Deciding to make a change to your career is one thing, but how on earth do you decide what to do next?
Well, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Start with what you have already!
Let’s move you away from that conundrum where you want to change careers but have no idea what to do.
Just move away!
Firstly, a career change doesn’t have to mean a completely clean slate. You got into your current career for a reason and there are going to be some positives about it that you can either build on or transfer into something new.
In the meantime you can be exploring, experimenting, making connections and gaining new skills so that you will be in a much better place a few weeks or months from now.
After all, that’s the main aim. To be in a better place than you are right now.
Rate And Dissect Your Current Career
Start by giving your current career a rating out of 10. Does that seem really silly and basic?
It’s a simple trick to help you concentrate on what’s right and wrong with it. Have you ever actually considered what you would rate your current career? You might surprise yourself!
Think about your past and present and try to project your future. Bring all of that into one overall rating.
Then expand upon that thought process and extract the things you really don’t want in your career in the future. Think of people, projects, environments, culture, how your day is structured, how you feel during your day.
Once you have these, think of the things you actually do really like about your work that you would like to keep. Yes, there are going to be some of these somewhere!
Maybe take yourself back to why you got into this career. Your feelings may have changed about it, but the process of thinking it through should help you see the positives of what you have now.
The reason for doing this isn’t necessarily to change your mind about whether you should leave your career, it is about cherry-picking what you want in your future career.
You’ve already started to put together a blueprint for your future career and you haven’t had to come up with anything new!
What Do You Bring To The Party?
Now, look at what your skills and strengths are in everything you do. Go deep on this, consider everything you do. How are your people skills? Your technical skills? How creative are you? What are your industry-specific skills?
We want you to be thorough with this because there will be a big mix of non-transferrable and transferrable skills. It’s empowering to know that if you choose to completely change what you do, you won’t be starting from scratch.
You now have a collection of things that you really like about your work and a collection of things that you’re really good at.
What you can do now is to make sure you are doing more of these things in your current work. Not only will it make your day better, it will give you the opportunity to really assess which of them you enjoy the most.
Which of them would be must-haves in the future? Which would be nice-to-haves but not essential?
It’s important to view your career journey from now on as just that; a journey. Starting from right now.
You’re not going to wait until magical inspiration hits you and jump into the perfect career. You’re going to need to be continually working towards it.
But how do you figure out what you are working towards?
What Is Your Perfect Day?
Ok, now it’s time to piece together what a perfect day in your future career would look like. This is a vision of what your working day (and beyond) would be like at it’s most awesome.
Forget the specifics of what you are doing, think instead about what your day looks like. What are the activities, people, environments, feelings that make it a day you want to experience for the rest of your life?
Use inspiration from the insights you have gained about what you like about your current work and your skills and strengths. But also think bigger. What kind of day would make it feel like you weren’t even working? What would make you wake up in the morning and jump out of bed to get started?
Go nuts on this vision. It’s your perfect day and you can have exactly what you want.
With this perfect day, you are forming the framework of your future career without having to come up with a specific job or role from scratch. It gives you the chance to narrow your options down by what kind of roles will fit into this perfect day.
At Better Work Heroes, we take you through this perfect day exercise in a much more detailed and guided way in our free Perfect Day Exercise. It is a 4-day exploration of your perfect day, your current day and how to start building a bridge between the two.
The idea is that you are answering the question ‘What do you want your life to be like?’ rather than the classic ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ that nobody could truly answer when they were young, nevermind now.
Pop over to the Perfect Day Exercise page and check it out and let us know how you get on!
If you want to change careers but have no idea what to do, the answer is not to think about exactly what you will do right now, but what your day will look like.
That perfect day is what you are aiming towards.
It’s almost impossible to work the other way round; finding a role and then trying to force your perfect day to happen.
We want you to be experiencing that perfect day. So make that perfect day a driver for everything you do on your career journey from now on.