How to Decide on Your Next Career Move

by Gloria Martinez
WomenLed.org

Most people have felt lost or unsatisfied in their careers at some point. When we encounter that feeling, it can be hard to know exactly what to do next. A good way to start is by figuring out what you want from your career. From there, you can start narrowing down your options. Whatever it is that drives you, there is a career path out there for you.

Want to Raise a Family?

The expectation that a parent (usually a mother) has to stop working when a child is born is slowly disappearing, but it can still be hard for women to find jobs that truly support them when starting a family. A certain level of flexibility is needed, especially if you can’t afford childcare.

Remote working (or part-time remote working) can be a good solution for this. Start by asking your current company if they would accept making your role a remote one. Make sure you approach your boss with a concrete strategy, outlining how much work you propose to do remotely and how it would positively affect your work.

Alternatively, you could look for a new job at a more supportive company. Working Mother is an excellent resource for this, as they compile an annual list of the 100 best companies for working mothers in several different sectors.

Want to Help Others?

A job that allows you to give back and help others can be enormously satisfying. There is nothing better than knowing your work serves a concrete purpose and that you are dedicating your time to making someone else’s life a little easier.

If you simply want to apply your existing skills to a good cause, a career in the charitable sector is a great choice. According to the Case Foundation, charities tend to appreciate a general business skillset and have plenty of room for growth, although there is also a fair share of bureaucracy and burnout in the industry.

You could also choose to change your skillset completely. This doesn’t have to mean going back to college full-time. Take, for example, a career in speech pathology, where you can help people improve their communication skills. You can complete your degree online (with some in-person clinical hours) from an accredited university in hours that suit you, so you can keep working your current job until you’re ready to move on.

Want to Travel the World?

Thanks to the internet and the rise of remote working, it has never been easier to become a digital nomad, making money as you fulfill your dream of seeing the world.

There are two main options for digital nomads: going freelance or finding a regular remote job. The former is great for those who like the idea of being their own boss and making their own schedule. You can use platforms like People Per Hour to sell services such as writing, design, social media management, or coding.

Another popular option is teaching English abroad, for which you will need a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification. There are hundreds of these out there, so make sure you do your research. Most jobs will require at least 120 hours of instruction, and a good course should cost $1,000 to $2,500.

Want to Get Ahead?

Of course, you may simply want to advance in your current career. Do you have an eye on a promotion but don’t know how to go for it? Create an action plan for how to tackle your job for the next few months: be a supportive, enthusiastic, positive presence in the workplace, and start identifying areas where you can step up and solve company problems.

If you don’t have one already, look for a mentor. Women benefit the most from this, especially in male-dominated industries. You can start by looking at your current contacts and identifying people you already have a good relationship with. Once you find the right person, just ask!

Making a career change is never easy. However, it will always be worth taking that leap. Time spent in a job that makes you miserable is wasted, so start asking yourself what you really want from your career — and then start going for it.