I know a lot of people who hate their jobs, but when asked what they’d rather do, they’re already very close to doing what they’re passionate about. They just needed to stop and figure out how to get there. Here’s how you can take a good, hard look at yourself, figure out what you really want to do, and work this into a personal career plan that will help you get where you want to go, personally and professionally.
The first thing to do if you’re going to pull yourself out of a career-related funk is to take stock of where you are professionally. Your job title and resume only say so much about what you do, so spend a few days taking good notes of what you actually do. Start with the core responsibilities of your position (things you would put on your resume), then write down everything else you spend time doing at work, even if it’s tangential to your actual “job.”
Once the list is sorted, it’s time to focus on the things you’d like to do more of. Build on those items and write down what you wish you could do every day. Don’t be afraid to get far-fetched; if you wish you could get paid to read blogs all day, jot that down. Some people call it “wasting time on Reddit,” but the right employer may call it research.
The point of writing down is to help you evaluate your goals. They help you determine what types of jobs involve the tasks you said you enjoy doing. Pretend you land the perfect job. Now think about where you’d like to go from there.
Now that you know what you’d like to do, it’s time to find jobs that let you do it. A chat with a reference librarian or specialist at a career center will put you on the right track towards career guides and resources that can help you translate your dreams into a job title you can aim for.
If your company has an HR representative, they’re the person you should go to if you want to learn more about what careers are available in your company. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to find out how to translate your passions into a job you’ll love, as we’ve previously discussed. Ask your friends and family, even your colleagues about their previous jobs.
Once you decide on a direction, you’ll have to determine whether or not the first step is something that requires education, a completely new job, or something you can start with your current gig. You may be getting valuable experience now that can lead you to the career you love, given time.