According to recent research conducted by CBS News, 80% of people are dissatisfied with their choice of career.

That is insane. We spend upwards of 50,000 hours of our lives at work, so we might as well enjoy it.

The secret to changing your career is to aim to do something you really like doing. You want to be looking for a career doing something all day that you would be doing if you had a day off – or at least something similar to it.

Try an experiment. Go to Google and type in your hobby, or your favourite thing to do, and then type in these four words: ‘job’, ‘career’, ‘course, and ‘life’. I tried it with ‘fashion’, ‘football’, ‘travel’, ‘cooking’ and ‘animals’. The range of career ideas for those individual words is staggering – especially animals. Jobs as a Sea World show presenter and RAF ‘Defence Animal’ handler were just two of the jobs available.

Once you have a career to aim for you need to research it – try blogs, trade magazines, YouTube, TV programmes, biographies, and online articles. See if the reality of this industry really appeals to you. Ask yourself if you want to be doing that all day long? If you do, that’s great.

The next thing to do is network. This doesn’t mean stand at the edge of a room with a biscuit and a cup of tea and a name tag. This means reply to blogs, get involved on Twitter, attend exhibitions and conferences (OK, you might have a cup of tea and a name tag here, but don’t stand at the edge of the room). Approach possible mentors and key figures in the industry, and ask for advice. Go to LinkedIn and connect with people in your industry. Read their profiles, approach people and get to know as many different types from your industry as you can.

If you genuinely love what they do, they will like you. Passion is infectious.

When it’s time to make the jump, look at work experience. You can get amazing experience by working as an intern. I know it’s badly-paid with long hours, but get over it. You can also do unpaid work as a volunteer. As long as it’s related to your chosen job it will be invaluable experience, something to talk about on your C.V and a chance to meet people working in similar roles.

Don’t forget that your CV will need to change, so rewrite it with a strong emphasis on your passion for this new career.

Look at your transferable skills from previous jobs and tailor each C.V. to the specific job you are going for. It’s helpful to join three specialist recruitment agencies, and then get applying. Don’t forget that you might not see results instantly – so remember to stick to your resolve, and don’t give up. Your dream job is out there!

For more help with your career, give a go.

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