How To Choose a New Career Without Getting Overwhelmed

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Are you tired of your current career and thinking about making a change? If so, you're not alone. 

Indeed found that almost 50 percent of US workers have made a serious career change. Changing careers is common, and many paths have been carved for people to jump between industries.

However, this is a big life adjustment, and it is understandable to feel overwhelmed with this choice. Thankfully, we have created this guide to help you think through and plan out your career change.

Read on to learn how to choose a new career without getting overwhelmed.

Think About Why You Want a Career Change

The first step you should take when determining how to choose a new career is to figure out why you want to leave your current one. There are many reasons why someone might want a career change, including:

  • A desire to make more money
  • The need for more flexibility with their work/life balance
  • A yearning for new challenges
  • A desire for more advancement opportunities
  • Not having enough interaction with other people
  • Having too much interaction with other people
  • General boredom or unhappiness with their current career

Determining why you want to leave your career can make it much easier to narrow down which potential careers you would like to change to. This can also help you decide if you really need a career change or something else.

Some of your concerns may come from where you work instead of the field you're in. Before going for a full career change, consider looking for job openings at different places that could offer more to you than your current employer.

A move to a larger company or even just a change in scenery might be what's needed to ease your anxiety over your current career. Finding volunteer opportunities or even a new side-job could also fill a hole in your life that is causing you to think about a new career.

However, if you've gone over your reasons and still feel strongly about a career change, then that's good. Confidence in your decision will make finding a new career a much easier process.

Current Career Experience

Your next step should be to go over your experience and education. Your current job, education level, and past experience can help determine which industries and type of work it will be easiest for you to transition to.

To do this, first take a look at your experience from your current career. This should be your current job and any similar past jobs and/or lower-level jobs that led directly to your current one.

What you should be thinking about when analyzing this experience is what kind of skills and experience did you gain that might be transferable to another career.

Things like working with customers and clients, handling phones, using technology, managing others, and analyzing data are tasks that are used in most industries and require skills that can be used in a large number of different jobs.

Not only will these skills help you find a new job, but you can focus on deciding which of these experiences you enjoyed the most. You can then prioritize finding a new career that will allow you to use your favorites.


After that, take a look at your education level. What degrees, diplomas, and certifications you have can help determine what careers are currently available to you, and which ones will require more training and education.

It's important to note that any career change will require some additional education or training. You need to be okay with that to have a comfortable career change.

If you do have a college degree, don't feel like you're stuck in that degree's field. Many jobs that require a college degree will likely value your knowledge, skills, and experience over what exactly your degree is in.

This is similar for those with only a high school diploma or GED. Experience is valuable, and some of the fastest-growing jobs don't require a 4-year degree.

Basically, don't see your education level as a potential hindrance to changing careers.

Past Experience

The last thing you should consider here is any other past experience that was not necessary for your current career path. Think about your jobs from high school and college, past part-time jobs, side-gigs, volunteer work, and even things that may have been more of a hobby.

This experience is important for a few reasons. First, this past experience can be helpful for building your resume - especially if your current career has nothing in common with the one you want to move to.

Next, this experience can help you decide which career you would enjoy switching to. If you enjoyed your time spent with a certain job or industry, then you already have an idea for a potential career switch. This can be a chance to go back and explore what made that work so appealing.

On the flip side, your past experience could mean you know what other careers you want to avoid.

Finally, if you have been spending time volunteering or working on a side-gig, it may be time to find a way to make this work an actual career. A little research might show that this part-time work could be turned into a full-time career.

Research Possible Career Options

The next step in your process should be researching different career options to help further narrow down which would be best for you. This can be overwhelming, as there are hundreds of different career options out there.

However, the steps you've taken so far will help you narrow down which options are actually worth a deeper look.

If that's still too overwhelming, then you should focus your attention on a smaller group of some of the more popular career options available. The following are a few potential career options for you.


