Have you ever gone through a career change?

KindaCool

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So in the past month I've made the decision to go back to university to do my Masters in Communications & Public Relations. I'm extremely excited because I love that line of work and it's a great university, but I'm also scared. It's quite different from teaching and I'm afraid I'm gonna have to do a lot of backtracking, especially when I'll probably be about 35 yo by the time I graduate.

I do have a pretty cool GIG with my attorney friend who's gonna help me get some experience in his little firm, but it's still a pretty big step.

Has anyone had this experience? Any advice? Or even just share your story?
 

Tisch

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Nothing major, but I started a new job this time last year in insurance without any prior experience.

The only advice I can say is - it will be daunting and there will be times you think you don't what the fuck is going on, but recognise that that's what you're thinking. Recognise that the first few months is going to be you feeling you have/haven't made the right decision on and off.

Eventually it will click that it was the right decision. Because if your gut says so, then it's probably right. It just won't seem obvious all the time.

Sorry if that read a bit OPRAH, but genuinely I think being a PATIENT with yourself is the best advice (for most situations tbh)
 

ZenGiraffe

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Career change may be a bit of a reach, since that would require having one to begin with, but after spending a few years trying to get a proper media job it wasn't happening for me, I did a politics masters and am now a data analyst.

I was worried about missing my previous work but I don't really. So many of my friends are still struggling to get anywhere whereas I actually have money now. And at the very least I tried so I saw the reality of it rather than what I built it up to be in my head.

It definitely worked out for me.
 

KindaCool

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Eventually it will click that it was the right decision. Because if your gut says so, then it's probably right. It just won't seem obvious all the time.

This is what I suspected. Very reassuring! Thanks!
 

Barnacle

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No, but every other month or so I hate teaching for a bit and write another chapter of my children's book.

When I get it published in 2035 and am able to live off writing and storytelling I'll bump this thread.
 

lolly

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I feel like 'career change' is too grand as well (I feel I have had jobs rather than 'a career'), but I left a 15 or so year job with the civil service in my mid thirties. It was a safe job, decent salary, great pension and I'd made junior management reasonably young, so good prospects to climb higher, but I was in a state of intellectual inertia and following the death of my father I had a bit of a rethink and knew I had to leave it, even though I had only the vaguest sense of what I wanted to do.

I had no interest in returning to education in the slightest (two failed degree attempts being quite enough, thank you), and thankfully didn't need to. I ended up volunteering to get the experience I needed and then a low paid job in the sector as well. That also allowed me the time to feel around what work was out there and decide exactly what I wanted to do. It was about three years before I managed to land the job I wanted.

I'm not sure I have it in me to carry on with it until I retire and certainly have no aspirations of management, but then I'm already part time now (or semi retired, as I prefer to say), and when I give this up, I think I'd genuinely be happy just to have a job in a shop or a cafe on minimum wage, if I could make it work financially.
 
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funky

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Yup I just made a career change in the past 12 months but mine might be temporary and I'm 42. So might not be relatable :D

My change was my industry, not my discipline - I'm still in marketing/comms so if you ever need any advice...
 

lolly

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What that ME ME ME post didn’t say is, if you feel it, do it. I doubt you're wrong. Just be prepared for your feelings, like Tisch says.

I also think that as you get to your late thirties and particularly early forties, it will get increasingly harder to do and you'll find more reasons not to do it.
 

Whatevar

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I moved from being head of an independent prep school, having spent 14 years as a primary/early years specialist teacher, mostly in private schools, to being a class teacher in a brand new secondary special free school last year, working with autistic students, some of whom are very challenging. It is so different but I absolutely love it and I would never go back now.

Plus I got promoted to deputy headteacher in January and I basically run the school as the head is always out.

There are times when I feel completely out of my depth but hopefully no one has noticed.
 

Indie

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Very much no. I've sat down and got promoted within role for the last 14 years. I am scared of change
 

Star

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Not quite the same but I know I need to make a break from my current place of work and get something closer (and better employers!). I'm just so comfortable where I am that it scares me to move on.
 

Mats

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I dropped out of my boring Master's programme about two years ago when I was 30 to do something completely different (civil servant). deciding not to finish my Master's was a bit of an existential dilemma to say the least but it has totally been the right decision :disco:
 

big ron

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My life is a rollercoaster of career. I've gone from doing coding to design to 'ecommerce' (selling legal drugs on the internet) to then working as a chef and then to marketing. After spending about 10 years in marketing I started a business in media buying and programmatic advertising in the cannabis industry last year despite knowing fuck all about it and despite getting imposter syndrome even when I am quite knowledgeable about things.

I thrive on change and hate routine, and always feel the need to be doing something new and out of my comfort zone. At the minute I'm learning to sail and doing the theory to get a skippers licence despite having never sailed as much as a dingy yet in my life.

