If you’ve ever been sitting at your desk in the middle of the workday wondering if your job is right for you, I have to tell you—you’re probably not alone. My editorial team and I get so many emails asking for career advice every week, but one topic in particular that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately is changing careers. Is it too late to change my career? When do I know it’s time to look for a new job? I’ve had a change of heart; how do I start my career all over from scratch? These questions can really eat at you if you’re considering a huge career move or a new industry altogether. So today I’m here to give you my two cents about this topic.
My best piece of advice for those of you considering a career change? It’s never too late to do what you love.
As I am getting older and seeing my friends settle into careers I am realizing how rare it is to know exactly what you want to do with your life. I believe it’s important to see things through and not quit when the job gets tough, but it’s also important to have something about your job that makes you feel fulfilled and brings you happiness. Just because you’ve started down a career path and invested your time in a certain area doesn’t mean you’re obligated to spend the rest of your life in that industry. We are allowed to have a change of heart after years (or sometimes even just a few months) of working in the same field. However, it’s important to remember that you have to be strategic and realistic about the fact that you’re not going to start at the top when you shift your entire professional plan. You might have to go back to school with kids fresh out of undergrad, and you’ll still have to work your way up in your new career, even if you’re experienced in another industry. But that can be the fun part!
The bright side is that, besides taking a leap of faith to do something you truly love, you can probably use some of the skills you learned from your previous job in your new endeavor. Being good at communicating, knowing how to manage others, being punctual… all of these skills (and probably many more) are extremely valuable to any employer, no matter the industry.
Keep in mind that most careers are never a straight and narrow path. Even if you’re staying in the same field but switching jobs laterally, you’re still going to face learning curves. Make sure your heart is in it. Shifting careers will have its ups and downs like any major life change, but if it’s something you truly want, it will be worth it.
I hope my advice helped all of you! If you have more to say, you can always join the conversation in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What question would you like me to answer in my next Ask Lauren?