Life

How to know when you need a career switch

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Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

When you’ve worked hard to get where you are in your career, it can be difficult to even consider the notion that your career, well, sucks. At least for you, maybe this particular line of work isn’t the best. If you find yourself in agreement with the following statements, you might be ready for a career switch.

  • You didn’t choose your career – your parents did.
  • You do it for the money.
  • You fell into this career.
  • You hate the way you have to dress for work (uniform, office attire, etc.).
  • You compromise your values everyday at work.
  • You watch the clock all day, every day.
  • You generally hate what you do.
  • You are starting to get physical symptoms from the constant pressure.
  • You feel like you have no integrity left.
  • You see corruption everywhere in the industry.

How to Reconcile Switching Careers

Whether you’re a lawyer, a physician or a paralegal, building a career is an expensive, time-consuming process. It would be foolhardy and immature to just throw all that money and hard work away just because you don’t like your career, right?

Wrong!

It would actually be foolhardy to continue to go on in a career that is making you unhappy. Unless you have some secret to living forever, your time is limited just like the rest of us. As the saying goes, “Don’t throw good money after bad,” don’t throw good time after bad. Start the rest of your life anew, and start today. If you built up a good career once, you can do it again.

Steps to Building a New Career

First, don’t quit your day job just yet. Give some thought to what career you wish you had gotten into. Maybe that other career will require additional education or certification. Go ahead and get started on that while you remain gainfully employed in your current career. When you leave, you want to ensure a seamless transition into the new career.

Second, when considering the new career, think about going into something that will utilize your existing experience and credentials. For instance, maybe you hate being a criminal lawyer. You could become a contract lawyer or a family counselor. If you’re a dental hygienist, you could work in animal dentistry, or overseas helping in the Doctors Without Borders program. If you can land on a career that utilizes existing expertise, you won’t feel you “wasted” anything.

Going 180

Are you completely tired of everything to do with your career? Looking for something completely opposite of what you currently do? Then it helps to find a mentor in that other career field who can advise you on the steps you need to take to get into it. Lay out a map to get from here to there. It will make the transition much easier, especially if you don’t know too much about how to get into the new career.

Switching careers won’t be easy, but it’s a whole lot easier than living out your live doing something that is making you miserable. Don’t do anything rash, and move slowly. You don’t need to jeopardize your livelihood in order to build a new career. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way on a new path in life that you can be proud of.

Kate Supino is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing her research and experience with readers everywhere. She lives in sunny South Florida.