Because of what I do, friends often come to me for job advice. I remember a few years ago a good friend was looking to transition into something different and an opportunity fell into her lap and she asked me for my opinion. She was waitressing at the time and was very outgoing, a real 'people person'. But her career before waitressing was numbers related. She had been a fund accountant and then manager for years and did a great job, before layoffs hit. She was fortunate in that she had a good severance package and while she was trying to figure out her next steps, she was making good money waitressing. The career she was looking at? Morgage broker. This was a few years back when the market was still good, and I thought she might do well. People who do well as waitresses/bartenders often do well in sales.
So she went for it, and did well, but she didn't love it. So, she came to me again and I asked her to think about what she liked and disliked about the job. She didn't like cold calling or the sales side, negotiating, etc. What she loved was the numbers side and helping people find the right loan. She made a list of all the things in her job that did like and then started looking through the help wanted to find jobs that incorporated some of them.
A week later, she reported back that she'd found several jobs that seemed to fit, both with local banks, as trust administrators. "I never knew this type of job existed." She said and added that she had several interviews lined up. A few weeks later, she was thrilled to accept an offer and now a few years later, still loves what she does.
So, if you are not in love with your job, take some time to think about the aspects of your job that you do love and do some research to see if there's a market for a job that incorporates more of what you do love. For instance, if you are an agency recruiter doing full cycle recruiting, but you hate the sales side of your job, you might be happier in an agency that splits things up, where one person does business development and another does pure recruiting. That is more common in contract staffing groups. Or maybe you like the research sourcing piece and want to focus on that? There's definitely a demand for that service.
Also, in this current economy, it's actually a very good time to start a business. Costs of entry are low, rents are down and if you come in and work hard, you can build a solid base and be well positioned for success as the market improves. Start a sourcing business, or go on your own as a recruiter.
This applies to other industries as well. For instance, the IT guy that helps us out in my office does a great job but doesn't have a college degree, so he was complaining one day that most employers won't consider him for an IT role. I suggested he put a flier together and drop it off at local businesses. That way he can build his own company. He does a great job, he's inexpensive, compared to what other IT companies charge and he's local. He came by my office today to show me his flier and it looks great. It looks even better with the testimonials we added onto it, raving about his work. Now he's off and running. You could be too. Create your own dream job, whatever that may mean to you.
There's an expression I heard many years ago, that I love and believe holds true....do what you love, and the money will follow. :)