On average, we spend over 84,365 hours at work during our lifetime. And while we cannot expect every day we spend at our desks to be fun, it’s important that we get some sort of fulfillment out of our job beyond the paycheque. After all, if you are dedicating so much of your time to something, you should at least enjoy it.
For many, finding enjoyment in their work means having the courage to leave a toxic work environment or a job that offers them stability but no fun. To put it simply – you have to take a risk. However, this risk can pay off in various ways, such as:
- Increased workplace satisfaction and drive.
- A better work-life balance and professional freedom. For example, you could relocate and work from anywhere in the world.
- The chance to better manage your finances or achieve financial freedom.
- The opportunity to set the perfect example for your children about following your dreams.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to take your career into your own hands!
- Be prepared to learn. Success will never fall into your hands by chance – you have to work for it. As a result, whether you are changing careers, seeking out a new position, or starting your own business, you must be prepared to learn. In some cases, this might require you to go back to school. However, you can also develop a range of skills through online resources. For example, if you’re taking on a managerial position, you could utilize these 20 Proven Tips For First-Time Managers to get yourself up to speed on what is required of you.
- Try your hand at freelancing. While starting your own business can be a great way to take control of your career, it’s not your only option. For example, you might also want to consider working as a freelancer. This is a great career choice for those who get bored quickly, as no two days are the same, and you can always keep your eye out for new projects. However, you should also be aware of the various challenges that come alongside freelancing. For example, your salary could change each month depending on which projects you complete, meaning you might have to be a little more mindful of your spending and monthly budget.
- Believe in yourself. In any industry, confidence is key to climbing the ladder towards success – as when you believe in yourself, you make it easier for others to believe in you too. As a result, you should do whatever it takes to maintain a positive mindset, especially as you transition into new work. This will also make your approach to work healthier, as you’ll no longer be seeking validation from others. This, in turn, will help you to banish imposter syndrome and similar feelings of doubt so that you’re able to take bigger professional leaps, such as asking for a raise or applying for your dream job. This skill will also come in handy in job interviews or when seeking out potential investors when starting your own firm.
- Work on your resume. As mentioned above, a lot of your professional success can be attributed to your ability to sell yourself or demonstrate your skills. As such, this also means that you need to work on curating the perfect resume. Ideally, you should make sure your resume is concise while still detailing your critical skills, experiences, and qualifications. Keep the formatting simple and easy to read. You should also make sure it’s free from the common resume mistakes that could cost you the job.
- Set yourself regular goals. By its very nature, taking your career into your own hands means working towards your long-term goals. However, it’s easy to get disillusioned when things don’t happen right away, resulting in a loss of motivation. You can remedy this by breaking down long-term goals into smaller ones. This way, you’ll experience a little success every few months instead of a few years while also working to conquer the goal as a whole!
- Find a mentor. The current job market is hard to navigate, especially as more and more people are now applying for each job. As a result, your qualifications alone are often not enough to get your foot in the door. However, there are plenty of ways to combat this, such as by seeking out a mentor within your chosen industry. They will be able to provide you with clear guidance on the steps you should be taking to get where you want to be, whether that be volunteering or returning to studying. They could also help you to forge meaningful connections with others in the industry or recommend you for a position when a job becomes available within their company.
- Focus on developing transferable skills. While certain skill sets are industry-specific, you’d be surprised about just how many transferable skills we develop during our professional lives. For example, communication skills are vital in just about every career. As a result, you should focus on developing your transferable skills as much as possible so that you are able to enter any industry or position with confidence and ease.
- Find something that you are passionate about. As mentioned previously, job satisfaction will enhance your life in many ways. However, it could also give you the drive you need to succeed (or get out of bed for an early morning meeting). As such, if you’re ready for a change, think carefully about your various passions and hobbies and think about the ways in which you can monetize them. For example, if you have a keen interest in photography, you could become a photographer offering family photoshoots or similar services. Alternatively, if you’ve got a creative spirit and love to write, you could start your own blog. While this might not bring in money right away, as your platform grows, you’ll be able to earn income when people engage with your content or through sponsored posts.