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Signs It's Time To Change Your Career - Change Career With Me #1

by Simona Rosso 5 days ago in business / social media / career / advice
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How do you know it's time for something new? Watch out for these tell-tale signs!

When is it time to start again? - Change career with me! (Image made by me on Canva)

Imagine this: you had the opportunity to try your dream job for some time. You are excited and join your temporary team with the best intentions and the highest expectations. Yet, you witness the worst ever scenario unfolding before your eyes: you do not like it that much, and you also do not seem to be too good at it.

Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, that is what happened to me during the last ten months or so. I am not out of university yet, but I am already fed up with the career I imagined for me, so I have decided to start from scratch and run off path.

Does this sound like something you have considered?

If so, how can you be sure that you definitely want to detour from your established career path? After all, it could just be bad luck, right? You could have just landed an internship at a bad company, right? You could just be tired and you might need a break, right?

Then keep reading, because I will provide you with some signs that it is likely time to change career, according to my personal experience.

The first sign is this: you like the idea of doing that job, but you do not enjoy the process. I initially wanted to be a translator, so I did two internships, volunteered for two different websites and completed a professional course. I was persuaded I could and wanted to become a professional translator and, in short, I invested my time and energy in that path.

However, for a long time I failed to consider an important detail: every time that I had to complete a task, I dreaded the process entirely. I enjoyed the idea of being busy and completing tasks, but the part in-between was a nightmare. I was easily distracted and slower than what you would expect from a professional, who is used to translate and edit a high amount of words per day, whereas I was struggling to translate an article a day. Not necessarily because of a lack of language skills, but because of how easily bored and distracted I was.

The next red flag is quite obvious: it seems impossible to get paid. Now, there are fields where you have to complete compulsory, often unpaid internships in order to be legally allowed to work. This is the case for lawyers, architects, and the medical field, for example.

However, if your dream career is not one of these, and you seem unable to get any paid gig, maybe it is time to change your path.

Mind you that this is completely personal and situational, but in my case, after two unpaid internship and volunteering experiences, I was still struggling to find a stable, paid gig. I tried marketing myself through Fiverr, but I only managed to find scams and people looking for cheap labor.

LinkedIn was not helpful. I was flooded with posts by fellow translators who claimed how translators needed to do x and y to consider themselves as professionals. My issue was that most of said "x and y" included expensive courses and unpaid work of some sort, which I had already done until then.

While it is not these users' fault for my own issues, seeing so many posts stating this made me question my own progress and, out of anger, some doubts surged. For example, most of them advocated for sticking to one field for the first gigs. However, when I think about my own, diverse experiences, I realize that my (unpaid) workflow would not have been this consistent if I had only limited myself to one field. Since holes in resumes are also a bad idea, which bad idea should I choose?

In addition, I found out that some translation agencies did not consider volunteering and unpaid internships as relevant work experience, which further discouraged me.

In a nutshell: I had the feeling that the world around me seemed to find excuses upon excuses not to pay me, yet did not apply these same parameters to other people. People who sometimes did not even have a foreign languages or a translation degree nor any kind of other relevant professional development certifications.

Said people, when talking about what it takes to become a translator, also sounded very intimidating, not in a way that would make you want to improve yourself, but in a way that sounded like they wanted to scare newbies off.

This leads us to the last red flag: there are too many practices that you do not approve of. If you accept a terribly paid gig, you are ruining it for the other professionals. If you try to set some fees, they are always too expensive and you get no gigs. Your applications either get no feedback or get rejected. When you get contacted, it's for jobs unsuitable for you because of the location or other minor factors, or it's a bunch of spammy messages from shady companies and scammers. You open LinkedIn and it is full of posts that implicitly blame you for not joining x course, for not contacting project managers once you get no gigs - as if it was not just their own negligence - for not doing this or that. Who wouldn't have some doubts about their career choices in such a scenario?

These were my personal red flags. They need to be somewhat contextualized to be considered legit warning signs. However, if they outnumber the things you love about your career, it is definitely time to try something new, even without quitting your job or dropping out of college, just broadening your horizion to new opportunities that might suit you better.

But how can we do that? We'll find out together in the next articles!

Have you ever thought about career change? If so, what gave you these intentions? Tell me in the comments and, if you want, leave an insight as well!

businesssocial mediacareeradvice

About the author

Simona Rosso

She/her. I write about pop culture, and I love dissecting every single medium I come across.

You can also find me as a writer on Medium, and as a translator on Global Voices.

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