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How to Change from a Career You Loathe to One You Love

Posted by Megan Maryott Monday, Jun. 15, 2015

Student considering her new career optionsYou check your email. Check your phone. Look up at the clock. Check your phone again. Ugh, is it 5 yet?

If this is your average unhappy workday, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news: You don’t have to endure that I-could-be-doing-more feeling day after day. With the right education, it really is possible to have a job you love, and getting that education is easier than you may think.

If you’re wondering whether and how to change careers, take a look at the three steps outlined below. They could be your springboard into the life you’ve always wanted.

1. Explore Your Passions

Taking the time to discover what you really love doing is vital to finding a career you enjoy. What gives you energy? Are there parts of your job that are more interesting or exciting than others? An individual can usually pinpoint some aspect of their work that brings them sanity, at which point they can extrapolate out from there to figure out a career that would offer up that work and more like it in abundance.

And what about hobbies?  You’d be amazed by how many people are able to turn a hobby into a successful occupation.  People make entire careers out of putting together Legos for crying out loud!

We’re not saying that you have to be as extreme as that, but think about what else you like doing outside of work.  Let’s say you love hitting the gym and are head over heels for your brand new fitness tracking device:  guess what?  You might enjoy a career as a physical trainer, and from there, it’s only a small hop to a career in health promotion management.

Here’s the thing:  we talk with a lot of people who’ve decided to return to school because they’re unhappy with their 9 to 5 desk job. Usually they already have an idea of what they might enjoy doing even if they haven’t said it out loud. They might’ve loved biology class in high school or maybe they’ve always known they’d be great in a profession whose sole purpose is to help people. It might be as simple as knowing they don’t want to be behind a desk or that they need something fast-paced.

2. Translate that Passion to a Job

As you may have already guessed, figuring out what you love doesn’t mean you can automatically make money doing it. And you definitely shouldn’t quit your job (no matter how boring it is) without a strategy for how to change careers. Do a little research and see where you could apply your skills.

If you like working with the latest technology and love the idea of helping to diagnose injuries, a position as a rad tech might be right for you. Or if you have a patient, steady demeanor and want to work directly with people, you might enjoy being a physical therapist assistant. Read up on job descriptions and talk with someone in the field if possible to really get a feel for what the job is like. Once our students start looking into the possibilities, something usually stands out.

Another way to think about a career change is to pay attention to your jealousy meter. When your friend – an ER nurse – tells stories about her fast-paced, rewarding, time-is-always-flying job, are you envious? Do you think “I could do that”? Jealousy isn’t the most admirable trait, but it can be a good measuring tool … and a great motivator.

3. Make a Plan

The final consideration is “How will I get there?” Look into how long you’ll need to be in school for various career paths and consider how it will fit in with your lifestyle. Can you make time to work while you’re in school? And don’t forget about job outlook and median salary expectations. That way you can make a smart decision you’re happy with years down the road without any surprises when you graduate.   

If you need help sorting through your options or setting out a roadmap to a career you love, talk with our admissions department. Life really is too short to spend time working at a job you hate. We’ve helped plenty of people find a path to a career they love, and we’re ready to guide you, too!

Ready to embark upon your new career?  Then start by downloading "Going Back to College:  The Step-By-Step Guide."  Inside, you'll find insights that will make the process a lot less daunting and a lot more manageable.  Click the button to download for free today!

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Topics: allied health career, transfer students

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