Creating your own career or role can be a scary thing, especially when there are millions of steady jobs already offered in the work field. But for a lot of us, especially after spending time in conventional jobs that don’t feel right or under management, building your own business or career is appealing. Here are 5 tips on going after what you want and creating your own career path:
One of the best pieces of career advice I ever got was to follow hobbies/interests. There are tons of opportunities to turn your career path into something that you’re truly interested in. And think outside the box! Maybe you like art but aren’t creative; think of everything that goes into the art industry—from museum tour guides to merchandising.
Find a mentor
Connecting with someone who has experience in the field you’re interested in and insight to any industry gaps is incredibly helpful. Research anyone who inspires you and start engaging with them. That might be via social media, LinkedIn, email, or phone—do what makes most sense to the person. Then, try to build a relationship or offer anything you can provide before asking for help. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to mentor, especially when you’re not requesting something from them right away.
Focus on your niche
When creating your own career path, especially if it’s a job that isn’t necessary out there yet, it’s helpful to find a niche. Focus on something small because you can always expand. For example, if you’re a sports fan who loves to write, instead of trying to cover every sport, start a blog covering —or cover more in a specific way, like for females interested in fantasy sports leagues.
I personally can’t suggest this enough. While working on your side hustle—the career that you’re trying to make for yourself—continue with your full-time job. Not only does this provide a steady income along with health benefits (two things you may not always have when starting a business), but it’ll ensure that your passion project is legit. We all get ideas, but having to dedicate nights and weekends to the business you’re trying to build will show if you’re truly passionate about it.
When forming a job that isn’t necessarily out there already, there aren’t always resources and there are undoubtedly going to be bumps in the road. But remember that there are no rules when making your own career path! Find what feels best to you, what you’re seeing success from, stay in your own lane, and ignore the rest. And worst case? The corporate jobs will always be waiting!
Written by contributor Chelsea Becker.