Ready for a Career Change? 5 Tips to help you in your job search

Many of the clients I have seen lately have noticed that their careers are not giving them the satisfaction they once did. They make good money, have a prestigious role, and do well at their job but don’t look forward to going to work, especially on Sunday nights.  Have you heard of the golden handcuffs? It is where you stay at a job because it pays well but may not make you happy. When you stay simply for money it is usually not good for you nor the employer. I recall hearing a friend tell me about his roommate who had received a new job offer. His current employer offered him 10K more to stay and not take the new job. I asked, “Is he leaving because of the money?” He said no. I followed up by asking if, 10K would solve the problems of why he is leaving, and he said no. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love an extra 10k, but is your continued unhappiness worth it?

Some of the career changes I have seen recently through clients, family, or friends are mortgage broker to an acupuncturist, non-profit director to a school teacher, and corporate executive to the owner of body wrap business. Several years ago, I read a book What Should I do with My Life by Po Bronson. It was an interesting book where the author researches people who make drastic career changes. It’s quite normal to want to make a career change since you spend so much of your life working on your career.

What can you do if you are pretty sure it is time for a career change?

1. Do some self-reflection and get to know yourself better

Look at your current job. What do you love about it? What is missing from it? Ask family, friends, and co-workers the strengths they see in you. If you can develop this list, it can help you to see what sort of job duties you may enjoy. Also, write down your must haves. What is the lowest salary you’d be willing to take, what kind of benefits do you want or need, or what size of company do you want to work for?

2. Conduct career exploration

Your dream job may be out there but you just don’t know the title. Many people I know who are happy in their jobs didn’t know that was the job that would make them happy. One of the best ways to learn about a career without a large time or financial commitment is through an informational interview. UC Berkeley does a great job explaining informational interviews.  I find that many folks skip this step or wait until they’ve invested time and money into a degree without doing proper research. YouTube is also a great place to find information about careers. There are videos on YouTube about everything!

3. Prepare your marketing documents

Once you have a good idea about what you'd like to do next, your resume and LinkedIn profile should reflect your new desired career field.  It is important that your resume utilizes language and examples that hiring managers can relate to and understand in your new desired career field. If you are applying to multiple industries, you will have multiple resumes. Be sure your format is up to date. You can find a resume template here. Also, there are several resources you can find online to help you update your resume but if you’d prefer to work with a coach, you can do that too. Happiness Now can help you update your resume, tailor your resume to a specific industry, or build a resume.

4. Network, network, network

If you want to find a good job, networking is key. Talk to your friends and family and let them know you are searching for a new job. You never know who they know. Utilize LinkedIn and other online platforms to find people to network with in your desired industry. I can personally provide you examples of how networking has worked to help me find a  job. When I first moved to San Diego from Indiana, I didn't know anyone but I needed a job. To help meet people and participate in fun activities, I attended Meetup groups. During one Meetup event, my new friend Fred says, hey I know someone who works at the University of California, San Diego Career Center, a well-known local prestigious university, would you like to connect with him? I said yes, please! I was referred to the Director of the Career Center who was happy to meet with me for an informational interview. By the end of that one-hour meeting, he informed me of an opening in his office and asked if I would like to interview for that role?  A week later I interviewed, was offered the job, and accepted. 

5. Look for companies and organizations that match your values

You may already have a type of job that you could do for several companies or organizations. However, you may like to work for one organization and not another because the company’s values do not align with your own. You will want to do some online research, talk to people who currently or used to work there, and ask questions about the company culture if you obtain an interview.

If you feel like it’s time to start your own business, there are several free or inexpensive resources available to you. is a great place to start. Score offers inexpensive workshops and free mentors for small business owners or start-ups.

There are several resources out there to make a career change. You can work with a local career center, university or college career center, or a coach like myself.

At Happiness Now, we coach you through the career development process including self-assessment, career exploration, creating/updating resumes, conducting a job search, ways to network, and managing your career. To see if our services are right for you,  Email or text/call 619.880.7010.  If you recently lost your job, retired, or are struggling with a career change, check out my blog I Need a Job for tips on how to handle your transition.

If you’ve made a career change lately and like to share, please leave your comments below!

Happiness Now

Source: Informational Interview visited  on 8/13/2017