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What Should You Do If Your Career Takes A Wrong Turn

Regret is a powerful motivator.

Recently my memories seemed to morph into the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. I thought about the career I used to have, and how stable and comfortable that job had been. It was my dream job, but things changed, and I found myself looking for a new career.

I had decided to take my skill set and become an entrepreneur instead of taking another job, building up my career from scratch at another company, and risk being laid off again. Today, just a week before a new year begins, I face an uncertain future. The future is scary.

It’s scary because so much is unknown about it. Will the pandemic come to an end? Will the economy improve? Will I need to make more pivots to my business so that it will thrive?

When I first started my business, I made some mistakes. Looking back at the wasted time and the wasted money is painful. The regrets are painful. But looking forward, I see a chance to do things better. More wisely. More efficiently.

If you’re thinking about changing careers, or your future is unknown because of COVID, consider these tips whether you’re looking for a job, or working on a business like I am:

  1. Assess your financial situation. How much do you have in savings? How much debt? Should you borrow money to pay expenses while you work to get your career back on track?

  2. Look for options in which you can develop your skills while working. Can you use your current skillset to get some employment while you continue to build on your skills by taking courses or learning on the job?

  3. Build a professional support network. I’ve joined Facebook groups and attended online network meetings to get to know people. Through these connections, I have found clients and work opportunities.

  4. Work with a mentor. A career coach or someone with more experience than you in an industry or field can guide you. They can point out what you need to work on, steer you away from making potential mistakes, and share important wisdom with you.

A year from now, I want to feel like 2021 was the year I made progress. At that time, I will look at the past fondly, the present with satisfaction, and the future with bright hope.

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