Working in a Different Industry than You Studied?

By Charisma Rossilia

A shift in career is a big decision but could be just what you need for career development.

Isn’t it frustrating when you realise you’re not interested in pursuing the major you studied? The depressing feeling that you’re not cut out to be in a field you’ve spent years studying doesn’t go away easily—in fact, it grows worse over time.

That happened to me.

Feeling lost was an understatement. Upon graduating, I had no idea which direction to go. I had wanted to be an architect when I started but as I came closer to the end, I realised it wasn’t something I wanted to do. At the same time, I didn’t want to fully ditch what I’ve studied. See my dilemma? Well, if you are in the same predicament, here’s what I learned along the road that may help you.

#1 Figure out what interest you the most
When I realised architecture was not something I wanted to pursue moving forward, I had to figure out why I felt that way. Did I hate designing? No, I love it. I just didn't want to design buildings, which is in essence architecture. So, I tried out other forms of designing such as graphic designing, interactive designing and even challenged myself with multimedia editing. To my surprise, I enjoyed multimedia editing and interactive designing the most. One problem off my shoulder (phew..)

#2 Upskill yourself
Realistically, we need to have some work experience to secure a job these days. What if you have zero experience in whatever that interests you? You can start by taking online courses on a subject you really want to master. You will receive a certification towards the end of the course and with that, you will have a new skill to put in your resume. Besides that, you can also apply for internship programmes to gain experience. If you are currently working, you might think that you need to look for a new job in a new company if you desire a different work experience. However, many employers are willing to let you try out a different role in exchange for keeping a valuable employee on board. There's a chance you'll be considered for a position outside of the team with whom you interned with! Never lose hope.

#3 Be Self-employed
In other words, work for yourself. If you want to work in a field you like, try coming up with projects you can do to help you get the experience needed. I wanted to do creative arts or graphic designing hence, I started to create my own designs and uploaded them on my social media. Not just that, you can also opt for a freelancing job. For example, if you like creating content on social media, you can offer your service to any businesses that require a content creator for their website or social media platforms. With all these efforts you’ve put in, you can start building up your portfolio to apply for new jobs.

My days in architecture might be over, but the experience and skills I gained truly helped me get to where I am today, as a content creator for GRADUAN®. If you ask me two years back, do I see myself doing what I am doing right now? My answer will be no. Career change is terrifying, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It might take you a bit longer to secure a job you really like (took me two years….) but it is definitely worth it.

Good luck with your career journey!

Photo by Antonio Francisco on Unsplash

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