Most Common Career Change Dilemmas & How to Overcome Them

How often not some of us feel the need to leave our current jobs. Despite the determination to change our career, our mind naturally gets overwhelmed by doubts and fears.

Rather than letting the negative emotion hold us back from pursuing a new career, we have to dive into the matter and discern them. Are the fears we face really there? Is there a way around it? If there is, what is stopping me from taking the leap?

Here are common career change dilemmas that career changers face, and how can you overcome them.

“I can’t bear to give up all of this”

The more you have invested in your current job/career, the harder it will be to move. You consider the money you have spent to upgrade yourself, the sacrifices you have made in your personal life so that you can excel in your career in some ways eg, working overtime when you should be spending time with your family.

It does make a lot of logical sense to carry on with this career in the short run. However, you must ask yourself if this career is fulfilling your ultimate career vision. If you are insistent on making a career change, go deeper and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this job making me feel motivated and fulfilled?
  • Does this job allow me to use and develop my skills and strengths?
  • Does this job enable me to make a difference the way I envision it to be?

If you find yourself answering “NO” consistently to the questions above, then you got to ask yourself “What are you really giving up?”.

Never allow pride or the past to stop you from switching to a career that is more aligned with what you really want to achieve. Work takes up an enormous part of our lives, we must not just do what pays us, but also what fulfills and makes us relevant to the society.

“I lack the experience”

Going into a new career can feel like a 180 degrees turn. You may be managing a team at your current job, but the next minute into your new job you are being managed! All career change involves an experience gap that you must overcome. You cannot expect to immediately get a lot of experience in a new career.

Experience requires time to accumulate, and it can only be attained from continuous investment of time and effort. Explore training programs and pro-bono opportunities to cultivate a new skill. If you are lucky, you may meet an experienced person who has been in your shoes and willing to give you mentorship and opportunities!

“It’s too late to change my career”

It is indeed true that some industries or vocations do favour the young; especially those that demand a certain level of physical activities. But bear in mind that in terms of white collar abilities, wisdom comes with age.

If you have been consistently telling yourself or others that you it is too late to make a career change, do some research on the industry/job that you desire to get into. Is age a huge barrier or is it just a self-limiting belief?

As related in the classic, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states, “seldom does an individual enter upon highly creative effort in any field of endeavour before the age of forty. The average man reaches the period of his greatest capacity to create between forty and sixty.”

“Should I quit my job and take the plunge?”

Bear in mind that changing your career is not an easy journey. It is common to go through at least 6 to 12 months of drilling in your new job to overcome the learning process, several trail and error to discover a suitable role for you.

One strategic way to shorten and smoothen this process is to leverage on your current financial stability in your current job. Find out the relevant skills needed in the new job/career and seek out training programs. This method will be long and arduous but it gives you lesser burden when you finally go into your desired career.

Another option is to calculate your monthly expenses which include your training fees. By working out the amounts, you can target how much savings to have in order for you to go for training with peace of mind. This is very important because once the big decision has been made to leave your current job, you have to make sure 100% effort be invested in moving into your next career.