Career Change: Is It Worth It?
One common piece of advice in career development is to not switch industries every so often during the first few years of your career.
While recruiters still ask for the reason behind a sudden career change, it is not always a deal breaker. In fact, trends have changed in recent years as more people don’t stay in the same career for their entire working life. According to data provided by LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions, 87% of active and passive candidates are open to new job opportunities – and this is also the number one reason why people change jobs.
As a communication graduate myself, I used to believe that working for broadcast media is the ultimate end goal of this 4-year course. 7 years and 3 industries after, I’m here to share why it is not bad to explore different post-graduate options and find the best career journey for you:
87% of active and passive candidates are open to new job opportunities – and this is also the number one reason why people change jobs.LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions
You can find your passion in a different industry
While I enjoy weaving stories through writing and shooting, I also have an immense passion for gaming. So when I got an offer to do marketing for a game company, I did not hesitate to sign the contract. It was scary at first, but later I realized that anyone could still make good use of all the skills learned in college in an entirely different career path.
Each company, especially bigger ones, consists of various work departments – and this requires a work force of different disciplines. Psychology majors, for example, may find placements in any industry as human resource officers. Checking job opportunities offered by your dream company might be the first step into landing the perfect role and job you’ve always dreamed of.
It kicks you out of your comfort zone
Changing careers would mean a new job market to analyze and compete on, and a totally different industry to immerse into. If one wants to be successful into this transition, one must also learn the ropes. Would you need to go back to school and earn additional units to be well-equipped? Do you need to take that certification or post-graduate study? Hopping on to a different career might also mean exploring that untapped skill in you.
Potential employers might also be interested in the specialized skills you’ve acquired in your previous jobs, as they can expect you to give broad outsider perspectives in this new responsibility. Some job-seekers take this opportunity to rebrand and market themselves as someone who is well-rounded and can self-develop.
You can evaluate which kind of work environment is best for you
Shifting industries can also give you a taste of different work environments. When I assisted in production for a daily television show, I had to sacrifice hours of sleep due to overnight location shoots. There is no definite time-in and time-out schedule to follow, and everything depends on the shoot schedules provided by the production team. It’s fun because I get compressed work days and day offs, but the changes in my body clock eventually affected my health, and it affected my performance.
I decided that I have to consider the work schedule in every job I apply in. We all have our preferences, and it’s important to assess which of these will mold the best employee out of ourselves. Look for work places that support your goals and fit your lifestyle.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Do I have control and creative freedom in the work that I do?
- How much does work-life balance matter to me?
- Do I prefer collaborative work or would I rather work remotely?
- Does the company provide structured trainings or do they encourage self-learning?
- Am I willing to work as a subordinate?
- Am I getting enough compensation for my contributions?
By answering these questions, you can assess whether you’d like to pursue a corporate career or opt to more flexible options such as freelance and self-employment. Choose something that will elevate you to the top of your profession.
Expanding your network is easier
We know people from different careers, but we create our deepest professional networks in the industry we belong in. Thus, when we shift into a different discipline, we would once again need new mentors and meet new colleagues. Do not be afraid about this, you can always ease in to the community by using it as a leverage to ask questions about your new job, or workplace. As you get to know more people from various industries, your social value will also increase – making you a valuable point of contact no matter which industry you go.
Successfully transitioning to a new career
They key to a smooth transition is confidence. Wallowing in fear will hinder you from taking the next career leap that is waiting for you. Believe in yourself, study further and prepare an insightful resume that will highlight your related skills – and once you find the perfect job and career that suits you, that’s where you’ll shine the most.
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