Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but it IS possible to turn your passion into a career. Here’s some evidence in the form of six very successful people who did just that!
The best time to be thinking about your next job is before you need it, while you are still employed.
Start now by exploring some of these ideas that will better prepare you for if and when the day comes to make a change.
7 Ways to Lay the Groundwork for Your Next Job (Even if You Don’t Know What it Is)
Wanting to start over in midlife and wondering if you’ve missed your chance? The answer is a resounding, “No!” Here are some key questions to consider as you reinvent yourself. The answers do not lie in your resume. Now What?® facilitator, Nancy Friedberg, one of the featured coaches, says, “You have to begin with a deeper dive into not just what you’ve done, but who you are.”
Do you suffer from burn out? Dreading waking up in the morning to face another workday? Sick of dealing with people and their issues at work? Feeling like you can’t get on top of work no matter how much you try? Wishing you’d get sick, just to get a break? Any of the former might be a good indication that you’ve had it. But, does that mean you have to leave and find a new job?
Wiping the slate clean and starting over is tempting, but considering the stress of a full-time job search or start-up attempt, an interim step will tell you if it’s really time to go. That step takes effort too but it will tell you if it’s really the job or if you’ve developed habits that have made the job impossible to bear. It’s probably a combination but I’ve seen people reinvent their career right where they are to great results.
Give problems back
Habit, budget cuts, and precedence are all reasons you’ve taken on more problems than you deserve. Getting them off your plate and cut up into pieces for others to do will go a long way to re-engaging you in the feast you came in to take part in.
Rip up the to do list
Most people carry a daily to-do list that couldn’t get done in a year. Give up the long-term to-do list and focus on three TRUE priorities. You’ll see things fall through the cracks but you’ll spend less time chasing things that were probably not that important to begin with.
What do you want to be known for?
It’s likely that you’ve forgotten. When work is a daily dread, you are off course from what you care about. Get back in touch with what you want to be known for as a person and as career achiever. When you answer it, you’ll see how much you are dragging along that does not fit. Go back to items one and two and become more ruthless with each one.
Clean up relationships
The people are what make work fun or at least tolerable. If you are hating work, you are probably not liking the people too much either. Is there anyone you need to set straight or apologize to? Is there anyone you need to meet with who should know you and what you are capable of? This is the time to clean up and/or improve visibility, exposure and the quality of your business relationships internally and outside the company too.
When you change how you play the game at work, people will need time to adjust to the new you. Warn them and train them to understand that you are not going to be doing things the way you had been. Massage their expectations as disappointments come up. Be steady and singular in your focus to redirect your efforts to your answer above to “What do you want to be known for?”
Within two or three months of transitioning the changes you’ll make, you’ll have a very clear answer as to whether you cured your burn out or if leaving for new challenges is the only answer. Either way is fine, but tweaking things first makes a good way to go no matter what. If you stay, you’ll be renewed in strength and focus. If you go, you’ll be clearer about what you need and you’ll have set the stage for a smooth exit. No hard feelings.
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Here we have three examples of women who started their own businesses. In one case the business idea originated as a simple holiday gift; in another instance the business started as a sideline; the third business involved a more deliberate study of a potential market niche. As Nan Langowitz, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship at Babson College states, “Even in an economic downturn, there’s opportunity for smart entrepreneurs.”
After being laid off from a company where she worked for 22 years, Gloria Schaffer is trying something new. She says, “The result of being laid off turned into a brand new life. You just never know what door will open. Don’t be afraid to walk through it.”
Today’s question is one we’re often asked and is answered by: Ginny Kravitz, Deputy Editor.
How long does it usually take for someone to transition to a new career?
Once you have identified the new direction in which you’d like to take your career, the transition may take anywhere from six months to a few years, depending on your specific situation and how big of a change you’re making. The typical experience is probably in the 6-24 month range. If you’re the type of person who takes a long-term view and is, for example, planning to retire from one career and begin another, then you might create a 3-5 year plan. More often, though, once you’ve identified your new direction, momentum will build on its own and change may very well happen sooner than expected. So, the answer is that it’s shorter for some and longer for others. Some people take more gradual steps and others take big leaps. Often, an interim move may be the bridge. One thing is for certain: Once you commit to a new direction, create a plan, and start taking consistent action, change happens.