Career Woman

Shifting professional pace: 6 common myths about changing careers


When you accepted your first job offer, you were likely bursting with overwhelming confidence and excitement for your future career. Maybe you pictured promotions and getting to know your new coworkers over coffee in the break room. However, a few years down the line, it’s possible you start to realize that this path isn’t right for you, and now you’re thinking about changing careers.

Before you begin making a list of regrets or subject yourself to a career you don’t enjoy, know that you’re not alone. Studies show that people will change their careers an average of five to seven times throughout their lives.  Though tidbits of unsolicited advice or relayed stories ringing in your ears may have discouraged you from considering a career transition, it’s time to cast those hesitations aside. After all, the reality may not match the fears you have about choosing a new career path.

6 common myths about changing careers

That said, it’s time to unearth the biggest misconceptions about changing careers that shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing your dreams.

Myth #1: Everything needs to be planned out

For some people, making a career change is as easy as deciding to try something different, conducting research, and just making the switch. However, the plan to transition isn’t as smooth for others and can induce panic and anxiety. 

Luckily, many resources like job marketplaces and certificate courses can help you move from your current industry to your industry of interest. For example, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, job marketplaces like Fusion Marketplace can connect professionals from any background to healthcare sector opportunities. Whether you have a nursing certification or not, job marketplaces can help you find positions that don’t require years of schooling or a standout resume stacked with industry experience. With opportunities that don’t mandate a four-year degree in clear view, i.e., medical assistant positions, this industry flip won’t leave you bending over backward.

Myth #2: Switching careers means you’re a failure

Leaving your current career trajectory comes with many considerations, but the idea that you “failed” at your job is exceptionally prevalent among career switchers. Shaking off this misconception will make it far easier for you to leave the career that’s dragging you down for a better option. 

When you first took on your job, you didn’t have a complete picture of what your work would entail. If your current position doesn’t live up to your expectations, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s okay to search for a new opportunity better aligned with your desires for your career.

Myth #3: Changing careers is only for the wealthy

Though it’s nice to have savings or another lucrative opportunity to support yourself as you transition to your new career, money shouldn’t be a hindrance to your transition. For some people, a central driving element of their career switch is that they want to make more money. If your finances are tight, don’t take time off to search for new opportunities. Instead, search for new jobs while you continue working, and you’ll never need to worry about missing your bill payments.

Myth #4: You need to uproot your life completely

Transitioning to a new career doesn’t necessarily mean you need to move away from home or leave your friends and family behind. Suppose you must enroll in school or attain a certification to work in the field that pique your interest. In that case, online courses are an excellent alternative to in-person classes to complete your education. You can complete your education from anywhere in the world and start your new job as soon as possible.

Myth #5: You’re too late

One of the most significant reasons people remain in careers they don’t enjoy is the belief that they’re too old or that it’s too late to change. However, studies show that half of U.S. citizens have made a drastic career switch in their lives, with the average age of the career transition hovering around 39-years-old. There is no time limit on when you can choose a new path. It’s entirely feasible to pursue your passions no matter how old you are.

Myth #6: You need an advanced degree

If you’re considering a career change to a job in a completely new industry unrelated to your current background, you might feel discouraged by the idea of needing a new degree. Emptying your wallet and potentially going into debt seems like far more trouble than it’s worth to switch to a new career. Luckily, obtaining a graduate degree isn’t always necessary for the job you want. Certificate programs are a cheaper and effective alternative to going back to school full time. You’ll gain the desired skillset for your industry of choice faster than trying for a new degree, and you’ll be a competitive applicant when you begin applying for jobs.

The bottom line

While it may be daunting to leave your current job and pursue a new path, it’s well worth it to find a career you’re passionate about pursuing. There are far fewer barriers to entering a new industry than you may think, so don’t hesitate to go after the career and life you truly desire.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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