Career Change: Finding a Career You Love

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Dolly Parton, “Mule Skinner Blues”

How to Find a Career You Love

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Have you been considering a career change? Sometimes, the first and hardest step is getting clear about what it is that you want to do. Even with that clarity, there can be other obstacles that need to be worked through before you can find a career that you love.

Here at Growing Self, we have life coaching and career coaching clients often begin their work with us because they are searching for answers to questions like these:

Should I go back to school?

How will changing careers impact my family?

What career is congruent with who I really am?

What am I truly capable of?

Should I take a leap or should I make an incremental change?

Should I just focus on improving the career I’m currently in?

How — Or If — To Change Careers

If you’re asking these questions too, then this episode on career change and finding a career you love is for you.

In this Episode: Career Change, Finding a Career You Love…we will be discussing:

  • How to figure out if you’re having “escape fantasies” and if so, how to avoid making mistakes in your career.
  • The myth of the perfect career vs what a realistic “career experience” should be.
  • Escape fantasies vs making slight shifts.
  • Differences around career changes between men and women.
  • The utility of taking a career assessment test or career placement test.
  • How to use your dark emotions to illuminate your career truth
  • How to manage career challenges unique to different stages of life

No matter if you’re a recent graduate looking to get clarity about what you want to do with your life, in an established career that you’re feeling dissatisfied and discouraged with, or if you’re getting back into the workforce after taking a break or dealing with a layoff, you’ll definitely want to hear this great career advice.

Career Change Resources:

  • Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
  • Glassdoor
  • Career Info and Career Assessment Test Options (self-assessment)

How Do I Find a Career I Love?

It is said “when you have a job that you love, you won’t have to work a day in your life.” Although loving every second of every hour of your job is unrealistic, it is still possible to work in a profession that is fulfilling. Many ask the question “where do I start?” There are steps you can take that can move you forward on your journey to creating a career that you love

I’ve invited career coach Maggie Graham on this episode of the podcast to share some insight on the subject. Maggie, who has been career coaching since 2011, said one of the first questions that people need to ask themselves is “do they really want to change careers?” or “are they just burnt out?” 

Maggie shares that if there are no boundaries at work, this can not only lead to burnout but it can also affect the qualities of a person’s personal relationships. To change the circumstances, Maggie states, “Ask yourself; where is your power in this? So you can set limits in your profession.”

Another important question people need to ask themselves is “Who am I?” When you discover and hone in on your characteristics and passions, this can set a strong foundation for finding a career that you love. 

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How to Figure Out a Career Change

When you finally have recognized and solidified that indeed you are looking to change jobs or careers, you cannot simply throw caution to the wind. Creating a game plan will be advantageous for a career change path. Having a strategy or self-reflective process that includes the following will be beneficial for figuring out what career will best meet your needs.

Job Shifting: On the podcast, Maggie says that starting from scratch can be tempting but people should take the skills they have already and see if there is just a different position in the company they should try out. Can you shift into a role that is more rewarding within your department or organization?

Burnout or Time for Change: According to the Mayo Clinic “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Burnout can feel like you have a lack of support at work, there is not a healthy work/life balance, or there is a dysfunctional work dynamic. If you love what you do, but are not comfortable with the work environment or workload, is there a way you can take the power that you do have and collaborate with your supervisor to create a healthy workspace for you? 

Symptoms that you may be experiencing burnout involve:

  • Boredom
  • No room for growth
  • The “magic is gone.”

Self Doubt: Employee burnout can be one symptom of dissatisfaction at your current workplace, but sometimes job dissatisfaction stems from something deeper within yourself. Maggie shares that “people can have a sense of inadequacy…an inner critic within themselves. What is important is that they have to be able to work with that inner critic. We have to have the ability to assert ourselves at work.” 

When changing careers, it can be easy to find yourself at a dead end. After filling out countless applications and attending a few interviews, it is natural to become discouraged. What is the solution for being unstuck? Know that you’re not alone. 

