For many creative professionals, such as fashion designers and writers, finding a career that they love is of the utmost importance, and it may be difficult to be satisfied with any less than the perfect career. Although getting a career that you love can be difficult for creatives, whether you want to pursue your creative talents or go for something completely different, this guide will explore the best ways that you can take steps into the industry that you have always dreamed about regardless of the age you are or the stage of your career that you are at.
Consider Your Passions and Hobbies
There is no point in changing your career if you are simply going to fall into another pursuit that you have no interest in. Changing your career is extremely difficult, and this means that the end result must be worth the toil that you are going to put into effectively returning to the start of your career journey again. Then, to find a career change that you will be happy with until retirement, you should consider your passions and hobbies and which of them could potentially make successful options for a career change. For instance, for many people who are interested in creative pursuits, they may be able to turn this interest into a job in design, fashion, art, architecture, or writing. These all allow you to pour your creative energies into unique projects.
Consider Completely Different Careers
However, even if you are an extremely creative person, there is no reason why you cannot consider a career in a different sector. In fact, many creatives find that they stop enjoying their passion when they are doing this as a job, and decide that they would rather enjoy a different type of work. Not only this, but creative careers do not often make a lot of money, and this can cause creatives to experience a lot of financial worry and stress. Then, many people choose to pursue a different career option in order to live in a financially stable situation from which they can then have the freedom to create in their spare time.
To re-find their pleasure in their art, they often choose to opt for a secondary career which can give them the flexibility to make art on the side and in their spare time. For instance, many creative people opt for nurse practitioner schooling or a similar venture which allows them to get inspiration for their work without having to drain their creative energies on corporate projects throughout every moment of the day. If you still want to stay creative while you are in the roles that are open to you from courses like nurse practitioner schooling, you may consider selling your work on the side or taking freelance projects that can fit around your work schedule.
There may also be opportunities to be creative in a non-creative career. Jobs in marketing and even healthcare roles that have been achieved from nurse practitioner schooling, need creative people. They often use creative people to lead different projects that are focused on elements such as design and art.
Research Your Career
Once you have decided on the best career for you, the next step is to make sure that you research what you are getting into and the steps that you need to take in order for you to do this. This will also allow you to find out whether your career choice is the best option for you in terms of factors such as salary, work/life balance, stress, and commitment levels. For instance, while jobs such as becoming a designer often have a low salary but a generous work/life balance, nurse practitioner schooling will often give you a stressful career that has high satisfaction levels.
There are many ways that you can research the different elements of the career that you are thinking about changing to, and this includes using a career guide or quiz online and by speaking to people who are already working within the same industry.
Change Your Attitude
Although there are major steps that you can take toward getting the career of your dreams and separating yourself from the corporate environment that you are unsatisfied with, a lot of being able to change your career successfully comes down to having the right attitude.
Changing careers is not always easy, and you should make sure that you are resilient and that you understand that you will not be able to instantly get the best job available. Instead, you will be taking baby steps in order to do. You also need to make sure that you are open-minded to the different possibilities that are available to you. For instance, by considering the benefits of humanitarian jobs and back-up careers, such as those that nurse practitioner schooling leads to, rather than solely creative options. You also need to accept that your career journey is different from everyone else’s; you are not a failure for wanting to try something new, nor will your career transition be the same as those that have come before you.
Know Who You Look Up to
Even though everyone’s career looks different, it can sometimes be helpful as a starting point to pinpoint professionals that you look up to and whose careers you would like to follow in the footsteps of. This can help you to get some idea of how to break into a new industry, especially if you are looking at a career that does not have a clear path, unlike professions such as healthcare, which have defined nurse practitioner schooling pathways. If you do not have any specific idols in mind, you should research the top professionals who are working within your industry, look at who is running the companies that you admire, and even consider finding a mentor who can instruct and guide you as to the best ways to enter an industry which you have no prior experience of.
