You feel stuck in your field. No one is hiring and you’re desperate for work. But don’t aimlessly apply to any available job you find. Follow the steps below to focus your search and eventually land in a career that will make you happy.
Step 1: Determine Your Passions
But before you consider a wholesale career switch, the first step is to figure out exactly what you’re passionate about—and what you can and cannot tolerate doing. For example, if you faint at the sight of blood, you probably shouldn’t switch to nursing from hospital administration. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to make some informed decisions. Remember: a bad job market can change in a year or two—a career is a long-term commitment.
Step 2: Work Harder
There are jobs out there and you can get them, but you’ll have to be ferocious. That means tracking down every lead, getting your resume in front of every connection, and doing your homework—in an economy like this, you can’t expect anyone to just hand you a fabulous opportunity. And if your only option is a job you would consider beneath your level, consider taking it, learning something, and using it as a jumping off point to your next job (once the market loosens up a bit).
Step 3: Learn
Ask people you respect who have jobs you admire to let you pick their brain about career prospects and how they got where they are. Do your research. Scour the internet. Bone up on all the latest in your field, plus adjacent fields. That way, whatever comes up, you’ll be ready.
You can also consider specializing, particularly in something challenging or unique. That will make you an instantly hirable asset should you find a company in need, and it will also keep you fresh. Get as much extra education as you can, particularly in things that interest you the most. That will never be time wasted.
Above all, follow your heart. Keep your head down, work hard, do a bit of soul-searching and preparation, and eventually you’ll find the right job—no matter the market.
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