You always say that you'll get a better job, follow your passion, or start that side gig, but what are you waiting for? When a better career seems far-fetched and overwhelming, it's easy to put off the necessary work for a "one day." But we think you should start now. Like, right now. Like, finish reading this article and get going with these six tasks that can help put you on a path to what you really want.
1. Listen to an Industry Podcast or TED Talk
Load up your phone with some awesome audio that you can listen to while you walk your dog, hit the gym, or play Candy Crush. There are a ton of free podcasts and other talks that are industry specific. Wishing you were a wedding planner? Search podcasts about event planners. Dying to become a mechanic? Listen to some shop talk. Doing so can help you get more comfortable with the industry, trends, and how others are being successful.
2. Research a Company
You're on the Internet all day anyway, so make it worthwhile by taking the time to research a company you'd love to work with. By getting to know the ins and outs of the workplace culture, the heavy hitters that work there, and your best shot at getting hired, you can start thinking about ways to improve your own job path so a great company will take a second look at you.
3. Talk to Your Parents
Wishing you could change your career? Never underestimate the power of actually saying it out loud. No matter what your dreams, talk to your parents about where you want to be and how you'll get there. They may not be on board from the very start, but you can run some ideas by them and solidify your desire to do something more. Parents can also help you hold accountable when you start to slack off on your plan.
4. Sign Up for a Course
There are a ton of websites that allow you to take courses for free. From coding to art history, there's really no reason to waste time or think that because you're not trained in a topic, you can't work in that industry. Some courses even offer certification, which looks awesome on a resume. Take a day-long course or get intense with a few weeks' worth.
5. Round Out Your Twitter Feed
You might use your Twitter to follow celebs or keep up with Kardashians, but you can make it work for you by making it a career feed. Go ahead: Find 10 accounts to follow in your desired industry. The movers and shakers there will offer up tips, articles, and advice that you can use in your own career search.
6. Write it Down
Don't let yourself off the hook! If you're dissatisfied with your current job situation, write about it in a journal or create a vision board to help inspire you to stay on top of your goals. When you keep your ideas on the top of your head, you'll be more likely to actually do something about it.
Okay, here's the deal: Pick at least one thing from this list to tackle today. Swapping out some Netflix time with career research and ground work can make a huge difference, even if your career goals seem a mile away. (Spoiler alert: they aren't.)