Pursuing a career change is a tremendous decision that requires thought and consideration. The decision can significantly affect your financial security, professional success, and satisfaction. Unfortunately, too many people make career-switching mistakes that can have serious and long-lasting consequences.

You need to be aware of the common pitfalls that can derail your trajectory. Understanding common career change mistakes to avoid can help you make an informed decision and minimize the risk of damaging your prospects.

1. Forgetting Your Priorities

People switch careers for various reasons, such as making money, pursuing a passion, or finding a better work-life balance. Although these reasons are valid, it's important to remember why you're making the switch. Keep sight of your priorities and goals as you embark on this new journey.

One way to accomplish this goal is to create a roadmap that includes your long-term career goals and the steps needed to get there. This will remind you of your priorities and help you stay focused and motivated.

2. Rushing Into a New Career Because You Hate Your Job

Hating your current job can make you feel stuck and desperate for a career change. However, it's important to take the time to assess your options and find a next role that is a better fit. Rushing into something new without researching and understanding what it entails can lead to disappointment and regret.

Take the time to research potential career paths, talk to people in the field, and do informational interviews. These steps will help you better understand the path you’re considering and determine if it is the right fit for you. Additionally, look into career coaching or take online courses to gain the skill set needed for your new career direction.

3. Getting Ahead of Yourself

Switching careers might sound easier said than done, especially when you hear about others who have made the switch. Remember, everyone's journey is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s best to properly assess your transferable skills and interests, research potential career paths, and develop a plan for how you'll make the switch.

You also need to be realistic about the time and effort it will take to make the switch. Don't get ahead of yourself by expecting to make a career switch overnight. Set realistic goals and be patient as you work toward them.

Making a career change is a big decision, and it can be daunting. But with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a rewarding experience. Take the time to assess your options, lay out plan, and be patient as you execute it.

4. Changing Careers Because Someone Is Pressuring You

People in your life will sometimes encourage – or even push – you to make a career switch. These could be family and friends, or even a mentor. While their advice is often well-intentioned, it's important to remember that the decision must ultimately be yours.

Don't let yourself be compelled into applying for jobs if it doesn't feel right. Instead, consider all the options against your objectives and make an informed career decision.

Final Thoughts

Career change is an arduous process that requires careful planning and preparation. It’s important to be aware of the most common mistakes people make when changing careers, such as not taking the time to research a potential new path, not seeking input from others in that field, and not patiently working through the process. By avoiding these mistakes, you can take the right steps to ensure a successful transition into a new career.

PathWise allows you to be in charge of your career change. We guide you through exploring your options and developing an action plan to take the steps toward your new career.

What is the Average Age for Career Changes?

We hear a lot of questions regarding the average age of career changes. Is it 30? 40? 50? even 60? Making a career change can be challenging, especially as we get older. Starting over in a new industry or career field can be particularly intimidating when you’ve been in the same industry for years. So what's the best age for career change? With the right approach, you can make a career change at any age and do it smoothly.

If you’re considering starting a new career or even switching careers, you might be wondering how to go about it in the most efficient way possible. Here are 10 easy steps that you can take to make the career transition as smooth as possible:

Before jumping into a new career path, make a structured assessment of your interests and skills. Think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. This will give you an idea of your transferable skills and the kinds of job opportunities that you might want to pursue. There are a range of tools and surveys available to help you with this assessment, including the Strong Interest Survey and StrengthsFinder.

Once you’ve identified some possible career paths, it’s time to do some research. Look into the job requirements, salary range, work life balance, and potential advancement opportunities. Make sure this is a career path you’d be comfortable pursuing in the long term.

Once you’ve identified a career path, setting specific goals and planning for reaching them is essential. Set specific, timebound objectives. This could include taking classes, gaining experience, and applying for jobs.

A solid professional network is essential to making a successful career change. Start building relationships with people in the industry in which you’re interested. This could include attending networking events, joining professional organizations, and reaching out to contacts.

Talking to the average person already working in the field you’re considering can be a great way to get an inside look into your targeted industry or function. Ask questions about their experiences, job satisfaction, and what they wish they had known before they entered the field.

Experience is critical when making a career change. If you don’t have any background in the new field, you can try to gain some through job shadowing, internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs before transitioning to full time.

Once you’ve researched and talked to people in the field, it’s time to revisit your action plan. Your revised plan should include the specific steps needed to make the transition, such as getting additional training or certifications.

Make sure that your resume is up to date and tailored to the new career path that you’re pursuing. Highlight any experience, skills, or education you’ve acquired relevant to the industry.