When find yourself in a challenging place when applying to jobs try:

  • Following up with places that you applied to,
  • Review your resume and add any keywords that you have seen repeated on job adds to your resume,
  • Contacting several job recruiters to aid in your job search, 
  • Reach out to a career coach for advice.

It is imperative not to give up and stay motivated during your job hunt. How do you stay motivated during a job search? One simple way is to remind yourself why you are job searching in the first place and surround yourself with a supportive group of friends. Remember you are not alone in your job hunt and the people closest to you will always be rooting for you!

Real Help for Finding a Career You Love

At Growing Self we do not just want you to find a job to obtain a sustainable income, we want you to find your life’s purpose. Our career coaches provide clients the confidence they need to go after the career they want, strategize how to have their dream job, and work with the skill set that they have so they may fulfill that role successfully. 

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Career Change: Finding a Career You Love

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Dolly Parton, “Mule Skinner Blues”

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4 Comments

  1. I just listened to the podcast on Finding a Career You Love. It was amazing and so helpful. I am currently in a situation where I am trying to determine if I should stay in my role and pivot, or whether I have a toxic workplace environment where a pivot will not make a difference in how I feel about my job. What does a pivot look like for someone? How can individuals do this successfully in a workplace where there is uncertainty? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    1. Dear Amy,

      You’re asking some great questions here, ones that I hear often. I’m so glad that you took the time to comment because I suspect many other listeners share your questions. First, it may be helpful for you to drill down and find out whether your workplace is toxic, whether it’s triggering you in a particular way (in which case an internal pivot may take a great deal of political capital and not get you to where you want to go.

      Consider reading this article and listening to the accompanying podcast episode called Are You In a Toxic Workplace? How to Know If You Are…and What To Do About It.

      Second, I’m so glad you used the word “pivot” because that’s much easier to do than a complete overhaul or a dramatic career change. Pivoting looks like changing departments, changing roles, changing managers – essentially shifting by one degree or one variable. It’s a great experiment because it helps isolate what’s troubling you and helps you hone in on how to offer relief to your situation.

      Finally, uncertainty is a huge hurdle for all of us, whether it’s in the workplace or in our personal lives, and navigating uncertainty takes five ingredients: 1) a clear sense of yourself – your drivers, your triggers, your strengths, and other dimensions of your identity, fulfillment, and performance; 2) a solid support system that you can activate when you need it; 3) clarity about what’s at risk and what you’re willing to risk; 4) a game plan for when you encounter obstacles; and 5) resilience so that you can recover if things take a tough turn.

  2. I just listened to the podcast on Finding a Career You Love. It was amazing and so helpful. I am currently in a situation where I am trying to determine if I should stay in my role and pivot, or whether I have a toxic workplace environment where a pivot will not make a difference in how I feel about my job. What does a pivot look like for someone? How can individuals do this successfully in a workplace where there is uncertainty? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

  3. Dear Amy,

    You’re asking some great questions here, ones that I hear often. I’m so glad that you took the time to comment because I suspect many other listeners share your questions. First, it may be helpful for you to drill down and find out whether your workplace is toxic, whether it’s triggering you in a particular way (in which case an internal pivot may take a great deal of political capital and not get you to where you want to go.

    Consider reading this article and listening to the accompanying podcast episode called Are You In a Toxic Workplace? How to Know If You Are…and What To Do About It.

    Second, I’m so glad you used the word “pivot” because that’s much easier to do than a complete overhaul or a dramatic career change. Pivoting looks like changing departments, changing roles, changing managers – essentially shifting by one degree or one variable. It’s a great experiment because it helps isolate what’s troubling you and helps you hone in on how to offer relief to your situation.

    Finally, uncertainty is a huge hurdle for all of us, whether it’s in the workplace or in our personal lives, and navigating uncertainty takes five ingredients: 1) a clear sense of yourself – your drivers, your triggers, your strengths, and other dimensions of your identity, fulfillment, and performance; 2) a solid support system that you can activate when you need it; 3) clarity about what’s at risk and what you’re willing to risk; 4) a game plan for when you encounter obstacles; and 5) resilience so that you can recover if things take a tough turn.

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