Whether you’ve been in the workforce for two years or ten, it’s not uncommon – or surprising – to be considering a career change in your 20s.
Maybe now that you’re working in the career you thought you always wanted, you’re realising that a completely different industry inspires you a whole lot more. Perhaps you fell into a role straight after school that pays the bills, but doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled.
It can be disheartening to think about going back to study so soon or appearing non-committal to future employees. But, it’s important to remember that making a career change now is a positive move when you consider the bigger picture.
If you’re 20-something and only just discovering your true career calling, now can be an ideal time to take the leap. If you’re serious about making a career change in your 20s, it’s important to think carefully about where you want to go, and plan accordingly.
Consider the things that motivate and inspire you. Who are your career heroes? Trust your instincts and tune into your strengths. Decide which industry is going to be best for you long-term and offer opportunities for growth and progression through your 30s, 40s and beyond.
Age is on your side, so take the time to figure out and take steps towards your ideal career now, before other responsibilities could start holding you back.
Make an informed decision about the industries on your shortlist. Follow industry leaders on social media, join networking or Meetup events geared towards those areas of expertise, and find a mentor willing to share their insights with you. Read everything you can about those industries from thought-leader biographies to reports and industry news. If you can make the time, you could volunteer to relevant causes or roles to get a feel for the ‘real world’ off it all.
Seek expert advice
You may feel like you have it all figured out in your 20s, but there’s always going to be someone who knows better than you do (actually, this applies to any age). Talk to an expert for advice. Your family and friends may be thrilled or flummoxed about the idea of you changing careers in your 20s, but a career coach will be able to offer unbiased advice on how to successfully make a career transition.
There are bound to be transferable skills you’ve already learned that can be applied to your desired industry. You may even find that any previous study achievements can fast-track you on your new career trajectory by giving you credits for prior learning. If you’ve already got a Bachelor degree, for example, you may only need to study a postgraduate diploma to qualify for your new role.
Some carefully planned study could see you join your chosen industry – and climb the ladder – faster than you might expect. Research on-campus and online learning options relevant to your area of interest, and consider which is going to be the best bridge to your ideal career. Studying in your 20s is a great option – particularly if you can live with your parents or flat with friends with minimal financial responsibility.