Working in education can be difficult, but it is a rewarding career that is more accessible than you might realize. While every state is different, many just require a bachelor's degree, along with passing subject and general teaching exams.

This may require you to spend some time studying for exams, working as a substitute, and even going back to school for coursework in your chosen subject.

However, if you want to teach a subject area that is similar to your current career field, you may already have most of the knowledge and qualifications necessary to become a certified teacher.


Cosmetology covers a broad range of jobs, and moving to this field can be a great way to expand on a passion, hobby, or side-job.

While some cosmetology jobs require a license, many jobs in the beauty world only require a small amount of training. For example, you can learn how to do scalp micropigmentation with just a three-day smp training course.

Trade Job

A trade job is an excellent career option, and can work well for someone who does not have a college degree, or has no interest in going back to college for more education. Many of these jobs - like electrician or plumber - require other forms of training that can be gained through apprenticeships. 

These jobs are also extremely rewarding for people who take pride in making or fixing things with their hands. If you're looking for that kind of work, a trade job may be perfect for your next career.


A career in sales can make for an easy transition because it is one of those jobs that can be found in almost any industry. The experience you have may give you a good insight into how to sell products from your current industry.

To get into this career, you may need to work your way up from an assistant job to an actual sales position. However, this career path is great for those who enjoy talking with people and having more control over how much money they make.

Prepare for Financial Change

Once you've determined what careers you are interested in, it's time to start preparing for the change.

First, you need to prepare for financial changes.

If you know that you will be taking less money with a new job, there are a couple of things you can do to get ready. For starters, you need to determine how much smaller your paycheck will likely be.

You need to make sure that you are comfortable making less. You can test this comfort level by spending a month or two trying to budget with your new paycheck in mind. This can let you decide before your career change if it's feasible for you to live off your new pay level.

If you know you can survive, then you should also make sure that you have some money saved away. This will be good just to help cover any potential emergencies that pop up during your transition between jobs. 

If your goal is to make more money by changing careers, then make sure you know how much money you are trying to make. Knowing this will help you narrow down which opportunities to go after, and what salary to negotiate for when you find a good opportunity.

Prepare for a Change in Job Duties

Next, you need to mentally prepare yourself for a change in job duties.

It's obvious, but you need to be ready to be in a new role with tasks that you may not be familiar with yet. There will be a learning curve, and some new stress to go with it.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the unfamiliarity that comes with a new job will eventually go away. It may take some time, but you will get comfortable in your new career as you gain experience and learn what it takes to succeed.

You can make this easier on yourself by building a support system to help you through a potentially difficult transition.

Keep friends and family up to date on what you're doing so that they can be there to cheer you on. Also, consider dropping extra responsibilities or stressors during your transition so that you can focus more of your mental and emotional energy towards getting comfortable in your new career. 

Prepare for Your Job Interview

Lastly, make sure that you are doing what it takes to actually get a new job by preparing for the interview.

You can do this by focusing on a few things.

First, make sure you know about the company or organization that you applying to. This research will help you understand the job you're going for, anticipate the questions you might get, and create some questions of your own for this potential employer.

Once you've done this research, you should take some time practicing for the interview. Think about what questions you might receive, and prepare some answers so you aren't caught off-guard or confused during the actual interview.

Keep in mind that since you are switching careers, you will likely be asked about this. Be prepared to answer why you made this decision, and how you can succeed in a new role with your experience.

This practice and preparation will help you feel more comfortable, which will be felt by the interviewer.

Lastly, make sure you are dressed for the part and arrive early for the interview. The last thing you want to do is waste all your preparation by showing up late or looking ill-suited for the job.

How to Choose a New Career: Now You Know

Deciding how to choose a new career is difficult. It can be hard to know where to start, and the process can feel overwhelming. However, by doing your research and creating a well-thought-out plan, it's possible to change careers without too much stress.

The most important part is knowing that you don't have to figure it all out on your own. With this guide and people around you supporting you, you will be sure to succeed.

Are you looking for help with other things? Check out our other articles for more advice.


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