By Daisy Whitney
Change can be one of the scariest words in the English language. Especially if you're stuck in a rut.
That's because ruts are good for wagons, but not for life. To be precise, ruts are made when wheels continually roll over the same path over a long time, making them a perfect device to keep wagons on a road, but a recipe for disaster when it comes to a career. In those cases, ruts don't keep you on a steady course; they can make you feel trapped.
Maybe you have an overbearing boss, coworkers from another planet, or hours of dull, unfulfilling work. Maybe you've dreamed of getting a different degree and tackling a new profession. While big changes like a new career or going back to school are just that - big changes - they can be done if you are ready to invest the energy to get out of that rut.
Changing your situation may be tough and scary, but the payoff comes in doing what you love. The passion you'll find is worth the effort.
If you want to land a new job, go back to school or embark on a new career, the starting point is to reflect on your motivations for wanting out of your current job and your desires for another. Roberta Chinsky Matuson of Human Resources Solutions recommends asking yourself questions like:
Then think about the type of career you want to have. Andrea Kay, author of "Life's a Bitch and Then You Change Careers," outlines several steps to help you understand what career path to pursue.
Once you have thought about these issues and have some focus on what type of change you are looking for, you can get started with the practical work in finding the job of your dreams, says Allison Schwartz, life coach from Alliumcoaching.com. Here are her tips.
If getting your dream job requires some training that you don't already have, then going to school to learn the skills for a new career is the way to go for several reasons:
Make sure you choose a school that offers classes and degree objectives in the field you want to work in and a schedule that works for you. Once in school, however, it's not enough just to go to the classes and do the school work. Stever Robbins, of The Stever Robbins Company, offers some other tips for succeeding at school:
Remember that deciding to change careers or go to school involves sacrifice, Kay says. Don't forget to consider the costs in money, time and the effect on your relationships. Make sure the path you choose is worth the price. If so, you can make a very long and rewarding career for yourself, and avoid ever being in a rut again. Then go for it!
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