At CAC we hear from many survivors prompted by their cancer experience to explore the idea of a career change. Whether their wish is to find more meaningful work, create greater balance in their life or finally pursue a long- coveted “dream job,” there’s often a common end goal: increasing overall feelings of happiness in their life. According to a recent article in The Muse, many people who are able to transition successfully do end up happier. However, key to doing so is reflecting on what your improved situation might look like, as well as creating and working through a step-by-step plan to ensure you don’t end up in another less-than-satisfying role.
Below are some tips and tricks for those who are ready to dive in and chart their way to a more fulfilling work life:
- Start by taking inventory of the activities you enjoy, to see what kind of inspiration you can find. Maybe you have a side job or volunteer gig that can be pivoted into full-time work, or a hobby that might spark an idea. Sure, not all recreational pastimes can be turned into paying jobs, but maybe rather than become a professional artist, your passion for watercolor painting might inspire you to look for a job at a local museum, where you can be around like-minded people.
- Next, take some time to think through the practicalities of your situation. Can you afford to make less money in exchange for a better work/life balance? Are you willing to move to a lower-ranking position to get yourself in the door of a new and preferred industry? Identifying the compromises you are (or aren’t!) willing to make will help you start to see how your potential career change can become a reality.
- Another great way to begin envisioning your new job as more of a reality is to research potential employers and think about which ones might be a good fit for you. Websites such as Glassdoor.com have company reviews that can be very illuminating. It’s also worth exploring companies’ websites and social media feeds to get a feel for the actual organizations themselves.
- Once you have a sense of where you might like to land in terms of industry and/or company, it’s wise to do some networking to set up informational interviews — or even interviews for specific positions. People often like to start by reaching out to people they already know, but don’t be afraid to connect to people on LinkedIn who are outside of your immediate circle, as most people are willing to help others find their next great opportunity!
To read the full article from The Muse, click here, and check out the following CAC resources for more on changing jobs or careers.
Articles & publications:
- “Cancer As Inspiration for Career Changes”
- “Finding Meaningful Work”
- “Networking: Getting Started”
- Informational Interviews
- Cancer and Careers’ Job Search Toolkit