A common scenario that happens right after graduating from college is getting the first job offer that comes into the way. After putting a lot of effort into researching companies, sending applications, and doing interviews, finally getting a job offer already feels rewarding. Given this, fresh grads sometimes feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and accept an offer without really thinking about all the other details that go with it. At this point in their lives, it doesn’t matter whether the job would make use of the learning or the course they had in college – what matters most is the idea of finally putting an end to the boredom and feelings of uselessness brought about by college graduation.
Yet, after several months or years into the job, it’s no surprise that some of these graduates start thinking about whether the job actually suits their skills and interests. A business graduate may suddenly find himself thinking whether his job at a real estate company would help him pursue a brand marketing career in an FMCG company. A communication graduate working as an investment specialist in a bank may suddenly have thoughts of moving to the advertising industry, which, she feels, is more in line with her degree and interests.
The worry of these two graduates is something that also resides in us all – that our first job sets the direction of our career. We believe that our path should always be in line with the field of our first job. That the path is only linear and veering away from it would put our experiences and learnings to waste. Yet, we often forget that as we grow and adjust to being a working adult, our interests change and we become more mature. Our career doesn’t follow a touch-move rule like chess. Contrary to popular opinion, we’re not doomed if we suddenly feel that the field that we are in right now is not something that we want for the rest of our lives.
If you’re one of those who’s looking to transition to a new path or career after several months or years of being in a particular industry, remember that the feeling is normal and that it’s never too late to make that shift. Here are some tips that can help you transition to a new career:
1. Read up and learn new skills
One realization that you’ve probably had by now is that because you’re coming from a different industry, you’d need to double your efforts and work even harder to learn and keep up. At this stage, you probably know very little about the ins and outs of the industry and for you to successfully adjust to it, it would really help that you read up and learn new skills.
As for the skills that you have now, they won’t necessarily go to waste. In fact, they’re quite useful in making you a holistic person. You’ll soon realize that there will be other moments in your career that these skills would come in handy.
2. Talk and get connected with people in that field
Talking to and getting connected with people in the industry that you like would help you prepare well for the transition. These people can give you solid advice and can even recommend you to jobs and companies that can serve as a good kickoff point for your new career.
3. Take the pay cut, if you really have to
Despite having many years of working experience, companies will convince you that you’re essentially a beginner and will proceed in offering you a salary that’s lower than what you’re currently getting. This may be difficult to handle especially for those with responsibilities in the family and payments to make. Yet, for those who are single and are free of financial duties, the pay cut can still make sense. As they say, it’s okay to take a pay cut for the right experience. If that pay cut is necessary in bringing you closer to the career that you like, so be it. Just make sure to work out agreements with your supervisor in terms of the milestones you have to achieve so you can get back to your old salary again.
Transitioning to a new career may seem scary and nerve-wracking, especially because you’re going out of our comfort zone. There will be sacrifices along the way but you’ll sure learn things that you can take with you as you go through life as a working adult.