If you only enjoy the money you earn on weekends and holidays, it might be time to rethink how you’re earning your money.
Sure, no one loves absolutely everything about their job. And the older we get, the more pressing our financial responsibilities tend to become. But a career that’s personally and professionally rewarding is often more attainable than people realize.
Here are four ways to find a job that will grow both your nest egg and your Return on Life.
1. Consider your top skills.
Take your specific job out of the equation for a second and ask yourself, “What do I actually enjoy doing?” If your answer is “Helping customers,” maybe you need to get out from behind your desk and focus on a sales position. If you’re the boss’ go-to tech support, maybe you’d like to transition into IT. Have your Spanish language skills helped your company stay aligned with a new international office? Maybe you have a future as a translator.
One factor that often keeps folks from switching careers is that they assume they’ll be looking at a pay cut. But all of your skills are valuable. Centering your career search around those skills could lead you to lucrative new career paths or companies you might not realize you’re qualified to work for.
2. Identify ways to upgrade.
Of course, if you’re not quite qualified or lacking a bit of experience, it’s never too late for an upgrade.
Talk to your boss about opportunities to build your talents into real professional skills while you continue to work your current job. Check out online classes or certification programs. Tap into your personal and professional networks to see if you have a connection to someone who’s made a similar career change or who currently works in the field you’re targeting. Does the company you want to work for have any volunteer opportunities you could pursue on the weekends?
3. Set a goal and break it down.
Many dissatisfied workers never make it past “I wish I had that job” because they don’t move past wishing into action.
Once you’ve identified the skills you want to develop or the career you want to transition into, make a list of steps you can take every single day that will build towards you sitting in that new chair. Set a daily schedule for reading up on the business space or doing your online classwork. Dig out your old college textbooks and make some flash cards so you can practice French during lunch breaks. Subscribe to a YouTube channel or podcast that’s popular among professionals and set a schedule to work through the playlist. Call up your friend who works in HR and set up a meeting to review your resume.
4. Stay committed to change.
Setting a schedule of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that will build towards your career change is important … because making that change could take some time.
In many ways, finding a new job is a job in and of itself. Some days you’re going to have trouble balancing your long-term goals against what you need to finish before tomorrow’s big meeting. You’re likely to face some skepticism and even outright rejection, especially if you’re an older worker. Personal and financial concerns might make a career change seem too daunting or too unrealistic. You might be tempted to delay your career change “until the time is right.”