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Changing Careers to Pursue a Passion: When You Realize Another Career Would Be a Better Fit

There’s no rule that a job has to be “work.” Why can’t it be fun and involve doing something you love?

You may find you’ve chosen or happened into a career that isn’t what you expected or doesn’t totally fulfill your needs or dreams. You may think that because you’ve invested time and money in a degree or training for that career, you should invest the time to make it work. If you have a family to support, you may feel you’re “stuck” in that field and trying to get out of or change it will require more time and money.

On the other hand, you may realize that another career you have in mind would be a much better fit for you and make you happier and more fulfilled. As you grow and come to realize who you are, you may see what it is you truly love to do and where your passions lie. It may strike you that it’s possible to realize your dreams about pursuing those passions professionally.

You probably know someone who left a grueling or unfulfilling job to do something they love — the business consultant who started a dog walking service, the lawyer who became a teacher, or the banker who opened a restaurant. You can do that too! Some research may be required, but chances are that any passion you have is something you already know a great deal about. You may already have some skills in that area or education and experience that will transfer over very well.

Here are some suggestions for getting started on pursuing your passion:

  1. Read up as much as possible on your newly chosen career and the industry it’s in. Find out what education, training, certifications, etc. are required.
  2. Talk to career coaches about what steps they recommend for making a career change.
  3. Talk to people in your desired field about how they got started, what training they used, and what their day is like.
  4. Attend meetings hosted by professional organizations in your desired field to network and build connections. You may find potential bosses, co-workers, business partners or mentors.
  5. Use social networks such as LinkedIn to see if there are relevant contacts through your connections and ask those connections to make an introduction.
  6. Take relevant classes to ensure you have all the necessary skills but also the right comfort level with performing them.
  7. You might want to first volunteer, shadow people in similar jobs, or work or train part-time with a business in your desired field. This will help you get the full sense of what the job entails and confirm whether you are making the right move. 

Embarking on a new career path may seem daunting, as it’s a major life-changing event. It might involve taking risks such as a temporary cut in salary. It might require taking several baby steps at first to fully assess the new direction you’re taking and immerse yourself in your new professional world. One step we know you’ll need to take: completely revamping your resume to convey the new you and taking a new approach with how you present yourself in cover letters and interviews with prospective employers, partners or investors. No matter how much work it takes, you’ll find that, in the end, changing your career path to pursue your passion will lead you to greater happiness and fulfillment. 

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