Often times, it’s assumed that you have to get a career in the field that you studied and graduated from. It’s assumed that you need to stay in this field just because you have your degree in it. However, it is perfectly fine to change your career after you’ve graduated.
You are not obligated to find a career in your field of study. Sometimes, people realize after working in a certain field that it’s not what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They realize that they’re not happy or they want to explore other options and that is absolutely okay. We start of believing that this is the career path we want and that this is what we want to do with our lives. Later down the line, we realize maybe we chose the wrong career path.
If you are unhappy with the field you chose, you do not have to stay in it. Instead, you can use the skills you’ve learned to help you land another career. Align the skills you’ve learned in your previous field to the field you want to be in. For example, if you’ve had a career in social work, you can use the skills you’ve learned in communicating, critical thinking, active listening, etc. to help you find a career in business if that’s the field you want to have a career in. For those of you who may think that your degree “went to waste" or you “wasted your time," don’t think of it as that way. Every career and job you’ve had will help you get to know yourself and grow. It will help you to be self-aware of what you want and what you don’t want. It helps you to indulge in personal interests and really get to know yourself.
According to a study, 40% of people transition from first degrees to postgraduate study opt for a different subject area or a different career. Therefore, it’s okay to change your career after you’ve graduated. Many people go through college thinking this is the field they want to be in and after they’ve found a career in it, they realize they’re unhappy or it’s not fulfilling. This is the time to explore your options, discover new interests and try something new.
While you’re in the hunt for a new job or a career change, figure out what happened and why you no longer want a career in this field. Figure out what you like and dislike. Do you want to work a 9-5 job? Do you want to sit at a desk all day? Do you want to be on your feet all day? After evaluating what you want or may want in a career, this can help you to create a resume showcasing your skills to the job you would rather have instead.
If you’re beating yourself up about how you spent all this time getting a degree you no longer want a career in, remember that there are plenty of people in your position. It’s okay to change your career after you’ve graduated because over time, interests change and goals get realigned. Channel that confusion you have to help you figure out what you do want. Then, use your work experience to tailor your resume and cover letter to the field you’d like to be in.