Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes.
Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work?
Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills.
Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career.
Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews.
A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand.
Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers.
Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest.
For example, if you're interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.
Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field.
Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change.
If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can.
Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have.
make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.
Carefully evaluate your individual strengths, lifestyle preferences, passions, work style, and financial needs.
Know both who you are as a person and who you desire to become as a professional. Take a careful inventory of your current career values, interests, skills, and personal qualities.
Time to give serious thought to this life-shaping question: What exactly are you going to do with the rest of your life? There has never been a better time than right now to change the course of your life and that means changing your career.