Thinking about Switching Your Career? Do it.

By Rene Santana on September 30, 2019

You may be having trouble bringing yourself to change your career, especially after you’ve spent more than $20k learning the skills to do it. After all, you’re your worst enemy. You bring doubts on yourself and don’t stop till someone brings you back into consciousness. And I’d like to be that someone to tell you otherwise. You can and should change your careers. Because if your career hasn’t gotten any better after a few years of it breaking your back, then it most likely won’t. In which case, it’s definitely time to switch.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

It’s okay to keep your options open. So what if you spent your college career major hopping? More power to you for letting your mind soak every drop of information available to you.  Even if you’ve been out of college for a few years, though, it doesn’t hurt to explore other careers that better suit you. Yes, you will gain more debt, but you can’t and shouldn’t kid yourself that you can put up with what you picked. Not every choice we make in our life is concrete. So if you are thinking you would be better suited for a different career, don’t waste a moment stalling. Go for it. If you’ve been at your career for a few years and it hasn’t gotten easier and better, there’s definitely something amiss.

You could look at my reasoning to go to college as a waste of time. But to me, it was money well spent. For four years, I played in the orchestra, bands, Jazz bands, symphonic bands, choirs, and even recorded music. It was an awesome time and I’m happy paying for it in the years to come. Why am I okay with this? Because I got to do what I wanted. Plain and simple. I mean, having seen the amount of money people to travel internationally, I can’t see any difference between that and using loans to learn about something near and dear to my heart.

As for those who’ve been considering leaving their current career but have only worked at it for a few months, I’d advise the opposite.  As a safety measure, I’d give your career about year wait at the minimum. You’re good to switch jobs for better-paying positions but stick with it for a year or so. After that, you should have a much better idea if you’re job is a good fit or not. Anyone starting a new career is going to face a rough first year, so switching may not help it.

So, if you’re curious or just need a push to make the switch, you could start with seeing where you stack with how you’re earning. Check out Bloomberg’s Wage Wise calculator to find out where your pay falls. Or, if you think it’d be hard to switch careers and start over again, try a mid-career internship:

Keep in mind that the skills you currently have are always transferrable across each industry. As Arianna O’Dell mentions  in her “I Changed Careers Repeatedly In My 20s—Here’s What It Taught Me,” she recalls, “[f]or each new job change I made, I recast any experience from my previous role into relevant, transferrable skills in a new industry.” A recent example of this is when my company was hiring for a new manager position. While all candidates were perfectly acceptable, interestingly the one candidate the general manager favored the most was formerly a kindergarten teacher. Apparently, the same skills used to keep a classroom under control and teach are the ones used to talk and walk guests through a program tour. Don’t limit your skills to one job. Someone else may find them even more useful!

Now, look at what you’re doing. What is it like when you get home from your work? Is it satisfying? Does it feed into you, or does it drain you dry and take extra? Is it worth the paycheck, to lose your mind and soul? You can’t get this time back. Break out of the box you’ve trapped yourself in and take a chance. It may cost you more to stay where you’re at then to switch.

CWU Graduate | Writer | Editor @WaldorfPress | Favors Tech, UX, and the Serial Comma.

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