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Blog>Guides>A Guide to the Pros and Cons of Starting a New Career Path Post-Covid

A Guide to the Pros and Cons of Starting a New Career Path Post-Covid

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  • Learn about the inherent challenges of a career change

  • Explore some important drawbacks that may influence your decision

  • Uncover the benefits you might experience if you change careers


The pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on companies and professionals. People were forced to work from home, which has led to an increase in hybrid work and remote options being important to them moving forward. This has culminated in what’s being called the "Great Resignation," which has steadily gained momentum in the last year or so as people change career paths or resign completely from full-time jobs. As many as 20% of people have left their jobs since the start of the pandemic.

If you are debating the merits of changing your career in the new post-COVID world, it can help to explore the benefits and drawbacks of this option. We will walk you through some important factors to consider before you hand in your two-weeks notice.

What Are the Downsides of Starting a New Career Path?

Before you transition to a new career, you need to consider the potential drawbacks of this decision. Changing your career path can have far-reaching consequences, impacting everything from your network to even your retirement.

To help you understand some of the potential downsides of starting a new career, we will explore some potential drawbacks you might experience. Afterward, you can weigh how these different factors might impact you and what you can do to mitigate the risk.

Financial Uncertainty

Starting a new career path can lead to a period of brief or prolonged financial uncertainty, which can usher in a series of pitfalls that you should be prepared to handle. You may temporarily find yourself in between jobs, which can make it challenging to budget. It is of paramount importance that you make sure there are sufficient funds available to you so that you're able to support yourself during this period.

You also need to pay attention to your retirement income. If you receive retirement funds through your current job, such as a pension or 401(k), make sure you understand how to transfer over those funds if you leave for another opportunity. For example, if your pension requires a certain number of years in your field to be satisfied, make sure you know how your career change will impact those funds and plan accordingly.

Finally, do not forget about the potential pay cut that career changers may face. Often, starting over at a new job after a successful career means that you will start out making less than you did at the old one.

Starting from the Ground Up

To establish yourself in a new field, you will need to build your network, move up the ladder, and eventually grow into positions where you have more flexibility or influence. However, you may lose all these advantages when you change careers completely. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to start over again at the bottom of the career ladder?”

As you switch positions, you need to be ready to rebuild your network. You will also work your way up a new career ladder to secure the level of flexibility and influence you had in your prior field. Some people switching jobs may even have to work part-time at first as they establish themselves in a new industry.

You may also have to rebuild your skill set. Although soft skills are often transferable between industries, you may need to take in-person or online courses, earning important certifications to help you succeed in this new environment. You will also need to demonstrate to recruiters that you have what it takes to perform effectively in your new industry.

The Risk of Being Labeled as a Job Hopper

Keep in mind that companies also like to see candidates who show some signs of commitment and loyalty. Hiring new employees is a great expense for businesses. They have to worry about the costs associated with onboarding the new employee, including the loss in productivity during this period. Therefore, finding employees who will stay in the position for a few years is ideal.

If you tend to jump from job to job very quickly, particularly if you also change fields regularly, potential employers might see you as a job hopper and ultimately view you as a less dependable employee. Since human resources want to find candidates who will be at least partially loyal to the organization, this can detract from your application.

Facing Job Competition

When you switch to a new field, consider the competition. Although you have built your skills and experience in another field, that training will likely do little to impact your new position. As you apply for jobs in your new area, you may compete against candidates who have spent their entire professional careers in the same industry. They will likely have more relevant experience and expertise. Their years in the industry will likely give them an edge for many higher-level positions, leaving you to settle for entry-level positions at first.

Unexpected Setbacks

You also have to be okay with the idea of making mistakes in the new job. When people enter a new field, they often make errors as they learn the nuances of this new role. With the right mindset, this can provide innumerable opportunities to learn. However, you have to go in with the understanding that you will likely face a few setbacks. As you adapt to the new industry, these temporary obstacles are part of your initial learning curve.

Pros of Changing Your Career Path

While the downsides of entering a new field can come with the territory, many people switching career fields also experience a number of benefits. As you debate whether or not to make a career change, here are some potential advantages you might experience.

Taking Back Control of Your Life

For people who lack fulfillment and satisfaction in their current careers, embracing a career change can help you experience empowerment. Many people who dislike their current careers find that making a total career change can help them feel as though they are back in control of their lives. They have the opportunity to actively do something to improve their career choices.

A common reason for career changes also comes down to work-life balance. If you see a new career that demands less of your time, you may also find that this improved scheduling gives you the chance to prioritize the areas outside of work that matter most.

Increased Happiness and Contentment

People who have the privilege of working in pursuit of something they love experience greater happiness and satisfaction. If your current career path does not move you in this way, then it might be time to consider a new career. Carefully evaluating the field you want to enter and how well it aligns with your passions can help you attain this goal.

It is also possible to identify transferable skills to help you with your new job opportunities. This can also help you reach your career goals faster and improve overall satisfaction with your new position.

Self-Development and Growth

As you prepare to enter a new career path, you will also need to learn new skills so you can thrive in the role. This opportunity to learn and grow can help your self-development and help you see the world in a different light. A career change can afford you the opportunity to grow and mature, learn new things, and take proactive steps toward improving yourself as a person. This offers an excellent recipe for personal growth.

Increase in Salary

One of the biggest motivators for people looking for a new career is finding a job with a better salary. In fact, it was the second most common reason people left a job at the start of the pandemic.

Pay increases and job advancement tend to be the strongest motivators for many people looking to change careers. This pay increase can help improve quality of life and job satisfaction. Therefore, as you look at job postings, take note of the salary. Look at postings on LinkedIn and other helpful social media sites to learn more about typical salaries in the field. Remember to also look at the base salary for entry-level employees and the rates you can reach after a few years after you’ve established yourself.

Less Stress

A career change can also help you improve your daily stressors brought on by a more intensive or toxic job. We spend a significant portion of our day at work; if you have a job that brings you high levels of stress, particularly if that stress follows you home, it can greatly detract from your quality of life and even your health. Changing careers to a lower-stress position can help you reduce the overall factors that lead to this uncomfortable and debilitating feeling. This can, in turn, help you improve your health and outlook on life.

Looking to Change Careers? Get Started With Joblist

Many people have seized opportunities during the pandemic to change fields and careers. Although the allure can be very inviting, it is always a good idea to carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of this type of drastic change. Consider why you want to make this type of career change and how it will impact your life going forward. This can help you make the best decision for you and your career.

When you are ready to look for a new job, look no further than Joblist. Joblist makes it easy for you to find customizable job search results, even giving you a quiz so that our job search engine better understands the type of positions you want. Get started finding your dream job now with Joblist.

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