No idea why I'm like this but I always had the fear of routine growing up, and it probably explains why I've lived in lots of places. If you have the appetite for change and like being out of your depth, then it'll be a good move. We live in an age where careers aren't necessary. I don't know how things are in the states but marcoms and PR in the UK is a thriving but challenging sector. Maybe pick a niche you want to specialise in and start building up a bit of a network there.
 
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VoR

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I've sort of jumped around different marketing roles over the past decade. Always in the area of copy writing / content management, up until my most current role, which is technically called a producer, but I'd say in practice it's more of an account management role. I work for a major bank and essentially manage the relationship between their offices in Armenia, Bermuda, Greece and Malta and our central Content Studio in the UK.

In practice it's still a fair amount of writing I guess, but it's not really what the central job description is. I like it a lot more than my previous roles, it feels a lot more engaging than having to come up with 500 word articles about spark plugs and the like.
 

Gangsta Nancy Lam

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My 'career', if you can call it that, is marketing in the theatre sector, so I'll probably be undergoing a career change soon :zombie:
 

big ron

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I forgot to mention all the other stupid shit I've done as well, like running stalls at festivals, being a nightclub promoter etc. I love doing stuff me.
 

lolly

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Yes, I'm not like ron at all in terms of thriving on change (particularly in terms of home life, where I cling on like a fucking limpet), but I'm a strong believer in gut feelings in this kind of thing. And if you're feeling genuinely enthused by these new possibilities, why deny yourself?

I guess another way of thinking about it (apart from the excitement of your return to university) is how would you feel if you were still in your current job in 5 years? And 10, or 20?
 

Ag

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My return to University is unlikely to provide considerable results. Maybe I just need to be braver. I suspect my terrible memory problems will rule me out of a future academic career. If I can research or write that would be ideal but such careers in academia were becoming scarce before Covid. In short I'm ignoring impending failure.
 

funky

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What about market research? That’s more about analysis of existing data than memory.

And obviously I don’t mean standing with a clipboard down the high street. More like the agencies who produce data for clients to analyse their products and advertising.
 

KindaCool

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Wow, so many people in marketing and comms here.

I really have to ask: is the industry as pretentious and frivolous as it's made out to be? (Basically, are there lots of GAYZ?)
 

SDF

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Nah hun I plan on staying in my line of work and being a miserable old fuck until I die :disco::disco::disco:
 

SDF

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In all seriousness, good for you, it takes a lot of courage to do it.
 

ButterTart

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What I’m doing now is a world away from what I trained for or what I actually want to do with my life. There’s definitely a solid career to be had if I want it, but I’m planning to retrain and fuck off back to the private sector as soon as I can.
 

lolly

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What I’m doing now is a world away from what I trained for or what I actually want to do with my life. There’s definitely a solid career to be had if I want it, but I’m planning to retrain and fuck off back to the private sector as soon as I can.

Don't you look at department middle managers and upwards as complete COCKS, though?

And unless things have changed, it isn't in that ruthlessly efficient way - just complete wankers.
 

funky

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Wow, so many people in marketing and comms here.

I really have to ask: is the industry as pretentious and frivolous as it's made out to be? (Basically, are there lots of GAYZ?)

if you find a straight male who works in PR, they’re either curious, questioning, or highly metrosexual.
 

KindaCool

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Thanks y'all. This thread has been more reassuring than hundreds of university pamphlets and 'information emails'.
 

KindaCool

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Now we get to the important part. Which essential Commonwealth artists should I be exposing my new American coworkers to? Besides the obvious Lisa Scott Lee and Rachel Stevens.
 

Gangsta Nancy Lam

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Wow, so many people in marketing and comms here.

I really have to ask: is the industry as pretentious and frivolous as it's made out to be? (Basically, are there lots of GAYZ?)

In my team of 6 people, there are 4 GAYZ (and 2 women).

I think arts marketing is very heavy on the women and homos but couldn't speak for the wider sector.
 

Barnacle

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Thinking about this again today, but have no idea what I'd be good at other than working with kids and perhaps writing, so don't even know what I'd retrain in.

Sometimes I think about just going in for an English Lit MA and doing supply teaching alongside, but I have no idea what the end goal would be.
 
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I'm considering it now. We've had a joiner in the house over the past few weeks fixing skirting boards and flooring etc, and a plumber and a plasterer. I'm considering going back to college to study a trade, I'm 33 so still young enough.
 

lolly

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I'm considering it now. We've had a joiner in the house over the past few weeks fixing skirting boards and flooring etc, and a plumber and a plasterer. I'm considering going back to college to study a trade, I'm 33 so still young enough.

You're THIRTY THREE?!

Impossible
 

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