Some people enter an industry or field early in their careers and just thrive and are satisfied to the point where their professional trajectory is clear. Then, after a decade or more of doing the same thing, other people find themselves feeling unfulfilled and ready to try something new. At that point, the question is: what now?
Wanting to make a career pivot is not at all uncommon. Think about it, most of us entered the full-time workforce when we were in our early 20s (if not earlier) when the thought of retirement was so far off that it was comical. Not to mention, if you entered the workforce anytime around the Great Recession, you might have just had to take whatever job you could get, regardless of the industry or field. You probably got comfortable and started progressing in your career at a certain point, and with growth comes salary increases and greater flexibility. Before you know it, it’s been 13 years, and you’re as uninspired as ever. Seriously, this story belongs to a lot of people in the workforce right now.
If you’re sitting here nodding your head, the chances are high that this is where you are. So, now what? If you know the direction you want to go with your career now, then go, find your bliss! If, however, you’re in a spot where you’re not sure what you want to do, but you know it’s not what you’re currently doing, that’s okay, too.
You can figure it out by taking some time to explore your options, and the best place to start is by looking at the market today.
Key Considerations Before Making a Career Pivot
Assuming you’re not in a toxic work environment, it’s not a great idea to get excited about the candidate’s market and just hand in your resignation letter to figure out your next steps as you go. Yes, there is some comfort in knowing that there are many open jobs right now—it doesn’t erase the fact that there are some drawbacks to making a career pivot at this point in your career. The majority of us don’t have the luxury of being able to just up-and-quit our jobs without having at least the prospect of another one lined up.
It’s important to remember that a career pivot means starting over professionally. If you’re trying to move into an industry or field that is different from what you’re doing now, you need to understand that it’s unlikely you’ll make a lateral move at this point. Your title will probably be much lower than it is now, and your salary will also take a hit. So, before you start packing up your desk, make sure this is the right move for you right now.
This is not to say you will go from mid-senior level back to entry-level in title or salary because you have the benefit of having many transferable skills at this point in your career. You can still make a career pivot and earn a decent salary (especially in this market), but you need to be comfortable taking a step back.
Once you’re sure that now is the time for you to make your move, start thinking about what you want in a new career. Do you want to move into a field that allows for remote work? Are you hoping to put down roots in a new city somewhere? Is long-term career growth a priority? Figure out what is most important to you, and then start your search from there.
Hottest Industries in 2021
Sometimes, it’s not the job that’s the problem. It’s the industry. For example, you can be an accountant anywhere, but it can be hard to transition from one industry to the next. Right now, there are plenty of booming industries that are ready and willing to bring in some fresh talent. Here are some industries with plenty of job openings, according to LinkedIn and CNBC:
Healthcare (all job types)
Software and IT
Accounting and Finance
Scientific and Quality Assurance
Best Places To Find a Job
If you’re interested in moving, or you are required to add a location into the job search platform you’re using, then you’ll want to focus on areas with the most growth and jobs. It’s important to remember that, though many of these cities have many jobs, they also have a high cost of living, so you may have to prepare yourself to negotiate a remote work option to avoid a significant financial hit. That being said, according to WalletHub and LinkedIn, the cities with the most entry-level jobs include:
Salt Lake City, UT
Lost Angeles, CA
Austin, Dallas, and Houston, TX
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Overland Park, KS
Fastest Growing Entry-Level Jobs
If the option of remote work isn’t a “must-have” for you, there are plenty more entry-level jobs that are also growing at increasing rates, but they might require you to work on-site (though there are certainly some exceptions to this rule). According to WalletHub and LinkedIn, some good entry-level jobs to consider include:
Technical Sales Representative
Certified Nursing Assistant
Operations Research Analyst
Technical Support Manager
Data Entry Operator
There has never been a time like now to jump at the opportunity to make a career pivot because it is a candidate’s market. If you’re worried about taking a big salary hit, remember that you may be able to take on a side-gig to gain experience in your new field without resigning from your current job (though you will have to sacrifice some of your time). It’s a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Still, if the Great Resignation has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your happiness and fulfillment for a job, especially when there are so many others out there that will do the exact opposite.
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