A fresh start

On Monday, I start a new job and enter a new industry.

After seven years as a journalist with News Corp Australia, I made the decision to change career – to go and pursue other passions and do something different.

I spent a quarter of my life working across Messenger Community Newspapers, The Advertiser and Sunday Mail in Adelaide and Quest Community News in Brisbane. I reported on issues that mattered to communities, experienced amazing things and met and interviewed some of the most inspirational people in the country.

I won awards, I got to go behind the scenes and cuddle some of my favourite animals and I also got to work with colleagues who made the job more than just a job.

Being a journalist was something I had always wanted to do growing up and I was lucky enough – and worked really hard – to make that dream a reality.

But in recent months, I found myself wanting more out of my career, but not wanting it in journalism.

It was a scary thought. The career I always wanted wasn’t what I wanted to do for work anymore. I still loved writing, interviewing people and telling their stories, but deep down I wasn’t truly happy. That was the biggest key to me wanting to make a change.

There are lots of people who stay in jobs they don’t love. They go to work everyday feeling unmotivated, unhappy and wishing for more. But, we all have a choice to make a change and pursue our true passion. It’s just taking the first step to doing that, that can often be the hardest.

Gone are the days when the majority of the workforce stay in a job for decades. Seek.com.au says in Australia, 57 per cent of people have made a career change before, while 19 per cent have done so in the past 12 months.

Here are my tips for finding the job you want;

  1. Look at why you’re unhappy and unmotivated at work. Do some honest self-assessment on why you no longer want to work at your current job. Changing career is a big life choice and asking yourself tough questions will be what best prepares you for the next job. They are probably questions the person hiring you will also ask you in an interview. Ask yourself what you want from your career, what sacrifices you’re prepared to make and what you see are your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Talk to someone who has changed careers before. They’re the best person to give you good advice about making the leap and what they found did and didn’t work for them. They will be best placed to give you ideas on what will work best to achieving your ultimate goal. I always like to talk to someone about what my plans are to get their perspective and use them as a soundboard. Talking may also help you realise what you really want.
  3. Talk to your boss. It’s really important to be open and honest with your boss, because if they’re a great manager, they have your best interests at heart. They probably already know the conversation is coming too. Having support from your boss will also make the transition into another career easier and less stressful.
  4. Don’t be afraid to network. Seeking out people in the industry you want to move into is a great idea and will help you in the long run. They can give you a clearer idea of any upcoming opportunities, what the job and industry is like and they may also be able to put in a good word for you when you apply.
  5. Set yourself goals. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and then set short, medium and long-term goals. Remember that you won’t always get your dream job on the first go. But, look at each job you get as acquiring new skills you need to get your dream job.
  6. Be prepared. When applying for a job, look at the criteria and what the employers are looking for. Tailor your resume and cover letter to that job. It’s a great way to impress a potential boss and also shows them that you have considered what qualities you have that make you the best person suited for that job. When you go into an interview, don’t be afraid to take examples of your past work. It’s another way to show a new employer what you can do.

My new job is as a corporate communications and media advisor at Tourism and Events Queensland. I’ll be on the other side of the media industry and I’m so excited to start. I’ll be helping to promote one of the best places in the world, to the rest of the world. What’s not to love about that?!

So, while changing careers can be scary, it could also turn out to be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. Don’t settle. Go out and chase what you really want.

MM xx


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