The Psychology of Career Changes: Why is it so Hard?

Category: Lifestyle 12 0

Many workers grossly underestimate the process of changing career. In addition, many of us find that we’re seriously lacking in the skills and resources needed for a successful career change, especially if it’s a drastic one – for example, a graphics designer who decides that they want to become a doctor.  However, even natural career changes, such as a teacher or nurse taking an online MSW to become a social worker, can be nerve-wracking and throw up several difficult obstacles. So, aside from the obvious massive redirection, what makes switching careers difficult? Let’s find out.

#1. Pressure Points

When you change careers, you can expect to be under a significant amount of pressure. This could come from yourself to do well, from your family who relies on you for provision, from your current employer’s opinion, or even from the condition of the current job market and the ease of gaining a suitable education to facilitate your change of career. The pressure mounts up for people who must involve a partner and dependents in their decision; many career changes come with the need to relocate, either for school or for a new job. If you’re single, some of the pressure is reduced – but often, people who decide to change career later in life have a family who must bear the brunt of that decision, such as a partner who’ll also need to find a new job, or children who must switch schools.

#2. Dealing with Change

As humans, there’s no denying that we all enjoy a bit of change from time to time, from traveling to a new country for a week or two, to changing what we eat for breakfast in the morning, or buying a new car. However, the level of change is important – most small changes such as the aforementioned won’t bring about any uncertainty or instability in our lives. Changing careers, however, is a whole new ball game – there’s the question of whether you’ll be able to find a job, concerns about affording any extra education needed, and keeping yourself and your family financially secure whilst studying for your online social work masters or similar from Rutgers Online. People love stability and predictability, and often, a career change disrupts that. This is why careful planning and goal-setting is so important since it helps you to stay in charge of what happens next.

#3. Social Stigma and Pressure

When you change careers, you’re not only under pressure from yourself and those closest to you, but also from stigma in society. Many people in society have a misguided view that the industry or subject you chose to study at college must be the one that you work in for the rest of your life. However, we are usually young when we choose our undergraduate degrees and callings for different careers can come at any point. This shows in the employment market; it’s tough to navigate changing careers since potential employers will want to know why you made that decision.

Are you currently in the process of changing career? We’d love to hear more from you in the comments.

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