Last Updated on May 9, 2022 by Rat Race Running
It’s been more than two years since I decided to shift industries from ICT to academe. Though it was a thought-out decision, there were still considerations I hadn’t considered before I took the leap.
Here are some of the lessons I learned after shifting to another industry that may help you decide before taking a huge change in your career.
1. Your decision may be misunderstood.
Many people may question your decision on why would anyone working in a more technologically advanced company with an in-demand skill set at the time suddenly wants to change industries.
Their common concern is usually about the salary and career progression, which honestly is on the lower bottom half of my considerations when I made the switch. I now know that having a purpose far exceeds any monetary gain that I would have if I stayed in my old job.
This is one of the hardest parts of changing industries. Though I don’t need to explain my decision to everyone, still, I owe that to my parents and family since they were the ones that will be directly affected. Plus, I will also live in our house again.
So, if ever you decide to change career, it will raise some eyebrows and be questioned by some people, but continue with your journey because that decision may be the redirection you’ve been praying and waiting for.
2. Expect a lower salary.
An important consideration when changing industries is the strong possibility of having a lower salary because you still lack the experience or skills necessary for the job. This sudden drop in salary is specifically applicable if you are changing industries within the Philippines.
When I switched industries, my previous salary was almost cut in half because the salary in the IT industry is far more competitive than in the government, particularly in the academe.
Also, I was usually on the mid- or night shift, so I also lost the night differential and taxi allowances that I previously enjoyed. The bonuses were also much lower.
And since I already knew that before I jumped ship, it was good that I had a simple lifestyle, so I didn’t have any drastic change in that area. I was also returning to the province, so the cost of living is relatively much cheaper than in Metro Manila.
3. There is no shame in taking a job not connected to your degree.
Similar to what I said in a previous post, our degrees or lack of it should not dictate our future.
Tying ourselves in an industry that we are in for the sole reason that we studied for it in school, even if we are miserable, will only make us suffer.
There is no shame in starting a baking side hustle, even if you have a master in science degree or want to write a blog, even if you’re an engineer, or if you are into online selling, even if you are an IT expert.
Also, you can try out a completely new arena of expertise. There is the thrill of learning new skills from seemingly unrelated fields. The important thing when changing industries is to never stop learning.
Many people go on with their miserable lives working for a soul-sucking job that they were so afraid to let go of because of all the years of work they put into it. If you have a choice, escape.
4. You’re not starting over. You’re starting from experience.
The biggest misconception for people changing industries is they are throwing away everything they learned and experienced from their previous jobs and education.
They didn’t notice that even if you change careers, you will always take the growth you incurred from all the years of working.
Using the principle of transfer of learning will allow you to have the ability to apply old concepts to new situations and contexts.
For me, since I transitioned to the academe, I still apply the knowledge of efficient processes, some IT skills, and automation, which I learned from my previous corporate job.
5. You will be thankful for taking the leap.
Many people want to change to a career that they wanted or have been redirected to. However, so many people are already institutionalized and become too comfortable with their present lives that they become afraid to take the leap of faith.
Understandably, making drastic changes is not always possible, especially for families or breadwinners relying on their current income.
So, if you’re asking when is the best time to make the change, it would be before you start your own family or after your present responsibilities were minimized.
At the end of the day, the decision you made while being afraid of the unknown can prove to be the best decision you made in your life.
Changing industries is scary, but what is more horrifying is the thought that you never tried because regret can haunt you for a long time.
Do it while you’re younger and have more shots for mistakes because as you grow older, you may regret it someday that you did not take a step outside your comfort zone.
Changing industries may cost you a lot of money or ridicule from others, but if you find your calling, it will all be worth it.
God bless. 😊
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