It’s Time for a Career Change: Four Factors to Never Ignore
There are many reasons to enjoy a job: the work is familiar, your colleagues are friendly, you enjoy the promotions, etc. I had the same job for five years for these reasons.
I'm a law school graduate who does not work as an attorney. No court visits or arguing with corporate clients over paperwork. I created departments at a law firm and established procedures for the new team.
I left that job to work with a startup business. Even though I did not attend law school expecting to work as a manager in my last role or in my new role, I have learned to embrace change because the path to success is hectic and can be stressful.
Because of my varied career path, I created the You Are A Lawyer podcast to speak with law school graduates who are not practicing law or practice law and have funky hobbies or businesses.
I found prosecutors who are accountants, yogis, and television producers. Many different careers, but every guest changed their career to find a successful career.
Here are four things that I learned from interviewing 24 lawyers who have changed careers:
It’s time for a change when your interests change.
I interviewed a registered nurse who met someone with a negative medical experience and this changed her life. Not only did the interaction bother her, but the situation encouraged her to attend law school to improve the healthcare policy. Unsure whether medicine and law were a natural pairing, this career change was necessary because a new interest meant more than anything else. If you find that your interests have changed, it may be time to look toward what has caught your eye, be it a new business or new training and education.
It’s time for a change when your side hustle becomes a lucrative job.
Business people are everywhere. Anyone can print a few business cards and call themself an owner. On the podcast, I have spoken with a few guests who created their own businesses and had fun with the tasks.
However, when your small business pays more than your day job, it’s time for a career change.
These podcast guests had wildly different interests; some services to benefit students and politicians, and another guest started selling his art sketches on clothing. The podcast guests ran their small businesses while working a full-time job, until the profits from their hobbies became greater than the salaries of their 9-to-5 jobs.
When this happens, it’s time for a career change. You are now an entrepreneur, business owner, mogul, etc.
It’s time for a change when you are pressured into your current role and you hate it.
Parents and friends may see traits in us that push us towards specific careers. This can be a good thing. But this point is in the list because you dislike a job that you took because of peer pressure. In one podcast episode, the guest shared that they always knew they would become a lawyer; her mother was a lawyer and she liked to argue. This guest became a lawyer and practiced for a number of years before leaving to become a career coach. It is very ironic that this guest left a career they didn’t enjoy to assist others with finding careers they love. You need to find a better measure for success.
Life is long. 2020 taught us that time can move very slowly and if you are miserable with your job AND are only working in that job because of pressure from someone else, it’s time for a career change.
It’s time for a change when a life-changing opportunity presents itself.
If a new, exciting, and unique opportunity arises, you owe it to yourself to consider the opportunity. For this podcast guest, they were content with owning their own law firm, until they were asked to be the president of a new beauty brand company. I imagine that being president includes choosing packaging and brand colors, reviewing retail contracts and speaking with manufacturers. When would an opportunity like this appear again? This podcast guest jumped at this unique and striking opportunity.
See Episode 12.
After speaking to 47 lawyers for the You Are A Lawyer podcast, none of them have regrets about their career paths. Success will look different for everyone, but consider a career change if any of these four experiences are presented to you.
What was your career path like? Linear? Non-linear?