A career switch is many a corporate worker’s dream, but few ever find the courage (or the finances) to make it happen. The good news is that with a healthy dose of motivation – and a clear game plan – you can head down a new path in your professional life and boost your personal fulfillment at the same time.
If you’re ready to Become a Local Leader and pursue new opportunities, keep reading.
1. Know What Kind of Work Works for You
Odds are, you want to escape your current career for a specific reason. Maybe the schedule is too demanding or restrictive, or maybe your work isn’t rewarding enough. Whatever your dissatisfaction with your current role, reshape those complaints into must-haves for your next professional move.
Consider and rank these priorities while considering your career:
A flexible schedule tops most professionals’ lists of must-haves. Even if you’re devoting 50+ hours to building an entrepreneurial endeavor, you can do it on your own time, and not the 9-to-5 grind your boss requires.
Plus, you might find that working in a new career means fewer hours yet a higher salary. And if you have a family, being able to schedule downtime on weekends or after school might be a lifesaver.
Potential for Scaling Income
“Scaling” is a buzzword for a reason: growth is always a good thing, be it your profits, sales figures, or customer loyalty. You might be happy with a side-job type career that keeps your bank account just above zero.
But if you want the potential to increase your income to devote cash to savings, personal purchases, or business expenses, then a scalable career path is a must.
You might not need to start your own company or become an independent contractor to ensure upward momentum, though. Swapping jobs to a career with a higher salary ceiling can check all the boxes, too.
On that same note, a position that lacks a glass ceiling is another worthwhile box to tick. Leaving room for personal improvement and professional growth will help make your new career more rewarding for much longer.
These days, many professionals prioritize becoming almost nomadic in their work. Prior to the pandemic, in 2017, nearly half of Canadians were already working from out of the office. If location independence matters to you, don’t compromise with a brick-and-mortar job.
Of course, if there’s one good thing that came out of the current economic climate, it’s that workers can telecommute from nearly anywhere in the world – and their bosses are fine with it.
2. Explore Lucrative Hobbies
You might not know it yet, but your next career move could be staring you in the face. Many hobbies can be lucrative if you approach them the right way. Whether your talent lies in crocheting baby blankets or organizing block parties, there could be a way to put your expertise to good (and lucrative) use.
Connecting to Your Community through a love of Real Estate
Maybe you’re the neighbor who always knows who’s doing what in your community. Or maybe you have a passion for staging homes and a talent for interior design. Pursuing a real estate license may be an excellent way to utilize your talent to earn an income.
Word of mouth can be a supremely effective way to source new clients, especially when you know your city or neighborhood well. Client-focused prospecting methods can also help you seek clients from day one.
Start Freelancing Based on Interests
Freelancing has grown in popularity for a handful of reasons. Extra income through side gigs is a plus for many professionals whose budgets are tight. But freelancing also gives would-be entrepreneurs an avenue to explore working for themselves.
You can find a range of freelance opportunities in every niche, from web development and design to writing, sales and marketing, and even administrative support roles as a virtual assistant. Whatever type of gig you want to sample, all it takes is a convincing pitch to get hired. Then you can decide if the niche interests you long-term.
3. Focus on Fulfilling a Need
Ultimately, what separates your passion from a professional path is whether you’re fulfilling someone else’s needs apart from your own. Delivering a product or service to clients should be the focus of your organizational structure. After all, without a loyal customer base, you won’t have a business model at all.
Fortunately, it’s easy to zero in on your prospective clients’ needs and arrange a business plan around exceeding their expectations. Overall, you have two options: offer services or sell a product.
Thinking on Services
From health and fitness coaching to house cleaning, there’s no shortage of service-oriented business ideas out there. For those who are passionate about cleanliness, starting a housekeeping service could be an ideal application of your enthusiasm for a spotless home. Or perhaps your former career involved finance and now you want to help other professionals learn to spend smart and save more.
Developing (or Sourcing) Products
If you already have a favorite product that you want to share with others, you’re ahead of the game here. But even if you’re not passionate about retail, forming a business model around supplying consumers with the things they love can be truly rewarding. Plus, as the International Trade Administration highlights, eCommerce in Canada will total a whopping $47.9 billion by the end of 2020.
Selling products doesn’t always involve hand-making items on your own, either. If you have a crafty hobby that you can scale up to meet consumer demand, by all means, go for it. But if you’re not so creative with your hands (or power tools), think about alternative retail models.
Dropshipping, for example, is an increasingly common eCommerce strategy. You could put your passion for blogging or website development to good use by creating an eCommerce storefront to sell products that a third party will ship for you. Narrowing down your options might be the hardest part of rolling the dice on a new professional role. For many workers wanting to quit an unfulfilling job, though, passion might be the biggest motivator and inspiration. Whether you’re feeling a bit adrift or know exactly where you want to go, subscribe to Become a Local Leader to learn more about shaping your career on your own terms while helping your community.
Disclaimer: This guest article was written by Mary Shannon. Mary created SeniorsMeet, along with her husband, Bob, to have a website that allows seniors to “meet up” and talk about topics that are relevant to their daily lives. They hope to build SeniorsMeet into a supportive community of like-minded seniors.
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