Janet Ferguson Dooley is a freelance writer living in Des Moines, Iowa. She specializes in online lifestyle and business articles, blogs and social media communication. Contact Janet at [email protected]
It’s the end of another long, frustrating day, and you find yourself saying, Life didn’t turn out the way I planned. It usually doesn’t. And sometimes that’s okay. But if you find yourself stuck in a dead end job and unhappy with your daily routine, it might be time to try something different…time to set a new goal, choose a new career, or continue your education.
Going back to college can be a big part of any new start, but before you commit the time and resources to returning to school, take an honest look at who you are now, and what you want to do for the rest of your life.
The Answer Could Be Simple
Find some quiet time in your day to sit alone and think. Meditate on your life, and who you are at this point in your journey. Ask yourself if there is one thing you always wanted to do in life. If you know the answer to that question, than your search is over. Be true to your instincts and listen to that voice in your head that is speaking for your heart, even if that voice says, “I always wanted to be a doctor.” So what if you’re forty years old and finishing medical school will take the next ten to twelve years of your life. Those years will go by anyway and where will you be at the end of it. Why not be doing what you want?
What Do You Like About Your Current Job?
Take an audit of your current career and list the negatives and the positives about your job. If the positives outweigh the negatives, perhaps you’d like to continue in your current line of work, but furthering your education or expanding your skill set could put you in better position for promotions or a pay raise.
Even if your negative list is much longer than your positive you might still learn something about what you like. For example, if your current job is working at an entry-level retail job, you may think of lots of negatives, but the one big positive is that you like to meet and talk with people. If that’s the case, you may want to consider a career that involves interaction with the public. Or perhaps you’ll decide to be an entrepreneur and open your own business, in which case some business classes would be helpful.
What Unique Skills Do You Have
It’s likely that your current job, or past interests, have given you a unique set of skills that you don’t always give yourself credit for. Make a list of your skill set and decide if there is a talent you possess that you might like to expand on. For example, if you are good at using computers and fluent in several software programs, you might like to learn programming skills. Are you a good typist? Maybe you could pursue a court reporter job. Have provided in-home daycare? Maybe you’d like to pursue a career in preschool education. Everyone has hidden talents. Make a list of yours and think about how you might be able to use those in a new career.
What Are Your Hobbies?
The hobbies you choose to spend your free time on tell a lot about who you are and what you like, as do your volunteer activities. Perhaps skills you use for these activities can translate into a career. For example, if you like to volunteer time at your children’s school, perhaps you would like to be a teacher. If you like playing video games, perhaps you’d like to pursue a career in which you help design, program or market new video games. Think about what your passions are and how you might turn them into a career.
If after considering all of the above you are still not sure what you want to do, going back to school might be too big of a commitment. So start small. Start with one class see if you like it. Decide if you can juggle your current commitments while also attending school. You may decide that you don’t need a four-year degree, but that you would like to expand your current skill set through a trade school course. Even receiving a certification through continuing education courses might help you achieve the goal you want. The important thing is to get started. Make a change now.