They feel that they no longer fit into their current job. This is all the more true with the new generations, who are inclined to professional change and seek above all to be fulfilled.
It is moreover common today to see an engineer become a climbing instructor, or a teacher become an accountant. However, whether you want to change professions at the age of 30 or 50, it is not always easy to know your professional path. It is therefore essential to ask yourself the right questions before you start.
Finding your vocation
The famous proverb of Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you won’t have to work a single day in your life” makes you dream!
We spend a crucial part of our lives at work. Work contributes to our well-being by meeting our aspirations, our values, our social needs. It allows us to live, but also to find a place in society.
So when all or part of these needs are no longer met, it can give way to a feeling of unease and demotivation. This is when the question of (re)finding one’s professional path arises. Knowing what drives us, what motivates us, allows us to give meaning to what we do and to feel good.
Feeling like you don’t belong is confusing. It can become morally difficult in the long run. But rest assured, everyone has a vocation. You just have to find it. When you do, you’ll feel liberated and recharged!
How do you find your professional path? 7 tips : 7 tips
1. Take a step back
In order to have clear ideas and take time for reflection, it is necessary to clear your head. How can you answer all the questions you may have if you have your head in the handlebars? Taking a step back from your life, slowing down the pace, allows you to refocus on yourself and helps you to provide answers to your questions.
Take a vacation, take time for yourself, try meditation to create an environment conducive to defining your professional project.
2. Don’t be afraid of the gaze of others
We are conditioned from the youngest age. You have to have a good education, a good salary, a good job and a good family. Without forgetting that one should not make too many waves (one should not abuse either). We attach great importance to the regard of others, to what they may think of us.
So, when we want to get off the beaten track, we are afraid of being seen as enlightened: what will my entourage think if I convert? Will I disappoint them? Will I be taken for a hopeless case? Many other questions can come to mind. In this case:
- Think about yourself, about what you really want, take care of yourself. For once, it’s you first, others will see you later! Your goal is to feel good about your work, to be happy. No one else can be happy in your place;
- Be less strict with yourself, allow yourself the right to make mistakes. Know that you are often harder and more demanding than others are with you. You are afraid of being judged, but many people are kind. They can even become a real support;
- Take responsibility for your quest for happiness. There is no shame in wanting to find your career path and change professions.
3. Stop limiting beliefs
Limiting (or limiting) beliefs are the own limits we set for ourselves. They are also called “mental blocks”. These beliefs come to us from our experiences. These limits prevent us from being ourselves and fully asserting ourselves.
Each of us will have different beliefs according to our history, education, and living environment. In a reconversion project, they can be an obstacle to action and success. In particular, they can come from
- A lack of self-confidence: it’s useless, I won’t succeed, I don’t know how to speak in public, …
- Fear of other people’s eyes: they will think I’m crazy, they will find me lame, they won’t like me, …
- An “inheritance”: work is not fun, you have to grit your teeth until retirement, my parents want me to be an engineer, …
By having negative thoughts, we end up believing in them and being our worst enemy. It’s a bit like the “Coué method” in reverse. If you think you won’t find your way, you won’t find it. If you think you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail. By letting go of your limiting beliefs, you will open yourself up to many opportunities. Remember that the positive brings the positive. Believe that anything is possible and that you can do it. As Barack Obama said: “Yes you can”!
4. Get to know each other
It is not always easy to know who we really are. We tend, in our frantic rhythm, to follow the movement without listening to ourselves. Yet it is essential to identify what drives you to set yourself on the path to professional fulfillment.
Knowing you is knowing what is right for you and what is wrong. It means knowing your values, your qualities and your areas for improvement. To help you, you need to answer the following questions without putting barriers in your way and by being kind to yourself:
A. What are your aspirations?
It’s about taking stock of what you like, whether it’s been for several years or just recently, in a professional or personal context. You can list your centers of interest, your desires, your subjects of curiosity, etc.
B. What are your talents?
We all have skills. We don’t especially talk about having an extraordinary talent. We are all good at something. You can take the time to value what you can do, both personally and professionally.
C. What do you want and don’t want anymore?
Review your experiences, note the things that are essential to your well-being and the things that are not. For example, you might want: creativity, management, time for leisure. On the other hand, you might not want: business trips, working alone, etc.
Of course, the list is not exhaustive. You should also ask yourself what your needs, constraints, etc. are. The goal is to clear your mind and identify what is important to you, what motivates you, what you need.
5. Find your Ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese word meaning “joy of life” or “reason for being”. It is a personal development tool that links our aspirations, talents and the needs of the market. The point, when we have reached it, is to have a reason to get up in the morning and make sense of what we do. It is based on four notions:
- What you like;
- What the world needs;
- What you are or could be paid for;
- What you are good at.
The goal is to find the right balance to define a realistic career plan. Let’s say you love taking pictures. It goes without saying that no one will pay you because you love it. On the other hand, an employer may pay you a salary for being a photo lab technician.
You could sell your photos to an image bank or open your own photo studio. Once you have found your Ikigai, or at least tracks leading to it, you will see your professional vocation slowly taking shape.
6. Conduct business surveys in the field
You have completed your self-diagnosis and your Ikigai is taking shape. You should have one or more business ideas. Before you start your professional reconversion with your eyes closed, you should be sure of your choice.
To do this, you need to know what you are getting into. We sometimes get the wrong idea about our ideal job. However, every job has advantages and disadvantages. You will have to identify them.
There’s nothing like getting feedback from professionals and conducting investigations in the field. This will allow you to perceive the stakes of the trade, the constraints, the training to be followed and any other information that will allow you to make a decision. It will also be a great opportunity to develop a professional network. Here are a few ideas to help you:
- Create a directory of professionals;
- Contact several people to have a better vision;
- Prepare a list of questions before your appointment;
- Offer to do an observation period so that you can appreciate the daily routine.
7. Call on professionals
Sometimes, despite our efforts, we feel overwhelmed by the situation. The path to fulfillment and change is not always easy. We don’t know where to start and sometimes we give up. In this case, there are coaches or career transition consultants.
These specialists offer various services: career counselling, skills assessment, coaching in retraining or business creation, etc. They can guide you step by step in your reflection and motivate you to go all the way. They bring method and help you not to spread yourself too thin.
In particular, you can take advantage of a personality test to find out which job is right for you. They can also represent a beneficial emotional support when you go through important or difficult moments in your project.
If you feel the need, don’t hesitate to ask about their support techniques.
As you will have understood, finding your career path is not always a long, calm river. It takes time and to really look into it. You must allow yourself to dream and to question yourself. A career change is prepared and studied.
It is also a great adventure, exciting and motivating. So dare to take the plunge, dare to be happy.