Once you’ve researched, set goals, and gathered experience, it’s time to take the leap with the career change. Don’t be afraid to take risks; recognize that it’s never too late to pursue a change.

Making a career change can take time, so be patient. Don’t expect to land your dream job overnight. It may take months or even years of time and effort to find the perfect job. Be persistent and focused on your goals.

The Best Age for Career Change is Any Age!

Making a career change at any age can be tricky, but it’s possible with a bit of planning and dedication. Follow these easy steps to make the mid career transition as smooth as possible.

PathWise provides a comprehensive suite of career management solutions to help individuals take control of their professional lives. With our mix of insights, tools, coaches, and community, PathWise puts members in the driver's seat regarding their careers. Whether you need advice on how to find the right job, build your network, or advance your career, PathWise can help. For more information about career change processes, contact us today.

Why Start a Side Hustle?

If so, you aren’t alone. A recent study found that one in three Americans has a side hustle, defined as a means of making extra money outside of your primary employment. That could include anything from freelancing, to building a small business, to a part-time job.

For some, the main driver behind starting a side hustle is financial goals. But did you know there are many other reasons a side hustle could be right for you?

See if you fall into any of these categories.


Why You Should Start a Side Hustle

(1) You want to test out the entrepreneurial waters.

If you have an entrepreneurial itch and a passion project you'd like to turn into a business, starting it out as a side hustle is the perfect testing grounds. In fact, you’ll be testing out two things.

1) Is the entrepreneurial life for you? How does it feel to start something from scratch and be your own boss? That lifestyle isn’t for everyone, which is completely okay.

2) Is your business idea a good one? Unless your business idea requires extensive upfront capital, you can test it out on a small scale to see if the market needs what you are offering.

(2) You're not a big risk taker.

Dipping your toe into starting a new business by doing it on the side can be a happy medium for those who are generally risk averse, but are interested in entrepreneurship.

Keep your financial security with a stable source of income while you’re giving your entrepreneurial idea a go to protect your bottom line and mental health.

(3) You need seed money to build your business.

While your day job pays your regular bills, it can also provide funding to get your side hustle to a point where it generates income. From there, you can invest that income to get your business where you want it to be. There’s also the added benefit of building up expertise alongside the income.

You can also use one side hustle to help fund another. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur at heart and you have an idea for, say, an ed-tech company, but you don’t have the funding yet, side hustling as a tutor and utilizing your education experience can help you build wealth while also allowing you to research the field.

(4) You need a new job.

If you are currently unemployed, a side hustle can serve two key purposes.

1) Starting your own side business will make you stand out in the crowd during your job search. You’ll be filling a gap on your resume and, if your side hustle is related to your core career interests, you’ll be showcasing to employers that you are dedicated to your field.

2) A side hustle can bring in extra cash when you need it. A full-time job may be the ultimate goal, but setting up an income stream through your own business can be a good way to support your immediate needs.

(5) You want to change careers.

You may have been moving happily along in your career for some time, but you’ve reached a point where you are bored, restless, or burned out.

You could decide enough is enough and quit your job before finding something new, but that’s a little risky. Or you could start firing off applications to change careers into a new industry, but if you don’t have experience in that role or sector, you may hear a lot of radio silence.

A side hustle business can help you build the experience you need to get into that new full-time job though. If a company won't give you a shot just yet, make your own shot!

(6) You're re-entering the workforce.

Are you a stay at home parent looking to make a return to the workforce outside of the home? A side gig could be the perfect re-entry point.

Use the skills you have built both before having children and after to create a flexible business that earns money and helps you build your skills and network. Then you have some additional recent work to add onto your resume, and you’re meeting people who can help you make those moves in your career.

(7) You need some spice in your life.

If you like variety in your work, then having multiple jobs or jumping into the gig economy could feel exciting to you and not stressful. Your career doesn’t have to be just one thing if you are multi-passionate and thrive when you have multiple balls to juggle. Tossing one more ball in the air can make you more profitable and happier.

(8) You want more flexibility in your career and life.

If you are seeking flexible options for employment beyond the traditional 9-5, a side hustle business could be exactly what you’re looking for. While it may start out as a role you pursue on the side in addition to your 9-5 job, your side hustle (or side hustles) could transition into your full-time employment, just not in the traditional full-time hours leaving you a little extra free time

Key Takeaways

Starting a side hustle can be a great move at many different inflection points in your career. Whether you need a side hustle to bring in more income, you’re craving change or flexibility, or you’re hoping to stand out in the job market, consider how a side hustle can play into your career strategy.


By Becca Carnahan

For ideas on side hustle that could be a fit for you and your career, check out this categorized list.

For more on careers, check out our other blogs.

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