5 Common Challenges People Face When Making A Career Change


Making a career change is a difficult decision. Yet, it’s probably a question many of us ask daily.

You may have spent your whole life in one career field, and at this point, the thought of doing anything different doesn’t feel worth it. Yet, if you’re unhappy and you feel it’s due to your job or the career field, you might just owe it to yourself to see what else is out there.

There are probably a million reasons why you feel making a career change isn’t worth it. Most commonly, it’s the challenges people face when they do make a career change.

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Take a look at these six common challenges people face when they make a career change.

Lack of direction


Where do you start when it comes to a career change? This is a tough one for many to overcome.

Like any big task, getting started on the process of making a career change is difficult. You probably have no idea where to start and have plenty of questions like “Do I have to go back to school?” or “Who do I reach out to?”

Your best bet is to do some primary research. Search up basic information on the career you’re interested in changing to and see what type of requirements are typically asked for. From there, you can start to figure out if you’ll need any additional education and how you can get started.

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This is a big one to grapple with. If you need to go back to school to obtain another degree or certificate, it’ll take quite a bit of time and money.

College is expensive, and you may still be paying off student loans from the first degree you obtained. It becomes even riskier if you’re still unsure if this new career is right for you.

If you can see if there are shorter 12-week programs that can substitute for getting another degree. You should also see if there are ways you can use relevant job experience instead of the appropriate degree for your new career.

Related: How To Find Meaning In Your Work



Building a professional network is tough, and building a new one may not feel worth it.

You’ll have to start back from square one, not really knowing anyone. No one can vouch for your skills and talent, and you’ll have to do a lot of networking to get people to notice you.

There isn’t an easy way out of this one. In order to reduce the number of new contacts you’ll have to make, rely on some of the old ones. Try to find someone in your current network with some connections to the career field you’ll be pursuing.

Related: 4 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Career

Monetary Risk


The monetary risk of switching careers can be a terrifying feeling. This is more evident the higher you are in your career. If you’re making somewhere near or at six figures, it’s brutal to have to go to anything lower.

You could potentially have to scale back certain luxuries you’ve been enjoying with a higher salary. On the contrary, if you’re in debt, you may not even feel you can afford to take a lower salary.

There’s something to be said about following a passion, though. If you feel the job or career is really worth it, then the results will follow. If you’re willing to start at the bottom and work your way up again, you’ll see the higher salary you were earning before. You may even see it sooner than you did the first time.

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Whether you’re young or old, it’s tough switching careers. The older you get, though, the harder it tends to be.

If you’ve been working in the same career field for twenty years or so, you’ve probably developed a semi-stable routine. Changing careers requires you to enter a field you have no clue what a typical day looks like. At that point, you may not feel it’s even worth it due to how old you are. There’s also the awkward feeling of potentially having to start in an entry-level position with people much younger than you.

As the saying goes, “Age is just a number.” You shouldn’t let being older than others hold you back from trying something new. Yes, it may feel awkward, but life is short. You should focus on doing things that will make you feel like you want to work every day.

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Overall uncertainty


This is a more general feeling people have, and that’s not knowing what will happen next. You can’t say for certain you’ll be happier or feel better, and that’s the scary part. It’s all the “what ifs” that make a career change not worth pursuing.

It ultimately boils down to how satisfied you feel in your life and whether you can continue working in the same career until you retire or die.

At the very least, you owe it to yourself to find happiness in your job. It’s worth doing some introspection to find the answer you’re searching for.