Randy Wooden is the Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill NWNC
You can reach Randy at their new location (Goodwill Industries 2701 University Parkway in Winston-Salem) at (336) 464-0516.
TOPIC: How to Reinvent Your Career: Steps you can take right now to find a new job on a new path.
Are you feeling burned out, frustrated, unfulfilled… and ready for “something different” in your career?
Feel like you’re at a fork in the road? Should you “settle” for your present work or carve out a new path?
Most of us have felt this way at some point in our professional life. And, whether it’s our employer laying us off or our proactively leaving, the thought of reinventing ourselves can be both a daunting and confusing challenge.
Let’s explore the reinvention topic. What drives it? How do you go about the discovery process? How do you land that next gig once you’ve determined what you’d like to do?
First, don’t confuse reinventing with mid-life crisis. Changing course isn’t limited to the over-40 crowd. It can occur at any point in your career. Some factors in play may include a sense that what you do doesn’t have value to society, your work isn’t challenging, you never seem to feel “in control” or “caught up” at work, you’re in a dead end job or perhaps a dying industry, etc.
It’s one thing to want to progress in your field, whether that simply means a change of company or more senior job title. It’s another to want a change of job function and/or industry. Yet, we’re creatures of habit where change creates anxiety and fear in many.
Change often depends on our perspective. Fear of the unknown versus growth opportunity. The book, Who Moved My Cheese? is a quick read and may help with focusing on the positives of stepping out of our comfort zone. I call it a “comfortable rut.” We know our job and probably perform it well, but we’re simply trading our time for a paycheck. And before we know it, 20 years fly by.
Many of my clients reach their fork in the road as a result of being laid off. Perhaps you’re in the same boat. Sure, you didn’t feel fulfilled in your past job, but it provided an income and your desire to leave never trumped the hurdles involved with charting a new course. Now that the rug has been pulled out from underneath you you’re forced to take a closer look at what your next job will look like.
You could pursue a similar position. After all, you’re most marketable sticking with what you’ve done. But perhaps your industry is dying. Maybe you’re facing age or other issues (lack of a degree, for instance) which make it difficult to continue your same work with a different company.
What if you want to try something else? How should you go about determining that next step… a step outside your comfort zone?
Begin by taking inventory of what you like—and don’t like—about work you’ve done. The easiest transitions are maintaining your function while switching industries or maintaining your present industry while switching job functions.
Conduct informational interviews with people from industries and/or job functions you think you might enjoy. Additionally, there are many assessments you can take to help guide you based on your interests, aptitudes, and personality. https://goo.gl/aQJApx
It’s always an honor to bring in Randy Wooden, Director of Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina’s Professional Center, to share his career perspective. Today he writes in Psychology Today about career reinvention.