(By: Jane Applegate)
What do you love about your job? Is it the flexibility in your hours? The work you do or who you do it for? Maybe it’s the comraderie among your coworkers or the exciting challenges you face every day. Hopefully it’s a little bit of all of the above.
But, what if it’s not? For those of you who read the paragraph above and thought “Wow, it would be nice if I could say yes to even one of these,” work can be hard. It can feel meaningless, lonely or stagnant. Changing your situation doesn’t always equal changing your job, but sometimes that’s really the best way to reignite your passion for your profession. Here are four tips to help you feel empowered in your work and inspired by your career — no matter what field or industry you are in.
#1 Redefine Your Career Goals
When we take the time to reflect on our career path, it can often help us understand the changes we want to make to our career trajectory. When you define your main professional goals and objectives, you are better able to choose jobs that align with your goals and thus keep you satisfied longer. There are many tools to help you brainstorm your vision and set career goals. One effective strategy is to think about how you want your life to look one year, three years and five years from now. Looking at your home, friends, family and work will help you plan a career path that prioritizes meaningful work with a strong balance for your personal aspirations.
#2 Become Your Own Boss
For those people with an entrepreneurial spirit who feel underutilized at work, branching out with your own business can be a very fulfilling career path. Some professionals, such as those in IT, marketing or web development, often find work as consultants, while those looking to harness their business prowess dive into sales. E-commerce is an ideal way to explore owning your own business. With the dropshipping model you don’t even have to store or ship inventory! With low upfront costs and investment, you can focus on other important aspects of starting a successful business, like building an engaging, mobile-friendly website, picking out unique, niche items to sell and creating a world-class customer service strategy.
#3 Plan Your Job Hunt Strategy
When you’re ready to start looking for a job at a new company or a new line of work altogether, you’ll need to plan a strategy long before you apply. Why? Because knowing who you are and what you want is key to landing your dream job. First, research jobs you want and make sure your resume reflects those key qualifications. If it doesn’t, it’s time to spruce up your resume. Update language to reflect current industry jargon and reconnect with old references to make sure they’re still willing to give you a good word. You may even hear of a few good opportunities by connecting with those old colleagues. Next, research top-notch cover letter ideas and examples so you can take steps to ensure your introduction shoots to the top of the applicant pile.
#4 Polish Up Your Online Profiles
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Unfortunately, these days that first impression often happens online. Your application and resume look good, so it’s only natural for a hiring manager to look up your social media profiles to get a better sense of who you are. Most organizations don’t just want the right skill fit; they also want the right culture fit. They can often get a feel for your personality, values and vision by visiting your online profiles. Take the time to do an audit of your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts to make sure they are potential-employer friendly.
Getting ready for a new step in your professional life can take time and planning. Whether you want to start your own business, spruce up your resume or reconnect with old references, you’ll see better, faster and more relevant results when you take the time to look before you make your next career leap.