As adults, one of the most frustrating things is realizing how you can work so hard for something you’ll probably want to poke yourself in the eye later. It’s bizarre how we can prepare for “the path” our whole lives yet discover that the way we paved isn’t really for us in the long run.
Maybe it’s because we’re taught to think about life in a straightforward manner: you get a degree, you get a job in the industry of said degree — but what if between those milestones, we have grown and shifted priorities altogether? Nevertheless, nothing about the first picture really says anything about how we’d go with a fulfilled life with earnest work and the possible number of tries it might take to actually reach that.
So if you’re thinking of jumping ship, you might want to face these facts to ensure you’re off for a smooth transition:
You are going to be uncomfortable
Changing gears is basically starting over, so you have to prepare yourself mentally. It’s most definitely a risk to go into a different field and most people make the mistake of not allowing themselves to be beginners. This is especially hard if you’ve been in a job you’re doing since you started out. Note, however, that there is a learning curve to everything. You don’t have to be an expert overnight. Skills take many hours to perfect. Let yourself learn in your pace.
Your new career might not be worth it
Not everything is worth the gamble — and this might include your career shift. You have to accept that hard work doesn’t always come to fruition. Still, smart, and informed decisions only come to those who actually take the peril of trying things out. So test the waters, you never know what you may find.
You may not have the basic skills for your prospective job
You may have set your sights on a job, but have you checked if you have the qualifications for it? Most people skills you can work out, but technical attributes are hard to wing. Consider taking courses and certifications so you have a better gauge of your new industry — armed and ready.
You should have a really, really solid financial plan
This may seem basic but it’s worth listing down. Why? Because a lot of professionals seeking career change do not know how to sock away money they need to make this happen. And this isn’t about a few months’ of funds, either. You have to keep in mind that you don’t get to have your current salary going into a new field. You’ll have to do research and get insights from people from the industry to get a clear view of what you have to plan for. It should be enough to sustain your lifestyle — based on what you find out about the market and what you expect to earn in the first few years.
Illustrations by Madel Crudo