Career Change at 25: Part 2

career change at 25

7 Things For Young professionals To Consider Before Switching Careers at 25, 27 & 28 

1. Small Job Hops Rarely Solve It. The reason that switching careers at 25 is less common than switching careers at 30 is the hope that things might still work out with the initial career choice. Most young professionals make several job hops within their college major area, hoping to find a better fit. For instance, lots of business majors will bounce from one company to the next wearing the marketing hat and eventually realize that they’re wearing the wrong hat altogether. If you’re not cut out for business, it doesn’t matter where you go, you won’t find your sweet spot in that ballpark. So, take a deep breath before you act, figure out whether you’re in the wrong career field, or in the wrong role within the right field. 

2. Most 30 Year Olds Still Don’t Know. We often set our 30th birthday as a landmark for gauging our accomplishments. We all hope to have it figured out and be well on the road to success. Let me bust your bubble. Many people in their early 30s feel exactly the way you do right now. This problem doesn’t work itself out, you have to grab the bull by the horns.  

3. You’re Not Behind Schedule, But It’s Time to Decide. Try to outsmart your concerns or worries that you’re behind schedule. Almost everyone is in your shoes. It’s very common to make quick and dirty career decisions in our early 20s, so most people are unintentionally falling into the wrong career. They never really “chose” it, it just sort of happened. The short of it, it’s time to “decide that you have to choose” your career path rather than wait for it to happen by itself.   

4. Don’t Let Your Sexy, Caveman Brain Choose Your Career. Don’t worry too much about money, status or success, those things are cool but they are mainly evolutionary hangovers that your primal brain uses to hoodwink you into attracting the best possible mate. For many guys and gals, high-paying careers are essentially the human equivalent of a colorful peacock tail. Yup, that’s Mother Nature’s plan, and she doesn’t care at all how happy you are in the long run. The happiness these social rewards bring isn’t negligible, but it’s fleeting and just the icing on the cake. Rather, concentrate on figuring out what you want to be masterful at doing. Being very good at something and solving a problem you consider important will set you up for sustainable happiness.  

5. Know Before You Go to Grad School. Postpone going to grad school until you really, really know where you’re going. No kidding, most people are making the same mistake twice and end up with two degrees that don’t fit who they are. Collecting credentials may make you feel good and look cool, but this won’t make you any clearer or happier. Most importantly, classroom situations rarely expose you to the realities of daily life in a career field. Lots of people love learning a subject but that rarely guarantees a talent fit with the actual job. Learn from the mistakes of all the unhappy 40-somethings with the wrong graduate degree who were bamboozled by hopeful logic. Find out for yourself, talk to a few.

Going back to school rarely solves the problem of a bad career fit. If you don’t know what you’re best at, grad school is way too expensive to use as a test-drive.

6. First, Discover What You’re Best At. Before you commit to more education or make a career switch into a new field, you want to base your decision on highly accurate information. The best compass is internal, and that’s your natural abilities and traits. It is very difficult to make a smart career decision without knowing what you are at the core.

7. Choose It With Eyes Wide Open. Successfully switching careers at 25, 27 and 28 begins with making rock solid career choices. A smart way to begin switching careers is by knowing what makes you tick. What are you best at?

Learn how to find your career direction:

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~Abraham Lincoln

Anthony Spadafore of Pathfinders is a specialist at helping young professionals with choosing and switching their careers, and the coauthor of Now What?, a top career change book for changing your career at 25, 27 and 28.

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