Stuck In The Wrong Career? Here's What You Can Do

January 29, 2020

Stuck In The Wrong Career? Here's What You Can Do.
You may be right at the start of your educational or career journey. You also might be on a career break, or in the middle of a successful career, that you just don’t enjoy as much as you used to. Whatever the case, there are any reasons you may want to take a look at the different career options available to you. This is an incredibly difficult, but brave step into finding a fulfilling and rewarding career. And while it may feel quite isolating to be in a career that doesn’t satisfy you, there are many people who are not satisfied with their current job, but find themselves stuck for financial reasons, or simply because they do not know how to take the first step into searching for a career that is better suited to them.

Knowing the kind of job you may be suited to is a good first step. While you may not enjoy your current job, this doesn’t mean you are not good at it. It is easy to fall into the trap of going into a job because it is what we always imagined ourselves doing. The reality is, our dream job can often fall short of our expectations when we live the day in an day out realities of the job. Equally, going into a career that you have no real passion for, often because of familial expectations or because of the financial compensation, will be the wrong decision for you long-term. 

Maintaining the wrong career will cause you a whole host of issues- both mental and professional. You may find yourself struggling to concentrate at work- unmotivated and unable to complete the easiest of tasks. This may be one symptom of burnout. People who are struggling to cope with workplace stress may be suffering from professional burnout.  Burnout is a symptomatic reaction to stress, often characterised by exhaustion, cynicism, and an inability (or reduced ability) to cope with the day to day of a job. Individuals who experience professional burnout will often find it affecting the other areas of their life, and may start to experience depression-like symptoms. Withdrawing from social situations, generalised anxiety, and fatigue, are all symptoms of burnout. Prioritising your mental health over your career is crucial in your journey to overcoming burnout. You may need to take a step back for a period of time- in the form of sick leave if necessary, and use this is a time to evaluate your career.

Find the right career 
Finding a truly rewarding career path is something we all aspire to, and yet so many of us are stuck in careers that at the very best we have little passion for at best, and at worst- contributes towards our bad mental health. It is hard to know which career you’re suited to, especially if you have been working in an industry for several years or more. To make sure you don’t go into the wrong career, take the pressure off yourself. Often the fear of choosing the wrong thing, keeps us doing the ‘safe option’- which may be the 9-5 that isn’t causing us any happiness. If you have the luxury of having an existing degree, try to think of the transferable skills that that provides you, and don’t just see it as a one stop ticket to one career. For example, if you studied marketing but have no desire to be a marketing executive, then think of the skills that you will have picked up in your studied. For example you will probably be very organised, and familiar with different types of technology software that will be useful skills to apply in a future career.

Upskill and Train
If you are in (the very common) position of being in a career that you enjoy but unable to progress further up the career ladder due to a lack of training or qualifications, then it may be time to upskill. Upskilling is where a company teaches their existing employee new skills that will help them retain their current position, or develop the necessary skills in order to get a promotion. This form of job progression is increasingly popular, as employers often prefer to recruit from their existing pool of employees rather than having to recruit elsewhere. Even if you are not in this position, getting further qualifications will help you develop your professional skill set and be hired for higher level positions in your industry. Gaining new skills and qualifications will most likely mean that you will get better financial compensation. If you are in the healthcare industry, a nurse for example, then you will almost certainly be able to negotiate better nursing contracts or earn a better salary as a nurse if you have further education on your curriculum.

A ‘safe’ way to trial a new career without compromising yourself, or your current job, is to volunteer or get work-experience in an industry that you are interested in. For example, you may not be able to gain even an entry-level position in your desired industry, but you may be able to offer your services for free, and over the course of several weeks or months, gain an insight (as well as valuable skills) into the job. This may help determine whether the industry is for you, and show future employers that you have the experience and determination to succeed in this field. Volunteering may be what makes you stand-out from a person with a similar curriculum to you. So don’t feel afraid to approach companies with a request to volunteer or gain work-experience.

While it may be scary to even think about leaving your current employment, or thinking about how you can progress in your current job role, you will never regret finding a more fulfilling career or job role. Some of the steps you can take to help you on this journey have been outlined above, and there will be many others that you will find on your path to career gratification. 

*contributed post*

Post a Comment