How to get unstuck when you don’t know what career to change into

You know you don’t want to stay in your current role. That’s the easy part. The hard bit is knowing where to go from there. 

If there’s one thing you take away from this piece, let it be this: career change doesn’t happen in your head. 

There’s a danger of spending months, or even years, thinking about changing careers. You might write down pros and cons lists, contemplating the case for (or against) leaving your current job. Perhaps you scroll through job boards, hoping that inspiration will strike and a dream job will jump out at you. All the while, your career change dream remains just that: something that only exists in your mind. 

Ultimately, if you’re serious about changing your career, you have to get out of your own head and take action in the real world. And to get unstuck, you need to start doing things differently. Think of curiosity as a compass that will guide you towards a career that fits.

Being curious in your career change journey is about being open to possibilities, expanding what you know right now, and giving yourself permission to experiment with new things, without putting pressure on yourself to find instant clarity. 

First, think about jobs that intrigue you. Which colleagues, friends, or even connections on LinkedIn work in jobs that pique your curiosity? Have conversations with those people to learn the details about their work, how they got there, the best and worst parts, and what skills are needed to succeed. Better yet, try out that job to get a real sense of whether it’s something you’d like to do longer term – shadow a colleague or volunteer your time to an organisation who needs support. 

Next, look at how you spend your time outside work. What would you be happy chatting about for hours? Do you gravitate towards a corner of the bookstore, lose all sense of time when you’re browsing a topic online, or does your podcast feed lean towards one genre in particular? These could all be clues pointing you towards meaningful and engaging work. Join a community with that shared interest. You’ll connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, learn from their expertise and maybe even find out about related job opportunities. 

Finally, there’s no limit to learning possibilities today. If a lack of knowledge is holding you back from getting into a new career, plug that gap. Enrol in a part-time course that fits into your lunch breaks, evenings or weekends, then show the world what you’ve learned. Post your thoughts online or solve a company’s problem and share your solution with them.

The best way of getting unstuck in your career change is by taking action. These are just a few ideas to get you going. Start anywhere, start small and start today.

About the author:

Roz Jackson works as a Copywriter who specialises in careers, recruitment and people communications. She’s passionate about supporting individuals’ career development, sharing careers advice and empowering professionals to design a career that fits them. 

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