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Switching Careers: I Did It and So Can You-Here’s How

Megan Mulroy, LCPC

 

 Something I see frequently with my clients is job dissatisfaction. Long hours, lengthy responsibilities, and mistreatment from peers and supervisors is all too common. What I also see with these clients is often intense fear around switching careers. “It’s too late,” “It would be a massive pay cut,” “I don’t have the time to apply/study/insert tedious action item here,” “The benefits are too good.” And- I GET IT! These are all incredibly valid and massive hurdles to overcome when not just switching jobs but changing careers. When I tell people that I used to work in corporate selling HR software, the response I usually get is that of shock. If you are stuck in a field that is sucking joy and you have a passion for something else, here are some things to think about: 

 

What Environment is Best for You? It’s important to know what workplace is best for you. Some people thrive with the structure that an office job gives them. Me, on the other hand; struggled with the strict boundaries that stated when I had to be in the office and for how long. I found myself struggling to meet expectations and fit in with my peers because of the way the workday was structured.  If the confines of an office, feel too strict for you; you have to think out of the box. There are tons of jobs that do not require a typical schedule or setting. Jobs in service, hospitality, schools, and helping professions often have flexible hours and don’t have traditional 9-5 vibes. 

 

What Are you Passionate About? I always knew that I was passionate about helping others. If it is important to have a career that you are passionate about, switching careers may be a necessity. I often found myself feeling empty selling a product I didn’t necessarily believe in. Figuring out what you love can actually be harder than it seems. Spend some time thinking about what you value and what you are willing to struggle for. Do the research on what you need to do to achieve your goals and start small! Talk with people in different fields and explore what might interest you enough to take the leap.

 

Is It Too Late? The answer is a resounding NO. There will always be something going on in your life that makes changing careers challenging. If it is important to you, you can find a way to make the change, whether that means going back to school or taking a pay cut. Life is short! Do what makes your heart full.

 

A Little Hustle Goes a Long Way When I was getting my Master’s, I also worked full time in sales to offset the cost of graduate school. Was it a nightmare? Yes. Am I glad I did that? Yes! I eased the financial burden of school and got to build relationships with excellent coworkers who later become close friends. It took me longer to get through school, but I was able to save more efficiently and take my time. When changing careers, remind yourself that the change can be gradual and a little bit of grinding is just temporary and won’t kill you. 

 

Support With any kind of life transition, it is important to take stock of your support system. Do you have people in your corner who can emotionally support you after long days? Do you need financial support to go back to school? During this time in my life, my roommates, friends/family, and my therapist were instrumental parts of my success. 

 

At Symmetry Counseling, we’re here to help with your career switch! We know that the task of finding a therapist can be challenging, but we’re here to assist you every step of the way. We offer online and in person counseling services – Schedule a visit today.

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