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Finding a job you truly love seems like a hard and lengthy task for anybody, but when you add a tight schedule of taking care of your children, cooking every meal, cleaning every spot of the house, managing your self-care, making time for your family, friends and hobbies, and possibly working around the clock, finding your perfect career could seem almost impossible. But it's not.
Here are 3 steps to finding your perfect career path:
Think about your current situation. Are you truly ready to leave your current job or spend less time with your children? Do you have the time and schedule in place to manage your current priorities as well as new ones? Applications take time, and you might be feeling discouraged by any rejections - but this is completely normal. Remember to have a plan to manage your self-care too. You don't have to start with a successful business plan and a pocket full of money to get started. You don't have to work nine to five, five days a week. You should go at your own pace and create the best plan for you. Have a look online to see what other people in your situation are doing. Your decision is the only one that matters because you need to be happy. Of course, discuss this with your family and friends, but remember to think first and research before doing anything major.
There's no time period for taking the next step. When you're ready, start researching. What is the career you want? Do you have any transferable skills? What new skills do you need and how can you build them, improve current ones? Are you qualified for your new career, or do you have any experience? There's always something you can do before you start applying. If there's a career you have your heart set on, start looking at colleges for relevant qualifications or local jobs, don't feel like you have to travel far to make your dream happen. If you're not sure about your future career, look online for a list of different industries and think about companies you use. Are there any you'd like to work for? What benefits are there? Are there any disadvantages?
If you don't know where to start, ask your family and friends help. Is there anyone that can offer you some short-term experience and help you build your skills, someone to mentor you? Is there anyone to help you through the application process. For example, you'll likely find that you'll need to build your resumé and cover letter. It's possible to apply for different industries if you're interested in multiple, but try to narrow it down to two or three because you'll need to edit your cover letter for every job and have a different resumé per industry.
There are a lot of jobs out there, but you don't need to apply for all of them! Sending out one application a day should make you feel proud. It's better to look impressive on one application than quickly apply for twenty in one day, right? Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions. Before applying, see if you can ask the hiring manager about the hours or if there's a remote option, any training or financial support, so you can manage work around your schedule. There's also an option to become a freelancer, where there are a variety of online options.
Outlook: many parents do not stick to their current jobs! Some parents choose their careers because that's what their parents wanted, it was the easiest thing to study or do at the time, it was worth it for the money, or perhaps everyone else was doing it. But it doesn't mean they're happy or managing their own schedules well. Many parents also find their creative side when raising their children, so you could have the possibility of turning your hobby into a business. You should feel no shame in whatever decision you make, and just know you're not alone.
Deanna (or "Nana Barratt") is an MA Creative and Media Enterprises graduate from the University of Warwick. She previously studied Popular Music, but decided to take a different career path into writing. She now writes about music, the TV and film industry, and East-Asian culture, and gives student advice and lifestyle tips.