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Career change - Experiences and Thoughts

  • 09-02-2022 12:38am
    Registered Users Posts: 4,093 ✭✭✭ johndaman66

    Hello All,

    No doubt a rehash of a thread that has being done in many different ways before. I would like to hear of people's experiences and opinions on career changes that they themselves and close family friends have embarked on, the back story and whether or not it was the right move from them. What job you came from and where the new career you embarked on. If you needed to upskill, complete further education, take a temporary job to support yourself as you made the transition or otherwise how you supported yourself financially as you transitioned.

    I suppose its often mention that there is no such thing as a job for life these times which is true for so many. However, to say there is no such thing as a career for life is no doubt a considerably different matter...or maybe I'm wrong and there is no such thing as a career for life for so many now.

    My own story. I have worked in the broad area of Financial Services since I completed my college education 18 odd years ago. First worked in the broad area of Fund Administration in two separate companies for the first 15 of them 18 years. The pay was ok, not absolutely excellent, enough to fund my not exactly overly extravagant lifestyle adequately but wouldn't be on a par with the pay rises of Software Developers who are worth their salt for example.

    Long story short the nature of the work changed pretty dramatically over the years I was there and in particular over the last few years and not a lot of support from a top heavy management who did not seem fully in tune with the pressures of the day to day operational aspect of the work, in particular recognizing the shift in work tasks that were difficult for me and many of my colleagues to adapt to. Over the years I went from liking the job to tolerating it, to hating it, to despising it. Many colleagues within the departments I worked in or closely with moved on to work with competitors in broadly similar positions, something quite different within the same broad industry or sometimes to a completely different industry. It was generally those who moved to work in a broadly similar role with a competitor who tended to come back from time to time but not a lot did come back to draw an absolutely definitive picture from.

    Anyway, I moved on just shy of 3 years ago. Staying broadly within Financial Services but a very very different role, certainly different sector. No doubt there are worse jobs too, I do have a decent Manager and work colleagues. However, the main problem with this number is that I have a very small base pay (nothing worth talking about in reality) and my pay is pretty much commission based on what I sell. Fine and well if your swimming along nicely and making the sales but hell its a bleak place when your not as can be the case. Money is not super in spite of what you may read online (and not just for myself but for colleagues also, many of whom are in the game for many years and well seasoned). I think main issue is the source we use for our online leads, it really is the case your dealing with the lower echelons of society and there is not an abundant suite of alternatives for us to draw leads from in reality. Aside from the financial side of it, it can be very thankless dealing with these type of people a lot of the time who will take take take and end up not doing business. I've got better in sniffing them out though and on the plus side I have also dealt with some absolutely wonderful people. The minus side more often than not outweighs the positives for me and I say this from the point of view of generally being a relatively optimistic person.

    Anyway, this brings me back to my first point. That horrendous question what do you see yourself doing in 5 years time....Short answer for me is I don't know but I do know its most likely not what I'm doing today. I'm 40 years old and consider myself a relatively fresh and energetic 40 year old. I'm actually strongly considering a trade, construction, electrician or the like. I'm an avid enough DIY'er when I get the time, well able to do what many would class as higher skill level jobs around the house to a decent satisfactory level and sometimes with very rudimentary tools for the task in hand, service and maintain my own car to a very large degree and like that type of work too. When I hinted of a move of this nature to a few friends and family it was just pretty much insinuated that I was insane to even consider such a move at this stage of my I on a mission to break my back sort of thing. I'm not convinced modern day electricians do anything close to back breaking work for example but maybe I'm very very wrong? It's more the onerous long winded slog to get there at this stage of my life I'd be concerned about. I'm certainly not afraid of hard work or long hours but don't want to do a job where I'm lying in bed feeling sick in my stomach thinking about getting up the following day again for it.

    I do know from speaking to many tradesmen in my current job that it seems they hardly have time to draw their breath never mind speak to me. Appreciate that the work is cyclical too and maybe some will even tell me that they are busy fools. Again I don't mind that myself for the most part as long as I can see an end to it and get paid fairly along the way for my effort and can rest easy at night. It's many a day I am a busy fool in my current number with no pay for that day.

    As and aside I appreciate too that many people do jobs they don't particularly like but tolerate and get on with them. I don't buy into this rose tinted, removed from reality comment that you shouldn't do any particular job unless you love it...Might seem a snide remark but I think it were pretty much unemployed people or the likes of those in college funded by Daddy I ever heard that from. I think if that were the case there would be an insane amount of jobs out there that just could not be filled. I do draw a distinction between tolerating a job and able to get on with it and absolutely despising a job, in extreme cases so much so that you almost get sick to your stomach thinking about it.

    Anyway my own meandering and somewhat incohesive opening post. As I mention would welcome any thoughts on my own situation and maybe broadly similar situations people have being in and better still played out.