Visit a Career Advice Service
It is extremely likely that you will not be looking to become a professional in career pathways and advice. However, there are people that are professionals in helping others to find their perfect careers. Speaking to a careers advice service or counselor can be extremely advantageous as they have seen many people before you who have been interested in changing careers. Not only will they be experienced in helping people to have a career change, but they will have inside knowledge of the different sectors and how to break into them. Not only this, but they may have lists of jobs and work placements that you may be able to apply for, as well as being able to check your resume to make sure that it will appeal to your new employers.
There are also many career advice services that operate on a specialist basis, meaning that you will easily be able to find someone with experience of handling artistic careers.
Make a Plan
Once you have decided on the job that you want to switch to, it is important that you are able to make a rough career plan that will outline the steps that you need to take. Although this plan should be as flexible as possible, plans can make a good starting point that will help you to be proactive and to make progress toward your dream career, no matter how small. Your plan should detail achievable aspects of your career journey, as well as big ones such as promotions, with small actions such as starting up a blog or creating a portfolio, just as valid as those career-defining moments that you crave.
Know the Job
It can be difficult to know whether your dream career is actually a job that you would enjoy without first having experience of it. To prevent yourself from quitting your job only to regret it, you should consider job shadowing before you take any other steps. Job shadowing will allow you to get some idea of the responsibilities that are associated with your new role, whether creative or not, as well as first-hand experience of what day-to-day life in the sector is like.
Another option to do this is by volunteering so that you can get an idea of what the job is like without the commitment that goes hand in hand with it. There are many websites and services that can help you to find local volunteering opportunities that suit you. These will allow you to volunteer flexibly around the job that you currently have.
Get the Right Funding
Although you may be looking for a different career in order to increase your salary, some career changes need you to have gathered the right amount of funding before you quit your previous job. For instance, you may need funding in order to pay for nurse practitioner schooling or to take the time off work that you need in order to take the plunge. Not only will this funding support you if you are out of work for a long time, but creative endeavors take a long time to build up traction, and this funding can support you while you take on the mantel of a ‘struggling artist’ so that you can do the career that you love.
To get funding for your career change, you should consider saving up your own money or contacting family and friends, as well as taking financial decisions such as re-mortgaging your home. You could also consider crowdfunding, especially if you are planning to sell creative wares in the future.
Go Back to School
If you are struggling to find a way to make inroads into the career that you want to change to, the best step that you can take is to go back to school. Although it is not the only option, getting a college degree can instantly brighten up your resume and attract the attention of employers, no matter what experience you have. Not only this, but going back to school will allow you to learn the intricacies of the industry that you are heading into, give you the chance to hone your skills, and even prepare you for the outside world with recommendations on finding work.
Many people are concerned or embarrassed to return to college as a mature student. However, mature students are more common than ever, and have even become a new normal throughout colleges in the USA.
However, if you still feel uncomfortable about returning to college as an older student, if you want to keep your job until you are qualified, or you want to learn while you are getting first-hand experience of a new industry, you should consider taking an online degree. You can take most degrees, from design qualifications to nurse practitioner schooling, in a digital format, with assessments taking place completely off-campus. If you want to base your education online and use technology to do so, Spring Arbor University offers a number of different degree options, including nurse practitioner schooling, for those that are looking into getting a non-creative role.
Take the Leap
The most important step that you need to take to change your career is to take the initial step. You should know when the right time is to quit your current job, and how you can approach your manager about your decision to leave your career. By knowing how to discuss this with your boss appropriately, you will be able to get a good reference while also ensuring that you do not stay in your job for a long time only because you are nervous about telling your manager that you have decided to move on. An opportune time to do this is when your contract is up for renewal.
Consider Starting Your Own Business
If you are struggling to find a job in your new career path, which can be difficult if you are a creative, you should consider starting your own business. Although this can be difficult to make successful, anyone can start their own business, and this makes it a great option for people that want to break away from the normal 9-5 work life. The best businesses for creatives to start include offering services such as web design expertise, or selling their own products, such as jewelry and homemade crafts. You can either do this on your own website or through a third party.