These are six ideas to help you test drive a new job.
See how jobs are working for other people. During a terrific vacation in Kona, Hawaii, my wife and I spent a day on the beach at the King Kamehameha Hotel. During the day, I bought lunch at a beachside sandwich stand. Later that year, my wife and I attended a comedy club near our home in Sacramento. Prior to the show, I chatted with the owner of the club, who told me that he owned a sandwich shop on the beach in Kona. His sandwich shop was the same place where I had bought lunch a few months before. The coincidence was interesting. However, what I found more interesting is that this man had success at finding things that he enjoyed doing in places where enjoyed traveling. He had a knack for starting low-cost operations that involved things he really enjoyed. He turned his vocations into avocations.
Try taking vacation days to research your job. Before I got into the recruiting industry, I took a couple of vacation days and spent a day in the office of two recruiting firms. I learned that what the people were doing in these companies were things that I could do. One of the recruiters had the same background that I had. Seeing the similarity of his experience and my experience, I was able to know that my skills crossed over to the job of a recruiter. This type of work-with research is a common practice.
You might consider an internship. Interns are not free employees. Before signing up for an internship, find out the purpose of the role. If you see that the internship teaches you things that help you learn about types of jobs and prepare you for a job, you are participating in an internship.
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Volunteer work actually can lead to a job. Volunteers do work free. Community service organizations, churches, hospitals, and schools are great places to look for volunteer opportunities. I have an in-law who started working in a volunteer program a couple of days a week. There was some magic in the connection and the volunteer project turned into a job.
Some companies pay people for project or consulting work. These types of jobs work great with companies that allow people to work from home. Freelance writers, programmers, accountants, researchers, and other skilled professionals find that this type of work through Internet search or through direct referral from other professionals. These types of jobs are great for deciding what you might want to do long-term.
Temporary to permanent is a great way for people to find and test all types of jobs. I hired two temporary clerical employees who worked for me for over five years. Recent college graduates find that temporary to permanent is a great way to break into an industry.