“How Will I Ever Shift When I Don't Know Where To Start?”

Owen feels utterly paralysed: he has no idea what he wants to do and no idea how to make it happen, even if he did know. How do you start moving into work you love when you have absolutely nothing to work with?

What's your career history and current job?

I work as a Print Production Consultant for a small printing company.

We print signs, artwork, documents, small-order runs of books. I work with clients from start to finish through the process, advising them on methods and materials, and processing and manipulating their files to work with our equipment.

How do you feel about your work?

I feel lukewarm.

It's fine – my colleagues are decent people, the office isn't too far away, and on the whole we get some good clients. I don't mind what I do; it's not deeply inspiring, but it's not awful, either. It's all fine.

And that's really all I can say.

It's so boring to have so little to say about my career. Maybe that's just the way it goes with work, I don't know, but I'd much rather be able to tell you great things about what I do, and be proud of it, and excited about it.

If that's possible, I want to try and find it.

What would you like to be doing instead?

If I knew that, I'd be a happy man!

I honestly haven't got a clue. I know I want to work with people, and continue to be creative in some way, and I know I want to do something that gives me more flexibility and autonomy with my work. And, honestly, that's about all I know.

Some days I feel like I know so little about what I want, I wonder how I could possibly know that this job is not what I want!

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I just don't know where to start with all of this.

It feels like I have a huge, slippery wall in front of me to climb; people tell me there's a route, and there are people at the top, but I can't see how in the world they did it.

I have no idea what I want to do, and no idea how I'd make a change even if I did. Underneath all of it, quite frankly, I'm a bit cynical that this isn't all just a nice idea for other people.

It's so frustrating to feel so little about all this. I'm not miserable at work, so I don't have that to drive me forward; I have no idea what I love, so I don't have that to pull me into something new.

Where do I start? Do I look for my passion? Because I think that's probably going to take a while, given that I have absolutely no idea what I'm passionate about… Do I start saving money? Do I hand in my notice and put some pressure on myself? Do I continue signing up with recruitment agents and applying for job postings online?

I feel like I'm right at the beginning of my career change, and I have no idea how to get moving.

Can you help Owen?

  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • What can he do to at least start the career change process?
  • Do you know anyone he could talk to?

Share your support and advice in the comments below!

Give Owen a cheer of encouragement by hitting the thumbs-up button here:

Want help from our audience with your career-change challenge? Tell us about your situation in our short form, which you can complete here.