What do you want to be when you grow up? How many of us have been asked this and had a certain answer? Personally, I’ve never had my sights set on a particular career. Sometimes I even joke that I’m still deciding what I want to be when I grow up, and frankly I think that’s perfectly fine! In fact, I’ve changed my career successfully many times, and you can too with this guide!
People change, and so do careers.
Deciding what we want to do with our lives (let’s be honest, this takes a BIG chunk of our lives) and how we want to contribute to society is a process that can fluctuate over time. Has it always been my dream to be in sales and marketing? Absolutely not! Actually, I always used sales as an example of a career I’d never pursue. The idea of selling people stuff they don’t need to make a buck always seemed incredibly cringey. However, my life experiences helped me realize that sales can be much more complex than just selling something. In reality, providing a service or product can actually help people live healthier and happier lives … What a concept!
After ping-ponging from physical therapy to public health, nursing, and nonprofit work, I decided to invest time and effort into a sales and marketing career – for now. If I had to put money on it, I’d say I will probably change careers in the future. And again, that’s ok if not awesome in my book!
So how did I make the career jump from the medical field to sales? Below, you’ll find a list of considerations and steps that helped me focus my time and energy. These tips are a fantastic way for you to overcome the daunting feeling of not knowing where to start and get excited about your next adventure!
- What kind of lifestyle do you imagine yourself living?
- Do you want to work with people directly?
- What do you want your work schedule to look like?
- What size organization do you want to work for?
- Are opportunities for career advancement important to you?
- Do you prefer working independently or collaboratively?
- What type of work culture do you want?
- How important is work-life balance to you?
- What jobs are available in the areas you want to live in?
- What are your core values and what constitutes crossing your moral boundaries?
- Which subjects excited you in school, and did these change as you got older?
- Who are you supporting with your income?
- What type of soft and hard skills do you currently have?
- What type of soft and hard skills would you love to have?
- Whose job do you wish you had?
- Research different job titles and organizations to compare their:
- job duties
- current openings
- mission and vision statements
- projected growth
- Make a list of people who had experience in careers you were interested in and schedule informational interviews (casual coffee dates were my go-to).
- Meet with a career coach.
- Ask your friends and family to make a list of your strengths.
- Attend networking events that are specific to the fields you’re investigating.
- Take entry level jobs in fields you are considering.
- Volunteer to get an idea of the day-to-day in a certain career.
Go for it!
if you’re considering a career change, remember that it’s never too late to shake things up! Personally, when I’m on my deathbed, I’ll be at peace if I can say I tried rather than always wondered what would have happened. If changing careers will make you happier and offer you a more fulfilling life, at least ask yourself these questions and map out potential next steps. It never hurts to try!
Taking time to consider the above questions and actions worked well for me, but everyone’s journey is different. What has worked for you when considering a career shift? Let everyone know in the comments!