I started out working in the hospitality industry, as a hostess, then a server, and finally a server and bartender. While some aspects of those jobs really appealed to me, for example working as a team member and chatting with customers, other parts were severely lacking for me both personally and professionally. I knew that I was smart but when I was working in a restaurant managers would talk down to me, and sometimes the customers were down-right rude. My other complaint was the constant shift in hours. It became increasingly difficult for me to plan things outside of work because I was constantly being called in on short-notice, dealing with shift changes, and week-to-week having to follow a different schedule. I wanted more respect and more stability from my career.
What Are You Thinking?
If you’re thinking of leaving your job you should ask yourself the following questions:
· What are my goals in a new career?
· Where do I see myself in 5/10/15 years?
· Do I have the motivation to finish what I start?
· What things will I miss or not miss about my current occupation?
If you find that you answers are directed more towards something new then you know that it’s time to start reviewing your options. Think about what you enjoy doing most at work and in your free time and what jobs fit your likes and dislikes, lifestyle, and interests.
When you enter into a new career, you may enter in with a dream – of earning more money, working in something you’re passionate about, or getting closer to another job. For me, it was a combination of all three which is why I quit the hospitality industry and decided to become a pharmacy technician.
Earning More Money
My advice to people hoping to earn more money is this – seek out further education! You would not believe how much having a certification or an associate or bachelor’s degree changes your chances of being hired. Employers want to see that you are motivated and willing to learn. Having a degree also makes you stand out from your competition who may have experience but no education to back it up. It is the best way to make you more competitive in the job market. Ask anyone with a degree.
Once you start school, you should treat it like a job. Show up on time every day and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Outside of school, you need to study and continue to stay focused. Humans, despite popular belief, are not sponges and can’t just sit in class, blank faced and tuned out, and learn like the people who are actively engaging with the material. Go to class and participate.
The first step, for me, to earning more money was to find a training program so that I could get the skills and knowledge to become a certified pharmacy technician. I compared a lot of schools and ultimately decided on one that offered an externship with a local pharmacy. When looking for a school or program pay attention to the type of training that is offered.
Work at Something You’re Passionate About
Pharmacology is amazing. I learn new things every day, and I understand quite a bit about illness, disease, and the medications that help prevent them, cure the symptoms, or rid patients of them completely. And that brings me to the other thing that I just can’t turn away from – the human aspect.
Find out what you love about your current job and build upon it. Don’t love anything? Start working on something that you’re passionate about in your free time. If you’re passionate about your children, think about a career for yourself that would benefit them too. If you’re passionate about helping people, find a career that allows you to do that. If you’re not passionate about anything, well then you might want to just stick with your current job because it’s going to be hard to find a job that you love without any inspiration.
Here are my (slightly informed) entry-level career matches for different interests:
· Helping people/Healthcare – pharmacy technician, nurse, radiologist, medical assistant
· Teaching/Education – tutor, coach, ESL teacher, executive assistant
· Entertaining/Hospitality – server, bartender, hostess, busser
· Engineering/Technology – electrical technician, HVAC tech, computer technician
· Criminology/Law – paralegal, court employee, corrections officer, security guard
· Management/Business – administrative assistant, executive assistant, office manager
· Cosmetology/Beauty – hair stylist, nail technician, esthetician, massage therapist
Getting Closer to Another Job
Think about the very top job you could have in your industry and make it your goal to get there! This kind of goes back to my first point about getting an education. You’re going to need to conduct a little bit of research when you start working. You can start by interviewing people that are working in the job that you want and asking them about their background (be curious but not nosy). You’ll want to stay away from discussions of pay because 1) its frowned upon and 2) you can easily find that information online through the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then do your job and a little bit of their job too. Don’t talk about what you’re doing, just continue to work towards that goal and wait for people to notice.
If you feel as though your talents are still being ignored, then you need to ask yourself whether that office, store, or wherever it is that you’re working is really where you belong. There are no do-overs in life and you can’t get back the time that you’ve wasted!
If you’re not doing the best possible work you could be doing every single day of your life then maybe it’s time you stop and ask yourself why.
Kathy Finsterle has been a content writer and blogger in London, Barcelona, and now sunny central Florida at Remington College’s Heathrow campus. She wears many hats, including fashionista, food critic, world traveler, ESL instructor, web marketer and more. Her goal is to inspire and promote learning, one helpful guest post at a time.