Many people think that once they have had one or two jobs in a
particular field, they are locked into it for the rest of their
careers. If you’re not happy with the field you are working
in now, that can be quite a discouraging thought considering that
you could remain in the job force for as long as 40 years!
Never lose hope! You can make a change to find work you enjoy
at a fair salary, it just takes a little planning. First, you need
to try to identify what kind of work would interest you.
Here’s one way to start to identify the areas to
First: Take an honest assessment of what you
enjoy doing. Grab a pen and paper to make a list of the hobbies and
activities that bring you the most joy. Are there particular areas
that you have an interest in—i.e. history, current events, or
the arts? Think of examples of your successes in past jobs, classes
or volunteer organizations. What activities or tasks did you enjoy?
Did you like working with people in a customer service type of
role? Did you enjoy being the point person on a large project? Are
there any specific tasks you do especially well? What has brought
you the most pride? Do you enjoy, or would you like to try,
Second: Take another brainstorming session to
identify those situations where you have struggled the most.
Everyone has had jobs where they were forced to try new skills, and
in some instances haven’t felt completely comfortable, or
excelled at those tasks. But be realistic about those situations.
In some instances, would you handle it differently the second time
around, or were many of your problems rooted in circumstances or
company politics which you could not control? Don’t rule out
an opportunity if you feel that you have learned from it and would
handle it differently the second time around. Also don’t be
afraid to take a chance and work to master your weaker
areas—they could end up becoming your strongest. There will
also be those tasks or skills that you are not naturally inclined
to do—and that’s OK—recognize that fact and move
on to a position that suites you better.
Third: Gather this information and assess
what it’s telling you in terms of your strengths and
weaknesses. Take a fresh look at your talents—you might be
surprised by a few of them. You might realize that one of the first
things that came to mind was your enjoyment of the arts. Why
don’t you begin to investigate a career in the arts? Do you
have a head for numbers or managing money? Why not think about
becoming a financial planner or even start your own business of
helping older individuals manage their budgets?
The goal of this exercise is to help you take an objective
view of yourself and realize that you have many more gifts to offer
the workforce than feeling limited by your current career path.
Realizing some of these opportunities could take some form of
additional schooling, volunteer work, or talking to people who are
currently in the field.