Let’s face it, making decisions about your career is never easy and it can be one of the most important decisions you make in your life, alongside choosing a long term partner and buying a house. When I left school nearly 24 years ago, whatever career we decided to pursue was what we all thought we would do until we retired. Many people born before 1960 have stayed in the same career their whole working lives, just moving up the ladder until they retired. And this is how it was for a long time.
But how things have changed. We’ve moved away from the idea that the job you fell into after you left school was your job for life. Workers want to be motivated, inspired and enjoy the job they do and if the job doesn’t deliver, then it’s time to move on. People are also looking for jobs that are more flexible and support people with families. Technology has also opened up so many more opportunities for people to learn new skills which mean people can be learning at any stage of their lives. These days, I can go back to university as a 44 year old student and get qualifications in pretty much anything I want. Online learning has made this possible.
Stability used to be what was most important in a job. Now it’s money, better work/life balance and better opportunities to grow and learn. According to Forbes magazine, Millennials (Gen Y) are very restless and “. . . expect to stay in a job for less than three years.” This means that Gen Y can expect to have 15-20 jobs over the course of their lifetime. Many see this serial job-hopping as a negative on a resume but job hopping can also lead to greater job fulfilment, which is more important to Gen Y workers than it was to any previous generation.
Looking for a change?
Are you one of those people who are looking for something more? Has it become a real struggle to drag yourself into the office each day because the job is just so mind-numbingly boring? Have you been out of work for a while and want to get back into it, but don’t really know what you can do? If this sounds like you then you may need a change in career.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”
The secret to finding a job you love is to work out what you really love doing. Really have a good hard think about it. Forget about what it is you do now. Start fresh and write down the answers to these 4 very simple questions:
- What favourite things do you do in your spare time that you really enjoy? It could be reading, catching up with friends, playing sport, writing, building things, renovating, yoga, cooking, volunteering etc.
- If you had all the money in the world, what would be your dream job and why?
- What do you hate most about your current job?
- What do you wish there was more of in your current job?
Do the answers fit in with the job you do now, or when you last worked? If not, then this is evidence that you’re not doing something that you love. To go into much more detail, take one of the many free online career tests to find out the types of jobs that may suit you based on your personality and interests such as http://www.lifestylecareers.com.au/resources/free-career-assessment
Once you have a clearer idea of the type of job you would like to do, get started on finding out what skills you need. No doubt you’ll have plenty of transferable skills that would suit the job but you may need to get cracking with some extra training. Speak to anyone you may know in the industry to get some more insight into the job and exactly what it involves and start volunteering or working casual/part-time on the side to get the hands-on experience you’ll need.
As humans, we’re really bad at predicting what will make us happy and as life revolves around us, our priorities change. So the only way for us to find true career happiness is through trial and error.