The amount of time you spend dedicated to your career throughout your life is significant. When you look at the numbers regarding how much of our lives we spend at work, you will quickly realize that if you are not getting more out of your career than your paycheck, it might be time to reevaluate. Making a professional move does not always have to be a complete departure from what you are currently doing, small changes that promote job satisfaction can also help you reach your goal of your job being more than a job. If you are switching roles within the same company, switching industries completely, or going back to school to create more professional potential for yourself, the way in which you decide to create a career that fulfills you is completely personal.
Never Stop Learning
Sometimes the root cause of a career plateau is simply too much of the same for too long. If you enjoy the industry that you work in, think about jobs that you can seek out that are related closely enough that you know you will enjoy them, but still also require you to accept the challenge of learning more. The medical field is a great example of a broad career field that has a ton of niche potential within it.
A graduate medical degree is not required for every area of the field, but for some it is non-negotiable. For professionals in the industry with only their undergrad, pursing a graduate medical degree can be a great refresh on learning that will also lend itself to more job and earning potential within an industry that they already have experience. While this choice means a significant commitment of both your time and finances, think about how you can mange these factors. You can take out a student loan from a private lender to pay for your graduate medical degree. By borrowing money from a private lender, you can find terms that are flexible for a healthy budget and do not overwhelm your household.
Determine What Success Means to You
Historically professional success was defined simply by salary amount, but thankfully that definition has widened significantly over time. Professional success can be defined by many factors and is highly subjective. What might make your neighbor feel successful might be wildly outside what success means to you. Repeated feelings of defeat and failure within your career might be a sign that you are due for a change. Instead of killing yourself to fit a square peg into a round hole focus on your natural strengths and use that information to lead you towards a career path that allows them to shine.
Create a New Normal
Do not forget that there is much more to your career than simply the tasks you must complete each day. Elements like the company you work for, benefits you receive, relationships with co-workers, and personal habits are all important pieces of the pie. Before you look outward to create a career you love, turn inward and see if there are not hacks that exist within your current role that can help you redesign your 9 to 5 scenario to better support a job you love vs a job you just like.