Does a new career sound like the fresh start you want most? Bailing from the gig you’ve got can seem risky or downright irresponsible, but it can be a source of excitement if you take the time to explore your options before taking a big, permanent leap.

Before we look at the ways to explore a new career, let’s think about what a career should feel like experientially.

Your career should:

  • Bring you a sense of purpose.
  • Create income.
  • Provide a service or solution.
  • Excite you.
  • Deepen your connection to those you serve and work with
  • Be working towards an end plan.

Is this your current situation?
If your current career or line of work isn’t fulfilling these important points, it might be driving you to want more. But what?

If you feel unsatisfied with your current situation, consider these simple exercises designed to open up your options.

Explore: Before you can do anything, you must explore what’s out there. Keep your eyes open, get curious, and explore what is out there. Pay attention to what you gravitate to naturally. Ask your friends and family what they think you are really good at that you may not have considered as an employment option. Look closely at the people you encounter each day and get curious about what their careers are and how they may have gotten started. 

Interview: People love to be interviewed. Making someone else the center of attention is a great way to win friends and influence people. Asking a simple question like, “How did you get started in this career?” or, “What drew you to this line of work?” can open wonderful doors that you never knew existed. Interview people who are doing the work you are curious about and you may discover the work is better, or worse, than you realized.

Volunteer: Once you think you have a good idea of what career you’d like to morph into, it is time to volunteer. Many ideas sound good in theory, but actually don’t pan out in practicality. By volunteering and getting exposure, you can assure yourself that all aspects of the career work for you before you waste time and resources.

Exploring a new career is no different than exploring anything new. Don’t make a rash decision too quickly, do your due diligence, and check the fine print, and you will be fine. Enjoy the exploration, interview, and volunteering stages, and you can be assured your move will be amazing.