How To Go About A Change In Career Direction
For all of the good that our schooling system is responsible for, it's also worth considering one impression that many young adults are given, a harmful impression that can last with us even well into adulthood.
That impression is that you should focus on what your career direction is as a youth and stick to that without any room to pivot, change, or renew your focus. Of course, that's just now how life works. Getting out into the wider world we can see a range of responsibilities that make us ask questions of ourselves and decide on our approach time and time again.
So – why not consider a change in career after some time? There are many reasons as to why you might want to pursue this. First, you may be looking for better job satisfaction. Perhaps you feel you've performed all you can do in your current career path, and wish for a change that not only helps you make use of your transferable skills, but that offers you a completely different lifestyle. Maybe you wish to do some good, or maybe you just want to get out of a career that feels somewhat hollow and exploitative.
No matter your reason or motivations – considering a change in career direction can feel somewhat worrying and even nerve-wracking from the offset. Luckily, there's nothing to fear. You can make the most of this direction should you know what mindset to take. Let our advice help you with this approach – you never know, it could define your next years and help you through those challenges:
Going back into education can be thoroughly restorative, interesting, and worth taking part in. Gaining a thorough qualification need not seem like a fallacy, even if you've been to university before. There are many excellent options out there for you. From apprenticeships to internships to degrees that help you go through academia with care and attention, finding the course you're interested in and going for it may take a little research, especially when it comes to deciding on a prestigious institution, but it can be thoroughly worth your time. Education can help you start out in a field with a higher paycheck, a wider set of opportunities, and the chance to learn and network as a part of that effort.
For instance, taking part in an aviation management online degree provides you the versatility in learning and submitting work you may be looking for, particularly now that societal lockdowns have made attending brick-and-mortar institutions a little less possible and productive than they otherwise were. You may be surprised just how many excellent educational paths are out there – don't be afraid to search for them, you're never ‘starting from scratch' when it comes to educating yourself.
Consider The Lifestyle
It's important to understand that while jobs can provide a very interesting career pathway, and while you may be thoroughly fascinated by the topic – that it's very easy to fall into a ‘grass is greener' mentality.
Instead of thinking that everything would be perfect if you could only work outside (not a rational thought we keep, but one we might feel when working in a tight underground kitchen, for instance), think about what responsibilities you may have. How many hours a week are you likely to earn? Will you be on call? What's the upward path like? What time will you need to get up? Do you have to travel for your job role? What about public outreach? Those questions can help you get to grips with what the actual career entails, not what you believe it to offer, nor what you think should be perfect for you to chase. This healthy dose of self-imagined reality can help us become even more certain of our decisions going forward, and less likely to dive into a path just because it sounds good or provides us an escape. Even the strongest and most rational minds can fall into either two of those considerations – so it's worth doing all you can to avoid that outcome.
Speak To Those ‘in The Know'
Usually, attending a job fair or arranging a visit at an institution can teach you a lot about a chosen career path, but these days, that might not be as possible as it once was.
Luckily, we have the internet to guide us here. it can be worthwhile to speak to those ‘in the know' about a certain career path you find exciting and enticing. For instance, Reddit has r/iAMA a forum that allows you to speak, ask questions of, and generally network with people in given industries. You might speak to a hedge fund manager, or a firefighter, or perhaps an animator for a prestigious company you have always idolised.
If not, then there are many excellent interviews and video logs given by people in a wide range of careers. From ‘day in the life' videos to wider and more interesting content that allows for direct engagement, it can be worthwhile to speak to those in the know and to ask questions of them – just so you know what you're getting into. If joining the military, a station visit is often encouraged. It can be worthwhile to put yourself through your own station visit, even if that simply means sending a letter to the organization.
Know Your Stuff
Of course, education is there to help us learn more about a career path, but gaining a healthy interest in a career path can be quite helpful. Let's use the military example again. Many men and women join the Air Force of their given countries in middle age, especially compared to the other branches of the military.
While you don't have to be the most die-hard soldier to choose this career path, there's no doubt that during your interview you will be asked about certain Airplanes, systems used, and geopolitics. Put simply, you need to nurture a healthy interest in what it is you hope to do, and to research it, and to know who the movers and shakers are, what the industry leading equipment is, and what recent news is making the rounds. No matter if you're interested in marine biology, sports science or animating, performing your own research and becoming enamored with this focus can help you pivot to a career you feel more confident in – or at the very least you can make a more informed decision about its suitability for you. In that respect, career changes become less of a pipe dream and more of a practical, actual, realistic new change of gear.
With this advice, we hope you can think about a shift in career direction in the best possible terms.