You get up every morning, after too little sleep, and go to a job you dread. Everyday feels worse than the day before. You spend your entire shift trying to coax yourself through or talking down your emotional stressors. For people with anxiety, work stress can make you feel like drowning with no relief in sight.
You never seem to have enough money and raises are scarce. You dream of a different job, somewhere you could feel relaxed, help people and make a difference. Somewhere you can feel fulfilled.
You’re not alone in wanting to change careers; according to CNBC, job and career change is the new normal for employees looking to better their lives.
For many, the answer lies in the healthcare industry. Healthcare is a field that offers many financially lucrative careers, not all of which are the high-pressure jobs that put you in the middle of the action.
First things first — what kind of healthcare career do you want? Most people think of healthcare in terms of the front line — nurses or doctors — but there’s a lot more. Healthcare education, administration and coding are all areas of healthcare that can bring you fulfillment. Even legal work, such as creating new legislature to protect patient rights or legal representation on malpractice suits, gives you the opportunity to make a difference. So how do you know which to pursue?
In these situations, research is your best friend. Find out what is required to work in your desired field. Not thrilled about dealing with people’s insides? Administration be the best option for you. Fortune recommends temping in the field to get an inside perspective. You don’t want to run from one bad career to another. Putting in the time to research and really think about your goals can help protect you from that mistake.
Take Money Out of the Equation
If money weren’t an issue, is this the job you’d want to do? Will going to this job every day fulfill more than the needs of your pocketbook? Would you be excited to do more, learn more and experience more? Money is an important factor in a job — you need to be able to provide for yourself and your family. But money can also be a false indicator that can lure you into a profession before you’re ready. Remove it completely from the equation to see how you feel about your new proposed job.
You’re not a blank slate — even though anxiety can trick you into imposter thinking, you’re going into a new field with skills you’ve already acquired. How do those skills translate to your new field? Are you a wizard at spreadsheets? Get into medical coding. Do you find beauty in a perfectly balanced budget? Administration is the life for you. You are your own best compass. Build off of aspects of previous jobs or skills that you enjoy. See what fits!
Consider the Requirements
Let’s be honest — we all expect that anyone who works in the medical field is good at what they do. When you’re in the hands of a doctor or a hospital, your life can, quite literally, ride on their training. Everything from a hernia repair to brain surgery can be life altering. You want your healthcare providers to be the best, and your patients will want the same from you. Consider what this job change encompasses. If patients will be in your hands, chances are you’ll need school, training and certification. That requires significant time, work and expense to acquire. Are you OK with the investment? Do you feel OK with getting a masters or a doctorate in administration? Does it fit your life, your timeline and your abilities?
Fine Tune Your Resume
You’ve chosen your path, you’ve done your introspection and now you want to get your foot in the door. Your resume is the first impression you make on prospective employers. Spruce it up, and make sure that the work experience you list is relevant to your target job, even if you don’t have a direct history in the medical industry. If you’re getting into nursing, list your education and the work experience that shows you can be on your feet for hours and respond well to pressure. Even the most unrelated jobs have something that connect them — look for those connections and talk them up.
Changing careers is often more of a marathon than a sprint. Pace yourself. Talk it over with your support structure or therapist. Take the time to get the education to do it right. Don’t accept the first job you’re offered. Make sure you’ve dug into your feelings and your instinct so that when you choose a job, you know it’s the right one for you.