- Core skills
- Work values
- Career highlights
- Past roles and managers
- Interests & passions
- Personal attributes
- Career goals
Having done the self reflection work, a good way to marry this up with the next part of the career change process – the career analysis and exploration, is to consider a ‘Vocation Vacation’. Chances are you have created a list of professions (vocations) that hold a degree of real interest. While doing online research about these professions via sites such as ONET is great, coupled with having face to face ‘informational interviews’ with people in these professions, the final part is to try before you buy!
You don’t have to throw in the towel with your current employer to follow a hunch that this could be the right profession for you. If you have gone through the career change steps as described above, then having one or a few ‘Vocation Vacations’ will minimise the risk of making a wrong career move.
So how does the ‘Vocation Vacation’ work?
It is really straightforward. Again, once you have done all your research (I cannot highlight enough that without the preparation it is hard to get someone to give you a go) and have your list of target profession/s you can directly approach people to see if they will employ you short term. And by short term it is however much annual leave you have up your sleeve that you can dedicate to helping out in this new profession to really get a feel for what it is like working in it.
In the USA there are ‘Vocation Vacation’ companies who you can pay to assist you in securing a stint. Below are a few of the vocations on offer:
- Sports Announcer
- Professional Photographer
- Bed & Breakfast Manager
- Doggie Daycare Owner
- Coffeehouse Owner
- Car Restorer
- Pit Crew Member
Another alternative option is to do volunteer work or approach the company on an internship or short term project capacity. In some instances you may be paid however it is most likely you will not be paid however remember you are still effectively getting paid as your using your annual leave.
Any opportunity to actually spend time in the profession/s you are targeting will be immensely valuable. You will learn both a lot about yourself and if this is truly the profession you want to dedicate the next few or many years of your life to.
Share your thoughts on taking a ‘Vocation Vacation’. Is this something you have done before or would consider doing?