It often happens, whether you are a few years or a few decades into your working life, that you decide what you are doing today is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. This is normal, and there are ways you can work with these feelings to find a career path that is more in alignment with what you want from life. It can be hard to give up the routine and security of your established career to essentially start over, but if you are unhappy and craving change, there is no reason to ignore it. If you keep pushing down the impulse to make a change, you may find yourself facing burnout and may end up burning bridges as you have difficulty doing your best work. If you think the time is right to switch careers, there are some things you can do in preparation to help ease the transition. Putting in some prep work before making the switch can also help ease the dread you feel toward your current job, as you are taking proactive steps to make a change.
Reduce Your Expenses
Having financial padding when you transition to a new career can help ease the stress that often goes alongside a job change. Since you are moving into a new career entirely, rather than taking a new position in your current industry, the change can be even more stressful. Even if your new career comes with a higher salary, creating a cushion will be a tremendous relief. One way to build a financial cushion on your current salary is to lower your expenses. Directing that money into your savings account allows you to create a little breathing room in your budget because in addition to boosting your savings account, you are lowering your expenses. One way to lower your monthly expenses is to refinance your student loans. You can save money each month and reduce the amount you would pay in interest by refinancing these loans.
Make a Commitment
Once you decide to switch careers, you will need to stay strong mentally. As you make your move towards transitioning into a new job, you may need to take classes, network, and pick up new skills. As you do these things that make you uncomfortable, it can be tempting to convince yourself that your existing path is fine. If you are unhappy enough to seriously consider switching careers, stay strong. It is normal to face times where the work seems overwhelming or that you are making a mistake. Staying in a job that makes you unhappy, however, is bad for your mental as well as your physical health.
Experiment with New Roles
If you know you want a change, but do not know what that looks like, consider volunteering. When you volunteer, you can try a variety of roles. You may find that you are drawn to something you would have never considered. The work is meaningful, which can give you something to look forward to during a stressful period when you are attempting to make a big life change. Volunteer organizations are nearly always looking for help. Even if your skill is not as polished as you would like, you can often provide benefits to the organization while learning as you go.