You went to university, picked a course, got the degree and now you’ve been working for a while… but for some reason, your job isn’t quite satisfying. You want to do something more, something different, but it all seems so overwhelming.
Or perhaps you’ve taken some time off from work—time for yourself, or time for children. Now you’re ready to return, but it’s nerve-wracking given all the time away. Is that job you used to do still what you want to do? Does it accommodate the changes in your life?
It won’t be easy, and it will require dedication and determination, but you can start working towards the career you want today.
What is it that excites you? Would it make you jump out of bed in the morning? We all have a big list of things we enjoy doing, but not all of those will inspire you enough to keep at them when things get tough.
Whatever it is you choose to you, it must align with your core values, and be something you would still want to do—even if you never had to work another day in your life.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Time is limited, and so is your energy. What will you choose to stop doing, so that you have time to start doing whatever it is that will get you to the career you want?
This could be anything from cutting down on weekly breakfast out with friends, foregoing movie night, taking one less fitness class a week, or even pushing dinner duties to your significant other. The important thing is that you set aside time to work on creating your future.
It seems obvious, and there’s no getting around it—you’ll need to gain or develop the skills you need to pursue your passion. Not only do you need the technical skills in the field, as well as leadership skills, but if you’re planning on running your own side-hustle, you also need the business skills.
Thankfully, in this day and age, there are lots of options available. For example, Southern Cross University offers many 100%-online courses, which enable you to study at your own time and pace, even while you continue to work. They also provide a dedicated Student Success Advisor, who is there to support you from start to finish.
An MBA online course is perfect for those looking to grow as leaders and managers, and understand business fundamentals. It’s one of the most affordable MBAs in Australia and has flexible entry and exit options. This means you can stop your studies at certain points throughout the degree, yet still earn a postgraduate certificate or diploma.
Don’t wait until you’ve started to network. Go to relevant industry events while you’re still in the planning or dreaming stage, and get chatting! There are people at these events who’ve already walked the path you’re about to embark on, so there are opportunities to glean some great advice. If you’re truly passionate about what you want to do, these people will be able to see that—and respond.
You might also come across others in the same place as you, who are starting out and are as new and unsure as you. Don’t dismiss them, because it’s invaluable to have others to share the journey with. They’re amazing support; they’ll be going through similar highs and lows, and will be as hungry as you to make it.
No one ever said it was going to be easy. Changing direction, learning new skills and pushing your mind to work in new and different ways will always be challenging. There’ll be days where you wonder what possessed you to take this journey, and days where you want to give up. But the important thing is to keep pushing. Every time you fail, get up and keep going. That’s how wars are won—and there’s no more important war than the one for your future!
* This article was created in partnership with Southern Cross University and was first published on the Leaders in Heels website in September 2017. Leanne Yong is the Leaders in Heels Managing Editor and a Games Maser for an escape room (Next Level Escape). She loves stories and puzzles, and has written four novels.