You landed that promotion (or lateral move) at work, snagged the big corner office (or larger cubicle space), and even got the salary you once dreamed about, but you’re still feeling underwhelmed in your career. Here’s the thing: You’re not alone. A 2013 Gallup study found most Americans are unhappy at work, stating “only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged or inspired at their jobs and the vast majority of U.S. workers—70 percent—are not reaching their full potential.
Whatever your situation, there are several things you can do each day to get closer to your dream career. The Daily Muse compiled a list of 25 little ways to get closer to turning your vision into reality. Here are just some of their tips:
- Read a profile or listen to a podcast featuring someone who’s in a job that sounds fascinating to you. Try the “Best Part of My Job” podcasts or Career Contessa’s interview section.
- Or, get inspired by the story of a successful career changer—like one of the many featured on Careershifters.
- Buy a career-related book. Muse writer Rachel Moffett recommends Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! if you’re feeling stuck, and Now What?: 90 Days to a New Life Direction when you’re ready to make a change.
- Look up five people who have your desired job title on LinkedIn, and study their profiles. What skills or experiences do they all have in common? This isn’t meant to be discouraging (“Ugh, they all have 10 years of experience”)—it’s meant to help you identify skills you could start to add to your own résumé. On that note:
- Sign up for an online class in your dream field. Udemy, CreativeLive, General Assembly, and edX all have a great selection of affordable options.
- Create a “networking spreadsheet” where you can keep track of all your contacts in the field. Write down anyone you know now. Then, next week’s task can be…
- Identify one person you know who’s in the field you want to go into, and invite him or her out to coffee or lunch (your treat!).
- Reach out to a totally new person and ask for an informational interview. We’ve made it so very easy with this plan.
- Set up a Twitter list and add 10 people in your desired industry.
- Join a LinkedIn group that’s related to your new field. Here are some tips on picking one that’ll actually be worth your time, and here’s how to make the most out of them once you join.
- Sign up for an email newsletter to get up-to-the-minute industry updates. Not sure what to pick? Start with SmartBrief, which has offerings for pretty much every industry on the planet.
- Write a new bio for yourself—one that focuses far more on what you want to do than what you do now. Muse editor Erin Greenawald offers two easy templates.
- Create a vision board or career manifesto, and keep it somewhere you can see it to inspire you.
- Sign up for a meetup, conference, or professional event.
- Say “yes” to an event, party, or gathering you wouldn’t normally attend. You never know who you might meet.