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How can I change careers if I think I'm in the wrong field?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 03/15/2021 at 10:27pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Danielle Gonzales, PsyD


Hello! My name is Dani, I am a Psychologist and registered Psych Assistant. I have a passion for helping a different types of clients from all diverse backgrounds!

Top Rated Answers
November 18th, 2014 9:56pm
Making a career change can be daunting and sometimes terrifying. I have found myself changing careers after a decade in the only field I have ever worked in. I find that verifying with yourself your reasons for changing your career is the most helpful tactic to coping with the underlying fear. Making a list of the benefits and downfalls of both staying and leaving can give you a good visual guide to where you might want to take yourself- make sure this list is done in an unbiased fashion, thinking only about the facts of each case. Looking at the change as a progression in your life instead of something uninviting and worrisome can help verify your want to make that change. Talking to a career advisor through a public forum or private institution may also help you talk through where you want to go from here. Learn about your new career- what does it offer you that you don't currently have? My reason for changing careers was done through a cost-benefit analysis- I found it was worth it to me to lose a little job security and lower pay for me to have more time for myself. My quality of life was worth more to me than the amount of money I was making. Your reasoning may be different- the most important thing is that you are doing this for a reason you can identify and can justify for yourself; this typically will lead to less anxiety and lessens fears of regret.
August 24th, 2015 7:12am
Voluntary work is the best way to gain this understanding. Many employers will be happy to take on an enthusiastic person who is curious about a career field, and above all you don't require any pay from them, so most will be happy to accommodate you for work placement.
October 3rd, 2014 12:25pm
First, make sure if you want to change your career, then find a job which will make you satisfied and fit you better. After your decision, talk about it to your family and friends because their advices might help you making the best decision, especially the experiences of your family will help you the most. Then do whatever it takes to get the job you want. Good luck!
October 23rd, 2014 3:11am
Don't rush into any changes - take the time to research different options and perhaps even volunteer or intern in different jobs to see what fits you best while maintaining your current career (unless you have the money to quit and explore other options). Take the time to make a decision that is best for you.
October 23rd, 2014 5:00am
Speaking from experience, if you think you are in the wrong field it's probably because you are.. Follow your passion - thats one way to change career.
October 23rd, 2014 8:33pm
You should be certain that you have indeed chosen the wrong field and only then make a decision to change careers as it might be too late for you to go back once you leave. What is worse - taking a risk and changing careers or spending your life doing something you don't like doing?
October 27th, 2014 11:13pm
You can ask careers advice for help....or ask your employer for some help about changing to something in your field! :)
October 29th, 2014 3:02pm
There this quote, "Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and I promise something great will come out it." Use those 20 seconds well, and I dunno, maybe you'll be doing your dream job! All I can say is, life is too short to do something that doesn't make you happy! Enjoy it. I wish you strength and fortune. :)
October 30th, 2014 9:04pm
See what options you have and talk to someone in your field or the field your seeking so you find the right info and fit for you.
November 20th, 2014 10:57am
Figure out what field you really want to be in, and if necessary attend training courses in your free time to help prepare yourself for it. When you feel you're ready, start applying for jobs in your chosen field and resign from your old job.
- Expert in Work Stress
January 2nd, 2015 4:47pm
It's never too late to go back to school! If a complete career change is what you're looking for, you can always take online classes on your own time, and get a new degree in something different. If you're not sure if a career change is truly what you want, then take the time to sit and analyze why you chose to go into the field you're in, and why you liked it at the time. When did everything change?
January 8th, 2015 12:40am
College is a great place to start, if it's returning or going for the first time. In this day and time it is really hard to enter a new career without some college background.
September 8th, 2015 4:58am
First of all, find out all the information that you can about the field that you want to work in. Evaluate all of the information and make sure it's what you want. Start applying for jobs in this area, or take a course while you work. Don't quit your job until you have secured a new job, unless you can afford to do that.
April 19th, 2016 5:39am
Be clear of what career you really wish to dedicate your life. Once there is clarity, courage will follow.
April 26th, 2016 9:31pm
Network with people in the career you believe you want to go into. Ask them questions about their day to day activities and determine what the new career is really like. Look at the job outlook in the career field you are interested in. In the United States the Bureau of Labor and Statistics publishes and Occupational Outlook handbook here: If you decide that is what you want to do, look into education and certifications required to do the job. Work towards those certifications and educational requirements. Network with others in the field, and college professors to find opportunities. If you know of a company you want to work for approach them and ask for a job in your career field. And most of all, good luck!
- Expert in Work Stress
June 27th, 2016 8:56am
Take certs or courses so that you are eligible to try other fields. It is possible to enter a totally different field from where you came from.
August 9th, 2016 7:22am
Start with an apprenticeship if you can or try getting an entry level job in that field. I know in my school, a maths teacher who taught for ages decided to become a doctor and went back to uni. It's never too late! If you really want to do it, you'll get there. :)
May 16th, 2017 9:44pm
The best first step is to do as much research as possible into other fields you may be interested in. Once you have some possibilities, one of the best things you can do is volunteer in that field. This does a few things - it's a no risk way to dip your toes into another line of work without upending your current career, and it can help build experience should you eventually decide to pursue that career. You may just want to reinvent your current career by changing companies or getting some new responsibilities, and volunteering and doing research into other fields you may be interested in can clarify that. If you decide to work in another field, think about some aspects of a job that are important to you - being your own boss, or having some control over your schedule, or having a certain amount of responsibilities - these can all help clarify what the best next move might be. Once you think you have another career in mind, a fantastic thing to do is to reach out to people who are doing the job you want to do to see what their experience is in that line of work. Most of the time, people are very willing to speak to others who want to know about their work. This can help inform you of not only the positive aspects of the job, but also the negative ones, which are important to consider. In your research, you may have found that you'd need to continue your education - if you do, your volunteer work can come in handy for applications, because you'll have someone to write you a letter of recommendation in your chosen line of work which shows that you have an active interest in the field. The key is to take things one step at a time, and not jump the gun on anything - take your time, be methodical about your research, and ask questions. You want to make an informed decision, not one based on just feeling like you don't like your current job.
March 27th, 2018 10:25am
Do a LOT of research before changing and check if your next choice is the right one by comparing scenarios. Also think whether you are simply bored with your current work and if you can move into a different area but that is still included in your current field because it might be an easier shift.
March 15th, 2021 10:27pm
First of all, consider what is making you unhappy in the role you currently have. Is it the work, your interest, work colleagues. It could be that another issue is impacting your thoughts, and you are feeling like changing your career is one way to escape what you are experiencing. If you know that changing the job is the right thing to do, then … Write your own job description! Get 10 items down on paper that you would see in your ideal best case job. This can then become your checklist when evaluating other careers you may be considering. Take a look at one of the online job websites, and if you find a job that meets 60% of your list, it's well worth considering.