Throughout your career, you will spend a large percentage of your life at work. You don’t want to spend that time at a job you dislike, or one that creates stress that makes it difficult for you to enjoy your time away from the office. Finding the right career path can be tough. It may involve trial and error, or you may luck into something you find fulfilling. If you find yourself in a place where you are unhappy, there are actions you can take to increase your satisfaction.
Education opens up opportunities that would not be available without a degree. Even if you have a well-paying job that you found without a degree, if something happens with that company, or you find yourself unhappy and want to move into another field, the lack of a degree will hold you back. There is no better time than the present to buckle down and start, or finish, your education. Most colleges offer online programs that allow you to work at your own pace. You can keep your job while working on your education. Using private student loans to pay for school allows you to work at the pace that is most comfortable for you. If you decide to quit your job and go to school full-time, these loans can cover other expenses related to your education.
Volunteer to Expand Your Horizons
If you are unsure what type of work you want to pursue, consider volunteering with local non-profit groups. These organizations are often eager for help, and working with them allows you to expand your skillset into different areas. You may find you enjoy marketing, public speaking, or fund-raising. Volunteer work can also provide a level of satisfaction that makes it easier to be content in your existing job. Also, volunteering introduces you to a range of people from different backgrounds. This can be beneficial when you are ready to transition into a new career.
Seek Out Mentors
Once you have some ideas of what you want to do, look for others who are doing exactly that. Ask to talk about their career path, and what the day to day of this type of work entails. You will gain valuable insight into whether this is an avenue you want to pursue. Most people are happy to discuss their careers, although you should offer to pick up the tab for at least a cup of coffee while you meet. No one understands a particular career better than someone working in it. Making a connection with a mentor allows you to find out what you need to know to break in. They may also have some tips on how to upsell your existing job skills for a new position while putting together your resume.
All Jobs Have Downsides
No job is perfect. If you compare your worst days at work with your ideal day at your dream job, you will face disappointment when you make the switch. All jobs have routine, mundane, and frustrating tasks. You want to find a career that plays to your strengths and provides fulfillment. This makes it easier to tolerate the rough days.