You’re not alone.  Hundreds, if not thousands of people are seemingly in the wrong career.  Roles they don’t find interesting, ones with tasks they gain limited enjoyment from, and even jobs in environments they can’t stand.  So, if you find yourself in this position, what can you do?

Before you do anything you need to understand what isn’t working for you.  Start by reflecting on the different aspects of your job and future career opportunities.  Is the job wrong or is the whole career taking you in a direction you don’t want?  What in particular do you not want?  How big is the potential impact of these elements?  It’s possible that you may be overly focusing on one or two elements.  If this is the case, could you be heading in the right direction?  I found myself leaving jobs, not because they weren’t the right opportunity, but because I wasn’t moving quickly enough.  A few conversations could have put me in a better position for development and progression opportunities.  So, just be mindful of what is actually going on for you.

If you realise you’re definitely heading in the wrong direction, it’s time to figure out what you’d prefer to do.   What do you enjoy about your current job and want to keep doing?  What do you want to avoid in the future?  As you reflect on different aspects of your life, is there anything that you would want to turn into a career?  Remember to focus on what you enjoy, as you’re going to spend a fair amount of time working.  Knowledge can be learnt.  Skills can be developed.  What you enjoy is inherent to you.

Now, get researching.  Prospects has a great quiz to get you started with ideas.  Then it’s up to you to find the options that really appeal to you.  Once you have a few options, it’s time to understand what the career is really like.  Can you get some work experience?  Who can you speak with that has the same or similar role?  The more insight you have, the more likely you are to make a good decision about your next career.  You’ll also have completed sufficient research to support your application and be able to discuss your interest during interviews.

Just remember, it’s not the end of the road if you choose the wrong career again.  This is a journey and you’ll learn more about what the right career could be.