Change is an inevitable part of life, but this cannot be said when it comes to careers.
Some people choose their career and stick to that one job their entire lives while seeking to grow in their chosen professions.
However, careers are not linear and when individuals matriculate and start university at about 18 years old, their career choice may not be the one they stick with for life, said career coach Manoka Mathye.
“Feeling stuck or stagnant in your current career is one key driver that motivates change. This may happen when you are not able to visualise how your career will look in the medium to long term,” she said.
“Changes in your industry, passion, salary expectations, skills, abilities and ambitions may cause you to consider changing careers.”
Here is what you must consider before you make this change, according to Mathye:
- Research the careers that interest you.
- Consider job shadowing in those industries before you make your final decision. This may be with people you know or individuals you approach online.
- Speak to as many people as possible in the new industry or
- Write a list of everything you’ll require to get from where you are to the career you’re considering, such as qualifications, skills, network and more.
- If you’re employed and the company you work at has a similar function to what you’re interested in, speak to the managers or decision-makers and request an opportunity to work with them on an upcoming task or project. This will give you practical experience in the field and help you build relationships.
Sonke Bhengu* is among those who chose to change their careers. She worked as a pharmacist but decided to quit and follow her true calling of becoming a medical doctor. Bhengu had to prepare herself to go back to university.
“I grew up sickly with poorly controlled asthma. I had to go to numerous public hospitals. As a result, I became fond of the doctors who treated me and dreamed of becoming one some day,” she said.
Bhengu applied to every medical school in the country. She describes the experience of going to interviews all over South Africa as daunting, but she trusted the process.
“I am so glad I went through with my choice. I love caring for my patients and making a positive difference in their lives.”
*Named changed for privacy.