Here are some reasons you may want to try this low-risk step toward a better future:
To develop new skills or stay current
- I am good at X and I love doing it. However, most jobs where I would do X would also require me to do Y and Z. I don’t have those skills right now and don’t know how to develop them.
- I am taking a few years off to care for my small children, but I need to stay connected and keep my skills current.
- I don’t like to rush into things. I like to take my time. But I don’t want to find myself without options in 10 years.
To gain a broader perspective
- My current job is specialized. I need opportunities to branch out.
- Stepping outside of my usual work environment would help me find better solutions for the work I do.
- I can’t even imagine what the future holds. How do I know I’m on the right track?
To prepare for career change
- I need to build a resume or portfolio that will help me attain my dream job.
- At mid-career, I have realized that I am no longer challenged by my job. The career path I charted in my 20s no longer makes sense and I don’t know which way to pivot.
- I want to plan a new venture I can launch after I retire.
- I am retired and want to find new interests or help others.
To experiment with new options
- I think I have a solution to Problem X, but I have no way to test it.
- My ideas about how to do X are different from the way most companies would do it. How do I prove I’m on to something?
- I’ve always wanted to try a different role, but it’s impossible in my current company and I don’t want to change companies
- I like my job but I’ll always wonder what would have happened had I continued with X
To overcome obstacles to a goal
- I have a great idea but starting my own business (or nonprofit) right now is not feasible. I can’t afford to hire someone to do XY and Z. I am not plugged in to the people in that arena. There are some questions I’m not sure I can answer.
- I like to do X and I’m good at it, but a traditional job just wouldn’t work for me right now.
- I’d like to start a little side business where I can do X, but getting it going would be too time-consuming.