Make the Switch: Changing Jobs & Industries

Career Advice,World Academy

March 28, 2022

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Welcome to the World Academy blog series. In these posts, our very own HR department shares valuable tips and insight to help you unlock your financial good in your career as well as your finances.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: you’re allowed to change industries. No matter where you are in your life, career, or tenure, there is no rule that says you have to stick with a job ‘til the bitter end. You aren’t a machine, after all – why should you work like one?

If you find yourself itching for a change, there’s probably a reason why. Let’s look at some reasons that people change jobs or industries, as well as some smart, practical ways to make it happen.

Why Change Industries?

There are plenty of reasons that people (just like you) decide to make a career change.

  • Growth Opportunities
    Have you gone about as far as you can go in your current job or industry? Is the next step “up the ladder” just not interesting or well-suited to you? If there isn’t a lot of mobility in your career – whether due to culture, availability, or workplace dynamics – it might be time to explore other industries with more opportunities.
  • Pay and Salary
    So, you want to make more money. There’s no shame in that! Or maybe it’s more of a need than a want. Regardless of the “why”, pay is the top reason given for Americans who are unsatisfied in their jobs.
    According to an Indeed Survey, over 80% of Americans wish they made more money, and 54% would consider a job change for a pay increase.
  • Lifestyle Changes
    For some, the need for a job change arises from changes in their own life. Having kids, a big move, mental health, physical health – the list goes on because everyone is different. Do you need more flexibility, but your job requires you to be there in-person 5 days a week? Is childcare inconsistent for you? Have you had an injury – or maybe are trying to prevent one? These are all valid reasons to look for a career that supports the needs of your lifestyle.
  • Culture
    One of the less talked about (but no less important) reasons for a career change is work culture. What do we mean by that? It’s the general air of the office or team you’re a part of – the collective attitude of the company, the atmosphere of the work environment. Often, work culture is set by leadership and is carried out by the rest of the team, too. If the culture of a company is negative, oppressive, or otherwise unhealthy, it’s a good indicator to pick up and move on.

How Can I Make the Change?

Does one of the above-listed reasons for changing industries resonate with you? Or do you have your own reasons? If you know it’s time for you to find something new, that’s reason enough. It’s one thing to list reasons to make a change, though. Let’s talk solutions.

  • List Your Skills & Values
    Get out a piece of paper (or a document on your computer) and start listing the skills you use in your current job, the skills you have and wish you were using, and the personal values you would like to carry out in a career. This inventory of skill and intention will help you visualize roles you might be fit for that you hadn’t considered before.
  • List Out Possible Careers
    Is there a career you’ve always been interested in? Write it down. Is there a career you’ve been told you’d be a good fit for? Write that down, too. Do a Google search on careers similar to those. This organic process of brainstorming careers will help you narrow down your search. From there you can begin to research each career on your list to determine your interest level and whether you’d be a good fit.
  • Talk to People in Your Field of Interest
    Now that you have a shortlist of careers you’re interested in, it’s time to take it from paper to the real world. Reach out to people in those fields – whether they are already in your network, a friends’ network, or in your community – and ask them for details and information about that industry. Find out what kinds of roles there are. Get curious about the innerworkings of that industry and ask as many questions as you can.
  • Make a Plan
    Once you’ve zeroed in on an industry you’d like to join, you can take steps to transition. Will you need any specialized education for that industry? Consider getting training or certifications while you’re still in your current position (if you’re currently unemployed, a personal loan could help you pay for certifications). Revise your resume in a way that is geared toward your desired career. Take your current skills and experience and tailor them to communicate what qualifies you.

Changing industries won’t be an overnight process, but once you start the journey, each next step will be easier.

Stay motivated, take it one step at a time, and the change that you’re looking for will be in your hands.

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