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HomeGraduatesInterviewsContemplating a career change? Here is how...

Contemplating a career change? Here is how…

Blame it on pride, the fear of falling behind or societal expectations, it is always hard to admitthat a choice didn’t work out especially when much valuable time and money has been invested. A chosen career can turn out to be less than anticipated or more, but simply fail to light up that fire within that drives productivity and confers true happiness. So what happens when that bright star that you were chasing turns out to be just a reflection from rusted metal?

To Have and To Hold
It is possible that even while you are certain that that career is not for you, the next path may still be foggy. Explore other opportunities that align with your personal interests through volunteering or paid tasks. Have a winner’s attitude in these new engagements and hold onto every novel assignment and people; these can aid in fuelling your passion to embrace your stay there or think more strategically about what to do next. Again, when opportunities still don’t work out, do that again, something is bound to line up with your unique self and there is nothing wrong with choosing not to stay in a place that does not have and hold your personal values and ambitions.


In Sickness and In Health
Factually, there are good reasons why you pursued that career that hasn’t worked out for you: its financial returns, societal impact, the high exhalations from parents, the thrill of being called that professional title, its availability, mental ability, was it a rebound course or just peer influence?
Firstly, carefully evaluate all of these reasons and gauge them against those that prompt you to switch paths. Is it that you were “sick” there and desire to find better health in another career? Was it the unfulfillment, work pressure or the devious colleagues that you couldn’t stand? Have you tried, in vain, to adopt healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms while working in that career? Notably, the ex career could have been much better than you ever imagined but there is that inexplicable urge that can’t let you settle there! Your strongest reason for departure should directly correlate with your mental health and wellbeing; after all, what good is it to waste time at a task that devalues your lifetime?

For Richer Not Poorer
The question of how one will make ends meet following the exit from a given profession cannot be overlooked. A viable financial plan must be in place. Having personal savings is necessary to sustain survival especially if dependents are present and this can be used to make investments with good returns or better yet, help accelerate you in your next career of interest. In the absence of personal finances, consider seeking help from family and friends; however, one should have a firm strategy of repaying them to avoid accumulation of debt and embarrassment. This change is meant to make you a better person in all aspects, including finances, and a life of barely surviving is not what you should have in mind.

Forsaking All Others
A departure from a career will not make sense to everyone, even those that you cherish,
especially when you are trading the “sun” for a candlelight. Many will view this as a big setback and truthfully their strong reasons can prompt you to either do a U-turn or just distance yourself altogether. Be prepared to take your firm stand by having a solid and clear plan of your next steps. If you need some time off just wandering around in your underwear within the walls of your apartment, do it! The brightest ideas are born in stillness. Sadly, some contacts will be lost with this transition but those who value your happiness and wellbeing will stay. Forsaking all the negativity, focus and work hard towards attaining that new goal.

Till Doubt Has Its Depart
That diversion into something else has its demands, for example extra hours in research and practice, fear, criticism and the biggest one, Doubt. But if it’s a choice you know will make you better, the hard work, risks and strategic planning will be worth it. Set yourself apart from the doubt and invest into the new venture like never before. Be inspired by the current Pope Francis who used to be a nightclub bouncer and a janitor, and Martha Stewart who was once a model and is now a renown homecook and a bestselling author…it took a lot of faith and work to depart from the doubt and heed to the new calling.

Forever Hold Your Peace
Moving on in disdain or strife is not going to help you. Learn to appreciate every skill, lessons and personal connections that this dead end has brought you because these can be useful in your next journey. Skills such as team work, computer proficiency and time management are versatile and your acquaintance with them is already a foundation for the next part. The people you became acquainted with can also be the next connection to that dream. Even when whatever was encountered was totally useless, at least you got to shorten your list of things that you do like, a step closer to the real deal! Repeatedly stabbing that futile career not only spoils it for others who could actually belong there but also crowds your capacity to think positively or be proactive while venturing into the next phase. And if ever you have to walk back for a favour, let it not be on broken glass, forever hold your peace!

Liz Kawalya
Elizabeth Kawalya is a Scientist who loves to know it all and to compel others to embark on the journey of finding out for themselves! Born in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district, Uganda, she was raised with six siblings by a single mother. She currently works as a medical laboratory assistant and part-time sous chef. Nature, the current social-political environment and personal experience are her greatest inspiration from which she creates original content with the aim of captivating her audience with accurate, relatable and entertaining writings.
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