Changing Careers? 5 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid

We change careers for a whole lot of reasons; for some, they probably realize they hate the career path they chose, they come to the realization that they are not getting any younger and it’s about time they thought about seriously finding the right career for them, or they are simply suffering from ‘the-grass-is-greener-on-the other-side’ syndrome. If you’re a fresh graduate thinking about a change, you’re not alone.

Most often than not, making a change can be the right move. Ironically, it isn’t always the best line of action, you certainly shouldn’t do it before you’ve properly thought it through; not only should you take the time to seriously think about it and make sure that’s what would make you happy, but it’s just as important to be certain that the new career is the right one. There’s no point simply moving from one miserable path to another.

Ngcareers shares five biggest and most common mistakes you need to avoid:


  • Don’t change careers too often

Changing career often not only suggest that you didn’t put enough thought into the career you truly want, but it presents you as an unstable person thus making it hard to convince someone to hire you. If they see that you’ve had too many unrelated jobs over a short period of time, they are not going to find it easy to trust that you’re going to stick around for very long.


Don’t go rushing to the next big thing. Take time to make rational decisions about what you really want, and remember to think it through. I mean, just because you want to be independent doesn’t necessarily mean you should start your own business, you could just take on more managerial roles.


  • Don’t go with the bandwagon

It is best to choose your career based on what you want to be doing, not based on how popular it is with everyone else. First, your career should be something you’d be more than willing to do for free (I am not asking you not to think about money) it should also be something you would be willing to do for life.

Secondly, getting a job with the bandwagon mentality means you’re intentionally choosing something with a high level of competition. It’s already hard enough to get a job, why make it worse? If anything, you should look for jobs that aren’t popular where they’ll snatch you up simply because you’re willing to do it.

Also, I mean, just because its right for everyone else, doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for you. There’s a reason there are so many different types of jobs, and it’s because there are many different kinds of people who like them.

career change


  • Don’t expect an overnight miracle

Career change is a big deal, so don’t expect to land a job in your new career immediately. It might likely to take six months, a year, or more, well except you bagged a job before quitting your old job. You should prepare by being ready for any temporary drop or lack of income by saving up at least two or three months’ salary to keep you going until you find something new. You didn’t find your current job five minutes after university, and you aren’t going to find your new one any quicker.

Also, I’d suggest that you don’t make a big career change when you have important projects at home; if you just got married, you’ve just made a big purchase such as a new car, been on vacation, or you’re expecting a baby, this isn’t the time to jump ship at work and jeopardize your security. Not only is it a bad time to give up your paycheck, but quitting your job won’t automatically make you happier, and the last thing your family will need is an even more miserable you who’s now stressed about being out of work.


  • Don’t Assume It’s a Career Change you Need

A lot of young people( myself included) change careers simply because they are bored. You’d hear people say my job is so boring, I’d much rather be doing what John Doe does.” I think it’s ideal that you know the difference between a daydream and reality, when you are sure you have fully comprehended it, ask yourself if a career change is really the answer? Is that new job exactly what you think it will be.

You can’t believe everything you see on TV or film. Just because the character in your favourite film found it really easy to give up a high-paying job to become a painter doesn’t mean it’s as romantic in real life. Would you truly be prepared for the drastic change in income? Should you perhaps really be looking to find a way to incorporate more painting time into your life rather than giving up your job?



  • More education might not be the Answer

I agree that another degree or a more advanced degree can help you climb the professional ladder. The problem is, there’s no absolute guarantee that it will help you. So before you go running to the nearest university to bag a new piece of paper, consider whether you truly want to give up your job in order to join the thousands of first-time graduates who can’t find work. Would it not be better to get a degree or a professional certificate that would let you advance at your current company rather than overhaul your professional life with an entirely new career?

If you must venture unto a new career path, then why not try taking on an internship or doing some volunteering. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re trying to get in to a brand new industry then you might need to be willing to go back to the bottom. It’s highly unlikely that this change will mean staying at the same level, and people will be more likely to be willing to help you if you remember how to be humble.

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Those are five of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide they need to make a career change. Sometimes people start with thinking a career change is the answer to everything, when all they really need is a change of attitude or a change of responsibilities.

Have you ever changed career? Do you have any advice to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.

One Comment

  1. ola@last says:

    Hum ……. thanks for the message, hope you could help me further in my career?

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