Turning it around in 5 steps: Help! I hate my career!

Turning it around: Help! I hate my career!

by Karen Bremner, a Brisbane-based career coach


Maybe you’ve been unhappy for ages… or maybe it’s only just hit you, that you loathe your job. Either way, once you’ve realized you’re in the wrong career, clearly something has to change. You’re certainly not alone – studies find that most Australian’s dislike their work – but life’s too short to spend your life clock-watching, and dreading the start of each week.

 The good news? You can always change career – whoever and wherever you are.  The trick’s to take your time and break it down into small, achievable steps…

Step #1:     Audit your career

First you need to identify exactly what’s wrong with your career. What’s missing? What makes you most unhappy or stressed? What most drains – and charges – your batteries? Start exploring your career needs.

It can help to look back on your life – jobs and hobbies – and start looking for patterns. Where were you happiest? Where, the least? What are the themes that connect them? Start listing what you need to be happy in any future career.


Step #2:     Audit yourself

Next, audit your strengths and skills. We all have natural abilities – what are yours?Where do people seek your help? What comes easily? Ask your friends, family and colleagues. You’ve also developed skills through your career, however much you dislike it – and those skills often translate into other fields…

First list your skills and strengths. Then go through them, keeping only the ones you actually enjoy using.

 Step #3:     Research your career options

If money were no object and anything was possible… what would you really like to do? What difference would you like to make? Who would you like to work with – in what areas, fields or industries? Let yourself dream – and then start researching the options.

Look at career sites, to explore different occupations. Look at job boards, to see what employers want. Shortlist any career that appeals and seems to meet your needs. Don’t worry too much about the skills yet – you can always build on what you have!

 Step #4:     Start testing the waters

This is where you can get paralyzed, afraid to take a giant leap – but you don’t have to!

Instead, give yourself time and permission to experiment; go on a fact-finding mission. Talk to people in the jobs you fancy, and find out what’s really involved. Volunteer in the area, find part-time work, sign up for short courses… dip your toe!

The first step is often the hardest, so make it small, easy and survivable. If you keep taking small steps – adjusting and assessing as you go – you will get there.

 Step #5:     Market yourself for a new career

Ready to jump? You’ll need to showcase your fit – in applications, in your resume and at interview. If you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have a great understanding of your new career, insider contacts, strong skills to showcase, and demonstrated interest… all of which will stand you in good stead. Good luck!


Karen Bremner is a Brisbane-based career coach, who helps clients of all ages to choose, change and develop their careers. A professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and a certified workplace coach, Karen can be contacted at www.keycoaching.com.au


Career Change, Tips