Changing jobs is stressful. Changing careers? It’s an entirely different ball game that many simply don’t want to play no matter how much they want to. If you hate your job, however, and find it boring or uninspiring, then you are doing yourself a massive disservice. You deserve more than hating going to work every day – and so does your health.
If you are not interested in any position in your industry, then it’s time to completely reassess what you want out of life. If you want your work to mean something and have a real impact, then a standard office job isn’t going to cut it, but a career like nursing will.
You need to look deep within yourself and follow this guide to give you the courage and the tools to make that big career change:
1. Understand What You Want Out of Your Career
The time to build your future is in your teenage years and your 20s, but equally, in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
― Lukasz Laniecki
Know What Went Wrong
The best way to make a successful career change is to know why you want to make the change in the first place. Knowing what went wrong in your current career trajectory is just as important as having an idea of what you want to do.
You need to know if you want to change careers because:
- You aren’t being challenged
- You aren’t interested in the subject
- Your values don’t match
By knowing the underlying reasons why you want to change careers, you can go in with a more strategic approach to your next career. For most, it won’t just be a matter of what industry they work in; it will also be the quality of the employer and your quality of life.
Test Your Commitment
You will also want to test your commitment. By now, you will likely know what you want out of your career change. If you have always dreamed of helping others, then careers in charity, the healthcare industry, or in the public service industry can be the way to go.
The difference between wanting to help people, however, and actively helping them is a big one. Volunteer in a few different positions to see how you fit in and whether the job role you had in mind for yourself if the right one for you.
If it is, then research how to get into that role and make it happen.
2. Use What You’ve Got
Making a big career change later in life is scary. It’s stepping out into the unknown and potentially throwing away all your hard work and progress so far.
“Sometimes the one thing you need for growth is the one thing you are afraid to do.”
― Shannon L. Alder
The first thing to take note of is that it is not true.
Your experience, your education, and even your personal accomplishments are all useful in whatever career change you decide for yourself. Your experience in a different industry can help you stand apart from other applicants, and if you need a degree to make your career change happen, your existing bachelor’s can help accelerate the process.
Say you want to become a nurse. Most nurses need the experience to apply to a BSN, but if you have a bachelor’s and the right pre-reg credits under your sleeve (very likely), then you can instead kick start a career in nursing with an accelerated BSN nursing program.
This way, you don’t need to throw all your effort away to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, and then slowly work your way up to an RN. You can immediately change careers into the role you want by using the experience you already have.
Opportunities like this exist everywhere. You simply need to research, find your options and then choose the best one for you.
3. Gain Skills and Knowledge
If you are looking to enter a career with clear qualification requirements, like nursing, then taking that accelerating nursing program is the best way forward.
If you are looking to work in another area of healthcare, however, then you can use your existing skills. You will want to take online courses to better understand the industry and to prove you have what it takes to, for example, but if you have skills in marketing, then why not help promote a hospital or clinic?
Either way, you will need to gain skills and knowledge to help you with your job search later on.
4. An Inch a Day, a Mile Tomorrow
It is important to take the right mindset in with you. An inch today, will mean a mile tomorrow. Or, alternatively, every step forward is still a step forward. By making small advances towards your goal, you will eventually reach it.
It can take a long time, but that time will pass anyway, so you might as well put it to good use.
5. A Healthy Body Encourages a Healthy Mind
Staying productive like that, of course, will require you to be healthy. A healthy body encourages a healthy mind, which, in turn, will help you learn better, retain information more successfully, and help you manage your stress.
6. Make Learning a Lifelong Pursuit
You will never want to stop learning. Even if you complete a BSN and are on your way to becoming an RN, your next dream will be just over the horizon. Every time we see our dream come true, we automatically make another, and because of that, it is in the best interest of everyone to make learning a lifelong pursuit.
Change is scary, but like any roller coaster, it is also a thrill that you should not deny yourself. If you want something else out of life, then you need to work for it. It is never too late to make a big career change. In many cases, you won’t even be starting from square one. You’ll instead be able to use your experience and your skills to make your own way forward in life.