Since you’re reading this piece—and the title couldn’t be clearer—I’m going to guess that you’re less than thrilled with your current career. Perhaps you like your job okay, but you’ve begun to toy with the idea of doing something else, something that you sense would be a much better fit.
Or maybe you out and out hate your career choice. You went into teaching in part because your parents pushed it, but you’d kill to have your own business designing websites.
Either way, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to feel stuck. Though it’s not true that the average person will have five careers in his or her lifetime (that much-quoted stat was apparently some wild guess), these days it’s not uncommon to switch fields at least once. I did it, and I love my new life.
But making a switch takes work. And nerve. You may not like what you’re doing, but it probably feels safe—and it pays the bills. So let me suggest a few ways to find your career-change mojo.
First, try this other career on for size. Instead of just letting the idea bounce around your brain, get as much experience and training in the new area as possible. Take courses, volunteer, do it “pro bono” for friends or family—all while you still have your other job. I met a successful caterer recently who told me she first tested the waters by doing easy dinner parties at friends’ homes for only the cost of the food.
I tested the waters, too. Though I loved my job running Cosmopolitan magazine, I began to dream about one day leaving and writing full-time, partly to gain more personal freedom. So I wrote a murder mystery on weekends, sold it, and got a contract to write more, which I did for a number of years. Yes, it could be a bitch to write fiction and handle a demanding full-time position, but I made the time for it by jettisoning other things—including Saturday shopping sprees and tennis… Continue reading at the Daily Muse