Post # 1
I’m looking for a little bit of encouragement/inspiration. Basically, I’m wondering if any of you have made major career changes after establishing yourselves in your career. I’m currently in a field that I’ve been in for seven years or so. I have a good salary, great benefits, and I can ride into work with my FI. So it is comfortable. But, it has gotten to the point where I absolutely hate what I do and it is a struggle to get through each day. I’ve been considering a major change (which would involve going back to school) to a totally different field that I think I would really enjoy and that would allow me to really give back to my community. Part of me feels like it would be foolish to leave a “good” job during these economic times, and part of me feels like life is too short to be this miserable on a day to day basis. Any advice? Stories to share? Other thoughts?
Post # 3
I’m an engineer and had fully intended to go back to school to be a Physician Assistant. But, can’t do it yet because the money is too good, my husband doesn’t have a well-paying job, and it’s just a bad time. But it’s sitting on the backburner, whenever i’m ready and if i come to desire one. it’s definitely a big change though.
Post # 4
I don’t have a lot of good news about this, so be forewarned . . .
I relocated when we got married, leaving a nice job that paid good money. Turns out my profession is very under-respected here, the field is flooded, and they pay squat. Had to take a job paying 1/2 of what I made previously (and had been making for about 5 years in that general pay grade).
After 3 years, changing jobs 3 times and a year of unemployment I am finally making a career change myself. I’m going back to doing what I did before I got my masters. After a year of unemployment I am actually excited to be working, but I will still only make about 2/3 what I made before. Because of this we have to put a lot of things on hold, such as buying furniture for our house, having a family, vacations, etc. Plus my confidence has taken a huge hit because I used to be so independent, well-dressed and able to provide.
If you don’t like what you do maybe you could change careers within the field? But I would strongly not suggest a whole new career in this economic climate.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t do it now. I would wait a year atleast.
EDIT: Is there a way to make the most out of time outside work that makes everything more bearable, like a new hobby with your SO.
Post # 6
I worked as a social worker and took an admin position for the government… Paid better with less stress… Do I like it? Not so much because I’m not challenged enough and admin staff is not really labeled as intelligent so it’s a humbling experience.
However, I needed that change because I want to raise a family and taking care of people who had great needs took lots of energy and I needed that energy to give 100% to my husband and children, who deserve nothing less.
I do not plan on staying in the admin field forever, but will not go back to social work, so I am completing my Master’s in another field completely, part time, so that eventually I’ll have a much more interesting position (when I come back from my extended mat leave!)
In the meantime, I enjoy things in life that are outside my career and it is great, I love my life!
Post # 7
I also do not have good news regarding this topic.
I made a career change and decided to go back to school, right when the economy took a dive. I have finished school and am looking for work in my new field. The field is flooded and I have not been able to find a job in my field for over a year.
When I do find a job it will be a major pay cut from what I was earning before. I too have taken a hit to my self esteem as I was also independent and supporting myself but now am dependent on my parents.
I would wait until the economy gets better.
Post # 8
I am in the middle of one. I worked as a retail manager for 7+ years. I am back in school now, and studying to be a mental health therapist.
It is tough, but should be worth it in the end. Maybe not financially…but I will be happier in a career that is better for me.
Post # 9
I’m currently in the middle of a career change, although it’s still in the same field so it’s not major, at least in my mind. I’ve been working for 5 years as a professional theatre stage manager and I’m transitioning to front of house – eventually I’d love to be a theatre manager. It’s hard to transition. I won’t deny that. And I’ve not worked for 3 months. But knowing that eventually I’ll get a job with better hours and better pay keeps me going. Even when it’s hard sometimes.
Post # 10
I made the transition from the business world to becoming an elementary school teacher. I love teaching and am so glad I made the change! There is a significant salary adjustment but you can’t put a price on your happiness. It’s so easy to get out of bed in the morning when you actually want to go to work, and even better when you are in a field that is so rewarding. I would recommend going back to school part-time and ease into your switch. Maybe an online program would be convenient too. Good luck and hope you make a choice you are most happy with! 🙂
Post # 11
I think it depends what your new intended field is. For example, most jobs in health care are pretty safe and in demand. I am a nurse and have many colleagues that are in nursing as a second career.
Post # 12
Thanks for all of the honest advice! I appreciate your perspectives!
To give some more background, I work in a fairly high pressure job as a research analyst managing and supporting multiple long-term research projects at a time. I just don’t enjoy the research anymore (the subject I am researching and the process of carrying out projects) and don’t love managing projects either. I would be looking to transition into some kind of mental health counseling.
A complicating factor is that I am currently in graduate school part time in a program that I’m just not that interested in, but my boss wanted me to pursue (and required me to pursue to get my last promotion). I’m not sure it is worth finishing this program b/c I don’t think it would be super relevant to the other type of job I would want in the future. I’m only 3 classes in, so if I want to quit the program/transfer, I should probably due it before the fall semester starts.
Alternatively, I could complete the program and try to use it as a way to transition, but it’s not a particularly useful field of study outside of my current career.
Also, @beekiss2, I think that is a great idea about finding meaningful activities outside of work. Unfortunately, my part time school takes up all of my spare time. I was hoping that it would feel meaningful and exciting, but so far, it has just felt like more of the same path I’ve been going down.
Post # 13
Could you change the type of classes you’re taking? I found that when I sometimes do things for “me” I end up reverting back to the same things that weren’t for “me.”
Post # 14
It sounds like you really would have to give up a lot to go back to school and there really is no guarantee you would be able to find a job immediately afterwards. However, there really may be no great time to just up and quit your job.
If you do you and your SO should talk in depth about what that would mean for you guys in those transition years. How will your lifestyles have to change with only one income. How will you pay for school and how will it be paid off. What happens if you don’t get a job right away. Can you ever return to the field/job you are in now or would you burn bridges by leaving?
Post # 15
Good for you. There probably never will be a perfect time to make a career change. It’s hard and it’s scary. BUT you have the rest of your life to work. You might as well try to find something that makes you happy and keeps you motivated. We only have one life afterall.
Post # 16
@caszos Yes, talking with FI is a great suggestion. Luckily, we have talked about it a lot and he is super supportive. We’ve made up budgets to see what our finances would look like if I was back in school and not making money/making much less money. He really just wants me to be happy and I feel so very lucky that he is so supportive. I’m actually even looking at a program that would require me to spend several summers out of town and away from him, and he even supports that and got super excited about it when I was reading him the courses and activities the program offers. So, while it would be a hit financially, he’s very willing to help me with this.
@beekiss2 As for changing classes, I think that’s also a great solution. Unfortunately though, my promotion was contingent on me enrolling in the program I’m in now. So, if I were to take different classes or switch to a different program, I would endanger my current job. I am thinking of taking the spring term off to avoid going too much further into my current coursework if I’m leaning towards quitting my job/the program eventually. I think I could get away with that at work without endangering the job for one semester or so.