Which way do I go?

I want a career change, but I have no direction. How do I get started?
–T. Hamilton
Huntsville, Alabama

“The hardest thing for most people about to make a career transition is actually taking the plunge,” says Hattie Hill, CEO of HHE Inc., a management consulting firm in Dallas. Staying in a job you don’t like can result in boredom, frustration and other stresses. To find a career that will make you happy, begin with the following:

  • Determine what you want to do. Do you have a dream job? It could be based on a hobby that you really enjoy. Find out if you can translate a personal interest into a full-time gig.
  • Compile an inventory of your professional strengths and weaknesses. This list will help you home in on the skills that you already possess and identify the areas you need to strengthen.
  • Do your research. Take your information hunt online and talk with professionals working in the area(s) you want to explore. To find out if a field is really for you, volunteer for a few hours a week.
  • Get a career coach. Once you have some idea about where you’d like to go, consider hiring a professional to help you chart a personalized course to success. (For more, see “Focus on Your Goal,” Powerplay, this issue.)
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