This Article is About
taking the plunge
choosing a career path
choosing a career
mid twenties
How To Change Careers In My Twenties - What You Need To Know Before Taking The Plunge
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How to Change Careers In My Twenties  -  What You Need to Know Before Taking the Plunge

Your twenties are arguably the most important decade of your life. You are choosing a career path, establishing new relationships with friends and colleagues, you may even meet your future spouse and start a family. Career decisions during this period in your life should be considered carefully. At this point, you have most likely been working for some time and you may or may not be happy with the professional choices you have made. This article will help with your query “Should I change careers in my twenties?”.

Start with what you know

I myself had changed careers in my mid twenties, and frankly, it was the best decision I ever made. I recognized that I was unhappy with my job of choice and that if I didn’t change tracks, I most likely would not enjoy the level of success that I knew I was capable of. So off I went, trying to figure out what was next for me professionally.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is “what do I want to do?” You may have more than one path that you are interested in exploring, and I urge you to do so! If you are interested in exploring a career that requires skills that you already have, it’s a no brainer!

In my case, I was in B2C sales, and I wanted to get into the B2B sales industry. It was a matter of identifying what I liked about my job and searching for a position that encompassed those points. Be prepared to articulate on these skills and how they can be applied in your chosen career path. Highlighting this to a potential employer is important in making this transition. Asking my self "should I change careers in my twenties?" was absolutely the right thing to do, and it was relatively easy to identify the various paths I could take professionally.

180 degrees – Pursuing a career completely new to you

Maybe you are thinking of a career totally outside of what you are currently doing professionally, and if this is the case, research what education is required to pursue this path. I would also suggest doing a little digging to get an idea if there is a demand for this role or area of expertise in the job market.

How tragic would it be spending thousands of dollars and years of your precious twenties to reinvent yourself only to find that there is little opportunity out there for you? You must also consider that you will likely be starting from the bottom of the food chain, and your salary may be in a lower bracket than in your previous career. It is critical to determine if the entry level salary is enough to float your current expenses.

The Devil you know

In my experience, I have found that in many cases, you can achieve a change of career path within the organization that you are working in. Let’s say that you have been in accounting for 3 years at an organization, but you realize that your passion is sales and marketing. You love dealing with people, and staring at spread sheets a numbers all day is just not all it was cracked up to be. You like where you are working, but hate the job you are doing.

Why not talk to your boss about opportunities that exist internally. A smart manager will try to retain good people and will consider redeploying a hard working employee to another department. Hey, you may even be able to get them to cover the cost of some or all of the training required!

It makes sense really as you have built up a reputation at your place of work, made friends with your colleagues, and by this point, your boss should be aware of how hard you work and what an asset you are to the team.

On the other hand, you may not like the company you work for, and that can be a challenge. I would suggest seeing what is out there in the open job market, and if you aren’t having much luck, consider changing departments internally anyway.

No one likes to hate their employer, but hey, no pain no gain. Get a year or two of experience in your new career path with your hated employer, and move on to an organization that aligns with your professional philosophies.

It is unrealistic to expect to love every job that you have, and sometimes you have to swallow a crappy situation in order to achieve a mid to long term goal. A year in an organization you hate can still be a learning experience and you will be able see any pitfalls with other companies moving forward.

It is all too easy for others to tell you that loving your work means it is not work at all. Realistically, it takes a few years and a few steps to get to the job you love. Wrap your head around that and set your expectations accordingly. Considering these points, ask your self again, "should I change careers in my twenties?" If you are willing to make the sacrifices, the year or two of drudgery can be well worth it!

A cautionary tale

I must warn you, however, that when contemplating how to change careers in your twenties, be sure that this is a change that makes sense for you and could possibly open up other avenues later on in your career. Switching tracks every few years can be detrimental.

Your twenties is the time to make important decisions about your life and in order to reach your maximum potential, you must gain the experience required to move forward and upward in your professional life.

Working in a new job every year may keep things fresh for you, but paints a negative picture about the type of employee you might be. When your employer invests time and money training you to the job you were hired to do, they want to know that you will be there for at least a few years contributing positively.

Making some changes to enhance your professional life is a smart move, but doing that every year or two for a decade can do irreparable damage to your growth. Are you asking yourself "should I change careers in my twenties?" often? If you are contemplating and acting on this every few years, you could be seriously holding yourself back in your career progression. 30 sneaks up on you fast, believe me, and you do not want to be in an entry level position forever!

Change is good!

Should I change careers in my twenties? It’s a question we all face during this all important phase of our life. Identifying the aspects of your current position and determining if you can utilize them in an area of interest to you is your first step.

If you are totally changing direction, choosing a new path should be researched well allowing you to weigh the cost and time education, whether or not there is a demand for this skill set in your area, and if you can be redeployed in your current organization. It is a choice that should be considered carefully as it will have ramifications well into your 30’s and 40’s. Heady stuff I know!

When I was 25 I asked myself this very question, and it has paid off tenfold! Should I change careers in my twenties was one the best questions I have ever asked myself, and by following some of the tips in this article, it can be so for you too!

Street Talk

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