I very frequently get asked some very of the question "How can I advance my career?" from folks who are graduating college, or realizing they aren't happy in their first jobs. There's a lot written on this topic - most of it not especially insightful, so here is my advice...
You should see your career as a grand experiment, where you're testing combinations of which work situations, roles, companies/organizations let you a) enjoy yourself, b) do things you are very good at, and c) get paid well. You can read more specific guidance of mine in Harvard Business Review from a few years ago (How to Build a Meaningful Career
and Build a Career Worth Having
) - most of what's in these articles I still agree with. What I would update has to do with pushing harder on the experiments aspect: get really clear about what you think you know about the work you want to do (and in what setting), and then try to do that - but try to do it with as fast learning cycles as possible, i.e. side projects, side hustles, volunteering, even talking to people in another field - these are all underrated I think. They are much smarter ways of testing what you may want to do than interviewing and taking a new job in a new situation without having done preliminary "testing" and seeing promising results from that. Run this cycle of learnings and testing - don't forget to learn how to negotiate salary and charge what you're worth! - and never stop.
Here are a few pieces of content that I think are smart and worth considering:This series of essays
by Mark Andreessen (pages 2-5) are pretty insightful, in my view.This post
by Elad Gil, which has similar themes, is also smart and worth reading.This tweetstorm
by Naval Ravikant is more philosophical, but full of insight.