Change your career: 3 tips to find new & fulfilling work

Posted by | May 29, 2013 | Find your mission, How to change jobs, Looking for work, Volunteering, Work tips

You know you want to make a difference in the world right? But how? There are so many different ways to make a difference. You might be leaving high school and trying to decide what to do next, or you could be well into your working life and suddenly realise you aren’t being fulfilled. Either way, how are you supposed to know what kind of job is your ‘dream job’?

Some career advisors are into personality tests. You answer these questions and get this score which means you are this type of person. I don’t believe in that – people don’t fit into neat little categories they way some would have you believe.

It’s time to experiment!

In his book “‘How to Find Fulfilling Work‘” Roman Krznaric recommends experimenting. No better way to find out what you want to do than to try different things! He outlines three main ways you can experiment with your career – radical sabbaticals, branching projects, and conversational research.

#1. Consider a radical sabbatical

Radical sabbaticals are when you give yourself a period of time to conduct active experiments in new jobs. You might choose to be really extreme and do a different job every week for a year just like Sean Aiken did. Or you might be a bit more moderate and allow yourself the freedom to take a few short-term contracts over the course of a year. You might even take a couple of months of annual or unpaid leave from your current job to try something new. You don’t even have to try to find a paid job with which to experiment. You could get a part-time job to pay the bills and for the rest of the time try volunteering in a few different places doing different things.

#2. Branching projects

Branching projects are a bit less scary and less risky. They involve continuing in your current job but pursuing something different in some of the time outside of that. You could ask to ‘shadow’ someone in their role to see what their job is actually like. Often we don’t really know what a particular job actually entails.

You could also do a training course in something you think you might be interested in – this can give you a good sense of whether you would like working in that particular field. For instance, you might do a weekend course learning computer programming while you continue your usual job in accounts. You’ll soon find out if computer programming is for you!

I have done this a couple of times myself. In fact, working with Do Good Jobs started out as kind of a branching project for me while I continued to work at a couple of other part-time jobs!

#3. Conversational research

Conversational research is beautiful in its simplicity. It is not risky at all and is very easy to do. It involves simply talking to people who already work, or have worked, in the areas you think you are interested in. It’s easy, especially when you are already in a certain career, to end up being surrounded by people who do similar things. This means we can lose perspective over what we do and how much we earn. Find out the names of some people who are doing the things you want to find out about and buy them a coffee in exchange for a chat. The web makes this easy these days and you can even connect with people on LinkedIn and introduce yourself to people there or join a relevant discussion group.


The book How to Find Fulfilling Work is available to buy on Fishpond. It’s one of our recommended reads for any do-gooder wanting to broaden their mind to what is possible in the pursuit of a more fulfilling career. It also provides a few simple tools to help you be clearer about what you want and how to get there. Enjoy!



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