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Switching Careers In Your Twenties



‘Quarter life crises’ appear to be on the rise – and it appears that’s partly down to many in their twenties leaving university and becoming disillusioned with their job as they experience it in the flesh. Some don’t even have the opportunity to follow the career path they had trained and envisioned success in – leading to them rethinking what they actually want to do for a living.

Reasons you may be considering a switch.

There’s this idea that we should choose a subject to train in at school, college and university and pursue that career wholeheartedly without diversion or distraction. When we ‘fail’ to follow that conventional path, it can often lead to us feeling disappointed and as if we have somehow made a mistake and suffered from a massive set back – forced to reconsider what we thought was right for us. But many of us change our careers throughout our lives – and that’s okay.

Gone are the days of getting a job and sticking with it for years  – nowadays, people change their jobs much more often, as there’s often little to be gained from staying with a company for many years, where there used to be guaranteed progression, pay rises, bonuses and pension pots. ‘A job for life’ doesn’t exist as it once did. The workplace is an increasingly volatile and ever-changing environment. In fact, many older people who have been in one profession their whole lives are now changing their minds and turning their hand to something completely different.

After leaving university, you can quickly realise that the workplace related with your chosen speciality isn’t always what you had hoped or expected it to be. Practising something in an educational and a professional environment often represents two completely different realities – one discipline in practise might not be the same in principle. Sometimes your ‘perfect career’ isn’t what you envisaged, and trying out different jobs is part of your journey to finding out what you really want to do.

Finding your new niche.

Once you’ve trained in one thing, there’s no hidden rule that you are not allowed to train in another. In fact, even if you are returning to education and studying something completely unrelated to what you were doing before, nothing is lost, but a lot is gained. Often what you have already learnt can help you in your further studies – even if it isn’t remotely connected to what you are looking at now. For example, if you trained in accountancy but have a real interest in people and human resources, you could consider taking a Diploma of Human Resources Online, even whilst you keep your current job.

Similarly, if you trained for management, but have a creative talent on the side, you could take a music course that could see you move into the creative arts as a career choice. There’s really no reason not to broaden your knowledge in fields that interest you. You learn new study techniques, get to know yourself and how you learn best, what you like and dislike and then decide whether to make a switch.

It’s never too late to discover what you really want to do in life – and there’s no shame in finding that your passion might not actually be a realistic or enjoyable career choice. In fact, these changes in direction are invaluable experiences which actually enrich and diversify your CV, and make you much more employable in the long run. So go on – consider what you really want to do, and if what you’re currently doing isn’t working, have the courage to change things up.