Time for career change?

Ian Bailey

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Work to live, not live to work’

Everyone has been there, 2 pm on a Tuesday afternoon fed up with the same boring routine asking yourself; ‘why didn’t I do something more meaningful?’ or ‘how did I end up here in this role?’ Then you consider making the change, look up a few different careers, weigh up the pros and cons, get an email on a pressing task, and before you know it, you’re back stuck into the same work you questioned 10 minutes ago. This may happen time and time again but the majority of us will never act on it. Why?

There are many reasons why? A career change can be exciting, but more often than not extremely frightening. By the time that you are 30, you’ve more than likely spent a lot of time and energy into building a career, a lifestyle and you are most likely comfortable from a financial point of view. So, considering a career change will naturally trigger a lot of fears:


  • How will I keep my current lifestyle while starting from scratch?

  • What if I fail?

  • What will my peers, partner, or family think of me if I change?

  • Is it the grass not just always greener?


For me, it was all of the above. I was 29 years old; I was 4 years working in a very stable job with a well-known financial institution. I was earning good money, working on a great team, a good manager, and all in all a great place to work. But I wasn’t happy. I would go into work day after day, do my job, count down the minutes till I could go home, and do it all again the next day. I wasn’t getting any satisfaction out of the work I was doing. And to be perfectly honest I wasn’t pushing myself to succeed in the role anymore.

But I was scared. I was scared to commit to the change, I’d be giving up good money, a great pension, I was scared of the lifestyle changes and, but the biggest fear was the fear of failure.

What steps did I take?

Throughout college and school, I always worked in customer-facing roles, whether it be in a newsagent, a summer camp, or even in the local bar. I always enjoyed interacting with customers and working in a sales environment. This was the type of work that I got the most satisfaction out of. So I knew this is where I wanted to go.


Step 1: Speak to people working in the areas of interest to you

It seemed the most logical move to make. By speaking with people working in a sales-related role I got a better understanding of the lifestyle, the pros, cons, and the work involved. I spent about 2-3 months doing this.

Tip: Don’t just focus on the people who are doing well in this career. Make sure you speak with people who were not successful in the role as well as the people who were. You’re better off getting both the negatives and positives.


Step 2: Get opinions from the people who know you best

This one was very important for me. After all these were the people who knew me best. In my head if I had the backing of my family and my partner well then, I knew I was making the right choice. I also spoke with a few peers in the financial institution and what would be my future employer to get everyone’s opinion.

Step 3: Put your fears aside


Probably the most important step of all was asking myself that ‘If money didn’t come into it, what career would I be happiest in?’ When I forgot about the money, the starting from scratch, the lifestyle change, what people thought of me, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I thought back to when I was younger and a very close relation of mine pushed themselves extremely hard in a career that they didn’t really want to be in. They pushed themselves to the point of a breakdown all for money and a certain lifestyle that in reality, they couldn’t enjoy as they could never switch off. For me, it all came to do with what role was going to make me happier in the long term. What career was I going to be excited about doing daily?


I’m just over 20 months into my new career now and despite joining recruitment at what was possibly the worst recruitment market ever, I can now say I am delighted with my choice. I enjoy the work I do; I get satisfaction out of every sale I make. Yes, there are highs and lows in the world of sales. But it’s exciting, it’s constantly changing and it’s what you make of it. Most importantly though it’s what makes me happy.

Don’t be afraid to make that change. As we get older it becomes more and more important that the work, we do has meaning. Don’t get stuck in a rut, do what makes you happy! Don’t let fear stop you from making the change.

Finally, forget about what people of think of you or the career choice you make. I’ll never forget an ex-colleague of mine saying ‘Why are you going into recruitment, recruiters, in my opinion, are vegetables’.  20 months in I can honestly say I am one happy vegetable!


Thinking of making that change? I’m more than happy to have a chat to see I can be of assistance or at least point you in the right direction. Contact me now! 


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