Who has never wanted to change jobs? Who has never wondered what life would be like if you had chosen a different career path? These questions are pretty common in any person’s life, at any point. Even during in college, we may ask ourselves, am I doing the right thing? Is this really the path for me? Most people will ask themselves these questions, but they’ll shake it off and go about their lives. Once we hit the professional market, however, things may change.
Calm, down. Don’t panic. There’s still time and you are not alone.
Vic von Poser, a 29-year-old visual artist, decided to quit her job as a video editor when she realized she wasn’t happy in her role anymore. “It was difficult for me at the time because my future was uncertain, so I started to question everything about my career,” she said. At the time, she was a part of an arts study group, mostly as a hobby, which really helped her find herself as an artist and discover her passion.
Today she is a freelancer and just finished her Masters in Visual Arts. She said the programme helped her shape her artistic expression and that being able to have her own voice is what career means for her.
A survey by the University of Phoenix School of Business in 2015 revealed that 73% of working adults in their 30s in the U.S. are interested in changing careers. 39% stay in the same job because they are uncertain about what other professional path they want to pursue and 43% stay due to lack of financial security.
As recently shared by Jenny Blake from the Pivot Podcast, the path that led her to want to go back to school as an adult involved many different elements, but she was happy to pursue the change, while following her interests and intuition.
Blake describes how she immersed herself in the theme related to her masters’ field, engaged in conversations with different people, which inspired her in several ways, and ultimately respected her own internal process towards transformation.
Her Pivot Method, specifically, involves making small changes in your life, – pivoting as you would in basketball,- before you make any drastic changes. Pursuing a hobby on the side, such as blogging, and then slowly making it your full-time career; instead of leaving your full-time job right away to become an influencer, and then fail because you do not have the financial resources to sustain yourself over time (and it takes time to be successful at anything – 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything as Malcolm Gladwell would say).
Of course, not knowing where to go and worrying about money are two very important points. However, as seen by the examples above, there are ways to overcome these challenges and gear your life in a direction that makes more sense to you.
- Keep in mind that if you don’t know what you want, at least you know what you don’t want. You don’t want to be in that workplace anymore, so it’s time to look for a change. The best thing to do at this point is research. Look up job opportunities and talk to your friends and/or colleagues.
- Eventually you will find options that interest you and a good way to start is by inviting a peer to a cup of coffee to discuss the field. It’s very helpful to talk to someone who’s been on the market for a while and can give you a glance of what it’s like and some tips on moving forward, in case you choose to go that way. Don’t be intimidated about inviting them for a brief conversation. A friend of mine made a list of people she admired in her field and invited them to a cup of coffee. Most of them agreed and she even got a few freelancer jobs out of it. Not to mention the connections and friendships that stuck. It’s always worth the try.
- Financially speaking, if you make a realistic plan, you can do it. Save some money, cut back on the night outs and general expenses. It may seem impossible, but if you give yourself time and make a realistic plan, you can save enough money to be able to pursue a new career. Plan according to your goal: if you want to go back to school or change companies or even change fields entirely. If you put it on paper, you’ll see it’s possible.
- Look inside yourself. You know who you are, you know what you love. Maybe you just need to take a closer, quieter look inside to make it all clear again. Get to know yourself again and respect your boundaries.
- Also, don’t hesitate in consulting with a professional in career orientation. They can really help figuring out what you want and structure a realistic plan that fits your profile.
So, even if initially it seems very challenging to change careers, try to remember that a lot of people go through this process of discovering their passion. The outcome, although a little far to be foreseen, can only bring positive change to your life.