Step#1  is quite simply deciding what you want to do. This is the really big step and while it can be easy for some, it very difficult for others, sometimes feeling impossible. Many of us just fall into whatever job comes along or do what is expected of us by parents or teachers, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of jobs out there that we might enjoy if we only knew they existed.

Some of you already will know what you want to do, having held onto a dream for many years or perhaps more recently becoming interested in a new field. If this is you, you can go ahea and jump to Step Two

But for others, this is perhaps the most important step and can be the trickiest. If you have been slogging away in a job you hate and have been there a long time, it can be  quite a jump to even begin to believe that work can actually be something you enjoy.

If you have no clue what you’d like to do, it’s time to do a bit of soul searching. It’s possible that you have some dreams which you haven’t thought about in ages and which you didn’t even consider could lead to a real career. Think back to your childhood and teenage days and take a closer look.

Another possibility is that you’ve learned new skills in your current job or other aspects of your day to day life and you’d love to be able to use them more. Transferable skills can really help you find another career. More about those here.

Make a list of any careers which interest you. You could also have a chat with friends and family who might be able to throw some light on your skills or potential careers related to your hobbies and interests.

Then, broaden your horizons and find out about jobs you’ve never heard of or haven’t remotely considered. There are lots of ways you can do this. Here are a couple you can try – the main thing is to have fun.

Watch TV – if you have kids, you can turn this into a game – it’s a great way to help them find out about careers.  Get a notebook and write down any careers that come up in the course of your usual TV viewing. I often find careers that sound interesting when I’m watching documentaries, but the news, drama and even soaps will contain plenty of references to jobs.

Online Search – careers in a, careers in b and so on will bring up lists for you, make a not of anything tht sounds fun, unusual or intriguing.  If you have skills or knowledge that you really want to use, especially if you can’t use them at the moment, search for careers with languages, geography, law, writing etc.

Talk to People who have interesting  jobs, and ask your friends if they know anyone who does something unusual.

Once you’ve expanded your list, the next step is Background Research.