Career change happens for a wide range of reasons. Companies downsize and force employees to make a move; people get married, have children, divorce and experience mid-life crises; priorities change over the course of a person’s life. Job-related motivation includes inadequate rewards for performance and weakened personal investment in the work, poor leadership or undesirable relationship with a manager, and opportunity to find a better professional fit for skills and interests.
Nontraditional Career Options
Many of the nation’s dissatisfied workers will go back to school. Others will make dramatic life changes to chase a dream. Offbeat careers can be the most fulfilling kind of work, especially for creative people, but they can require just as much diligence and determination as the top spot in the most conservative global corporation. The key is finding fulfilling work that truly motivates and moves you.
Among the offbeat careers that people are pursuing for the sake of passion are these nontraditional jobs.
- Fisher(wo)man: If you’re physically fit, love the outdoors and not tied to home, how about seeing what life is really like for those people on the reality fishing shows? Stock up on the Dramamine and try joining an Alaskan fishing crew
- Brewer: With nearly 2000 breweries in the U.S., chances are good that you can channel your genuine love for beer into a legitimate job. Brewery work includes everything from cleaning vats to perfecting recipes.
- Fleet Manager: If you’re good with logistics and enjoy problem-solving, working in fleet management for the trucking industry or a city transit system can allow you to flex your interest in vehicle maintenance. With minimal travel requirements, this is typically a good fit for folks with families.
- App Developer: With the rise of smartphones and tablets, anecdotes of one-app millionaires are everywhere. If you have a knack for programming and get inspired by an idea that can do it better, why not try?
- Event Planner: If you’re social, easily bored by routine and have an eye for detail, become an event planner. People in this job spend the day visiting potential event sites, talking with clients and wrangling details to pull off unforgettable events.
- Mattress and Furniture Tester: The pay usually stinks, but few things are simpler than sleeping, sitting and wiggling around on furniture then telling folks how it was. Finding comfort in furniture is everything to a pro furniture tester. Think you can do it?
Preparing for Change
Before quitting your day job, be sure to prepare for a career change. If the position you’re pursuing requires accreditation, formal training or a specific type of experience, find ways to get started while you’re currently employed. Talk to people already working in the industry or job that interests you. These informational interviews can help you get an idea of how to transition into that field and if the change is really even a good idea.
Here are some other important factors to consider for a new job:
- Education: Some careers require education you may not have. Perhaps you can get an online degree database or take night classes.
- Experience: Consider an internship or a second job to gain experience in your chosen new field.
- Compensation: The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides compensation information for different types of jobs by industry. If you need to pay the bills with your new job, be sure to get a realistic idea of what you’ll make if you switch.