Discovering Interests for a Career Change
Anyone can start a career change, based on new or existing interests. The next exciting job could involve skills from a favourite hobby, past experience or completely fresh opportunities.
Turning a Hobby Into a Job
People are finding innovative ways to commercialise their hobbies. Crafty and artistic individuals can sell their creations on Etsy. Fashion stylists and interior decorators are embracing Pinterest to publicise their services. Musically talented artists can either release a track on iTunes, or just publish a preview for audiences to hear on Soundcloud. Confident public speakers can take the audio option or film themselves and publish on Youtube. Many of these ‘free’ sites now have opportunities to play advertising. There are so many ways to self-publish.
I became obsessed with shopping in the past few years. It became like a hobby. I feel relaxed when browsing items, trying different pieces and discovering the most wearable favourites. My online store is an expression and outlet for my own retail therapy, ready to share with the world.
Self-publishing and small business ownership are ways to develop early skills for the commercial world. Then options exist for gaining employment with those new skills. Employers will see what these self-published creators have already done. Of course many business owners are now turning their side-hustles into full-time jobs, no longer needing employment. It’s all about what you want.
Revisiting Previously Learned Skills
People can learn surprising skills during unrelated work, becoming multi-skilled professionals. I once did a single class at TAFE in design for print. I then chose to drop out of that evening course and focus on courses at a ‘higher level.’ But that one class taught me design methods that I brought to independent projects and future jobs. I never completely specialised in design alone. Instead, visuals were included in various content creation.
Many of us have learned unusual topics during our qualifications. My brief stint in the print world broadened my skill set. Some classes during my undergraduate degree had the same effect, such as the subject “Philosophies of Love and Death.” I am now a few months from being a qualified journalist. So I could end up writing about the big relationships of life. Past skills can take us in any direction.
A very detailed lesson in a recent job shaped the way I now work. I designer showed me how to change the hue/saturation of just a single colour in an image, when editing in Photoshop. That has transformed the way in which I edit images in future projects.
Have a think about any lessons you learned in courses or jobs. The next career could be developed from all sorts of origins.
Careers from Life Skills
People can teach basic life skills in places like what Aussies call ‘community colleges.’ There are courses on home cooking, languages and pretty much any everyday ability. Consider something you do well but have never done for work. Other people could benefit from your informal years of wisdom.
Get inspiration from parts of everyday life, when picking a new career path. My grandmother previously told me that she would have been an event planner if she had not been a teacher before retiring. She organised countless events in not-for-profit voluntary organisations. With all that practice, Elizabeth Wilson OAM also hosts brilliant parties for family and friends. She never did pursue a professional job in event planning. But that is inspiration for those who love something they do. Perhaps I might one day start an event management business. It would be some time away. Consider what activities you thrive in during normal life. Then identify what skills exist in ‘normal’ daily living, that could lead towards a career.
Go With Your Gut Instinct
The best way to choose a new job is to look at all the options and then trust your intuition. Sometimes a decision simply feels right. Other people might prefer a pro-con list. The final step is to go ahead and choose something. It is better to go in any direction than to stay still.