The pandemic changed a lot of things, from grocery shopping to birthday party drive-bys. But one of the biggest takeaways is how it has redefined our traditional ideas of the “workforce.” If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled in your current job, wanting a change, but think its too late I am here to tell you it’s not too late! Just because you are settled in an industry or career path doesn’t mean you can’t start fresh if you want to.
Changing Careers, It Is Not Too Late
I’ve done the career change so I am speaking from experience. Sure, it can be scary starting over. And it might not be easy. But if you are passionate and patient, here are what you should expect when making a career change.
The first step is the hardest.
Anytime you are considering a change, the first step is always going to be the hardest. You’ll go back and forth, make pros and cons lists (guilty!), and you’ll probably talk yourself into it and right back out of the decision a hundred times over. The unknown is scary and changing careers industries can be difficult but rest assured that it does get easier.
I have colleagues and friends who have changed industries after years and sometimes decades of establishing themselves in an industry. But if its something you are passionate and excited about, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot! So, don’t let the fear hold you back. In the words of the wise Hola Mami (and what she told me, verbatim when I was questioning moving to Chicago) “Life is about taking chances. Do it. You can always go back to how it was if you don’t like it.”
Think about your network.
Once you make the big decision, you need a game plan! And that is where your network comes into play. Think about who you know that is in your new industry and see if they will know of any open positions or good places to start searching for a job. You can also write down any questions you have about the industry and reach out to see who can help educate you on that industry.
Don’t just focus on your current network, though! Also look for opportunities to meet new people in the industry you are looking to get into. Professional happy hours, networking events, and professional associations are a great way to start dipping a toe in the water too!
One step at a time.
You are going to get overwhelmed and you will question why you made the choice, I’ve been there. But don’t forget, you have to take things one step at a time. Instead of trying to do everything at once, try to break things up. Everything will seem more manageable if you make a list and tackle a few things at a time.
Give it and yourself time.
I know how hard it is to be patient but giving yourself, and the process, a little time is vital. Don’t get hung up on the speed bumps that might happen along the way. Keep your chin up and just keep on keeping on. Easier said than done, I know, but being in the right headspace and not putting pressure on yourself is a key to the process. Make some time for yourself and don’t forget about self-care!
OTHER READING: 5 Self Care Tips To Help You Start Taking Care of Yourself
Don’t be scared to go back to the basics.
One of the hardest things about starting in a new industry can be starting over. If you are able to, don’t be scared to start over with a fellowship or internship. Even if it means going back to school, don’t let the feeling that you’re starting from scratch hold you back.
Consider taking things slow.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to quit their job and the next day start a new career. If you are like most people, you’ll have to take things slow. Look for ways that you can slowly transition from one industry to the other.
Changing careers is an exciting step, no matter how old you are or what industry you are in! I hope these tips help you through the process of redefining you career and goals.