Nisa Chitakasem is Founder of Position Ignition, the UK's leading Career Consulting Company and co-author of their eBook 100 Essential Career Change Tips. Nisa co-founded Position Ignition.com to provide career consulting to people looking for guidance and support through their career change, new career direction, job search and career development.
You have lost interest in your current career and you want to switch to one you do feel passionate about. But what if you don’t actually know what your career passion is? The key to finding it and identifying potential careers that fit around it is to tune into your true self.
Join a Club
Just as there were plenty of clubs and societies to join at your school or university, there are also many such groups out there in the ‘real’ world now we’re grown up. In fact, there’s a club or group for every activity or interest area you can think of so there is plenty of scope for experimenting with different clubs to find something you’re passionate about. The majority of these groups are open to all ages. To find out what’s on offer in your area, check the local print and online press, look at notice boards in the supermarket or library, or ask neighbours and nearby friends.
Stop Being Passive
Perhaps your passive interests could be turned into active passions. It could be that you’ve been fascinated by a certain subject or issue for a long time, but you’ve never involved yourself in any actual activities to do with it. Consider doing so, because it really could inspire you in coming up with new career ideas. For instance, if you love history but have only ever read about it in books, try volunteering at a historical museum or interviewing veterans about the War. This will give you a taste of what it’s like to involve yourself deeper in a subject you‘re interested in.
Revisit Your Childhood
What did you enjoy doing as a child that you no longer do? A major reason for giving up childhood hobbies is no longer having the time for them once we go off to university or start full-time work. But if we can combine our old passions with our work, we get the best of both worlds, so think back to your childhood activities and reflect on how they could translate to grown-up careers.
The people in our life know more about our passions than we realise. When we get passionate about something, our appearance and attitude both change. Our face lights up and our body language is more positive. The people who know us really well—such as close friends, immediate family and long-term colleagues—notice these changes. Over time they’ll also start noticing what triggers the changes. So if you don’t know, ask them. It might sound silly to have to ask someone else what you like, but if you ask, “what do you think I’d really enjoy doing as a career?” it sounds very natural.
Seek Professional Guidance
Feedback from a career coach or guide can be just as valuable as that from our personal contacts. A career professional worth their salt will ask you pertinent questions and listen to the answers, before giving you constructive feedback. They will discuss your whole life with you, which helps you to recall any hobbies, strengths and interests from different stages in your life that you may have forgotten about. To find a decent career professional, ask people you know who’ve recently made a career transition if they used a good guide as part of the process.
Do Voluntary Work
If you’ve found something you enjoy doing in your spare time but you’re wondering if you could turn it into a career and stick at it for the long haul, try it out in a work context. Look for volunteering opportunities around your chosen activity or interest and volunteer frequently over a substantial period of time so you get a taste of what it’d be like as a regular full-time job. Other ways to gain work experience in a new field is to work shadow someone who’s already in the profession you’re considering or to do pro bono work for your friends and family.
Return to School
There may be something you’ve always wanted to study at college or university but couldn’t. Now could be the ideal time to do a weekend course or evening class in the subject that interested you in the first place and see where it takes you. Get in touch with your local further education college to find out what it has to offer or consider distance learning.
Experiment at Work
Try doing different things in your current job. Your present line of work may not excite you but in most workplaces there’s always the opportunity to switch up your tasks and duties. Speak to your boss about doing different types of work on a temporary basis or for just a few hours a week. If you enjoy the change, you may be able to pursue a new position within your current company where you’re doing this new kind of work all the time. There are many benefits to finding a new job in your old company in this way.
What kind of work do you do? Have you ever thought of changing careers? Feel free to leave your comments nd questions below.
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