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Hi! I think I know you a bit. You finished college a few years ago, were busy travelling for a while, had a job or two, but feel like your career hasn’t quite taken off yet. What’s wrong?
If you are still in your late 20s, you’ve no reason to despair. At this age, you already have a decent perspective on your life and it’s just natural that you want to take control.
So, if the job or career you picked right out of college is not satisfying, you better do something about it. And the best time to do so is now.
Obviously it takes courage to quit a steady, well-paying, full-time job to start a new career. While some will always deem this type of behavior irresponsible and risky, it may as well turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Here are 10 good reasons to change careers in your 20s. They will help you decide whether it’s high time to follow your calling and find your desired career ASAP:
1. You don’t feel any fulfilment or satisfaction
You may like the salary that lands in your bank account every month, but what if you lack satisfaction from what you do?
Well, there’s no substitution for a fulfilling and meaningful career. If you know that the job is not something you see yourself doing long-term, starting to look for a new position is the only next logical step to do.
2. You want to gain new skills
Staying in the same job might be a safe option. But if you’re looking for opportunities to grow and gain new experience, starting afresh at a different company is the best thing to do.
In your late 20s, some aspect of your personality might not have had a chance to develop. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the skills you’d like to gain.
Changing careers at a right time will also help you get a better perspective of complex tasks and improve your problem-solving skills.
3. You want to move closer to your goals
There is no harm in changing jobs if it can help you move one step closer towards true career fulfilment. It might seem like an elusive goal, but who ever had everything figured out in their late 20s?
As long as each of your decisions is purposeful and strategic, it’s good to take risks to unleash your true potential and carve your own path. Similarly to a part-time job or college internship, each position will help you see what makes you tick and what you despise.
4. The current work environment is not your cup of tea
The environment can make as much of an impact on your career satisfaction as the type of work you’re a part of.
Let’s say that your first job is working for a large corporation where you’re a small fish in a big pond. You may find yourself having the itch to work with a smaller team in a more dynamic environment and take on more responsibility.
When still in your late 20s, you need to expose yourself to different teams and company cultures. It’s important to find a place which resonates with your values and will support your ideas instead of discarding them.
5. You’ve stopped learning and growing
Do you feel that the last time you actually learnt something was college?
If your tasks start to feel routine and you feel apathy creeping in because you no longer have any opportunities to grow, then you’d do better to look for a new challenge.
From time to time, we all need a dramatic change to stimulate our brains and get ourselves onto that steeper learning curve again. Invest in yourself by starting a new career that will make you thrive and feel strong again.
6. The positives no longer outweigh the negatives
OK, let’s do the math.
Does your salary no more make up for the stress and overtime? Do interesting projects no longer compensate for the dull tasks? Do fun times become less and less frequent?
If your answer to all of these questions is ‘NO’, you may want to look for a job where the balance is more in your favor.
Putting down all the positives and negatives will help you see your present situation. No job is pure joy, but it’s only up to you to decide what you’re willing to put up with.
7. You’re just drifting
Jour job’s just fine, your salary is good, there’s nothing special going on. Sort of average, right?
Sometimes you seem to be drifting through life, having no ambitions, no real sense of direction. That is frustrating. So if you’re dreaming of awakening your inner genius and breathing in some passion and excitement to your career, you need to take control.
Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while to prevent yourself from settling for mediocrity. Change your career path before it’s too late.
8. You’re living for the weekends
Do jokes about horrible Mondays and fantastic Fridays resonate with you? Are TGIF the four letters that describe your working week?
If you keep counting off the days to the weekend, it has gone too far. Besides being demanding and challenging, your work is also supposed to be rewarding and fun!
If you can’t help but feel frustrated in your current job, then no amount of “life” after work is going to make up for that.
9. You’re getting dangerously close to burnout
Tight deadlines make us stay late, checking emails on holiday has become normal, and we’ll all go that extra mile to deliver a perfect presentation.
There’s nothing wrong about working hard. But if you can’t sleep properly, if you need to work 7 days a week, if your body is suffering from the heavy workload… it’s high time to take a break or find a more balanced lifestyle.
10. You have a burning desire to do something else
Unless you want to spend your whole life on autopilot, it’s important to learn to listen to your gut and trust your intuition.
Maybe you have a passion that you’ve been dreaming of following for years. Maybe you have a great business idea that is alive and kicking. Or you simply feel you need to get immersed in completely different projects.
If these ideas have been stealing your sleep, if you instinctively feel it’s time to move on, then now is the best time to make it a reality.
Decided to change careers in your 20s? Good. What to do next?
You’re lucky. As a 20-something, you still have the opportunity to strategically pivot your career path, leveraging your skills and network to get where you want to go.
If you’re unsure about making the career change, ask your close friends and trusted colleagues what they think. Those who know you best will be willing to provide you with a useful insight into your situation.
Also, it’s certainly quite uncomfortable to face longer absence of your regular income. If this is the case, sit down first and take a proper look at your finances. Your savings may be something to rely on during the transition.
So appreciate the time you have in your late 20s to get your feet wet with different tasks and absorb everything you can while you’re still young.
And if you’re still hesitant, there are just four letters for you: YOLO! So why stay in the same role forever when you can leave your past behind and invest in expanding your horizons instead?