatively you may want to find an online course developing specific skills, check out platforms like Udemy.com, Masterclass.com, Coursera.com or Lynda.com for video-based courses.
Lay the groundwork for change
Figuring out your passions and how to use them may take time. During that time, work to prepare your landing pad for the leap you will eventually take. Set aside some money each week for an emergency fund, in case you end up quitting your job before you find a new one. Deal with any personal situation that is taking up too much of your time and energy, whether it’s an unhealthy relationship or a nagging health problem. See How to change your career without affecting your income?
At the same time, don’t fall into the trap of believing that conditions must be perfect before you can make your move. Remember that date on the calendar? Work every day toward being prepared when that date comes, but don’t push Quitting Day back just because you don’t have every single duck in a row.
Invest in yourself
Spend 3 percent of your income on professional development. Attend professional conferences even if your company won’t pay for your travel expenses. Read career books, make a list of useful podcasts. Treat potential mentors to lunch or coffee. Take courses, as mentioned above. All of these activities can help you find or hone those career goals and get you closer to reaching them.