It is estimated that people change careers five to seven times during their lifetime. There is, however, no standard definition of what constitutes a career change. Is working in the same field but different industry a career change? Is becoming a business owner a career change if you are doing the same job you were doing as an employee? Or is a career change only a radical move across field and industry?
Regardless of how big or small your desired transition is, here are some of the biggest myths people believe about changing careers — and what the reality is.
1. There’s One Fool-Proof Way to Change Careers
Countless books are written on the topic of how to make changes in life, including how to change careers. I like to read as many as I can and often find great ideas. Yet changing careers, like all transitions, is still a very personal experience. What seems difficult to you could be very easy for another person, and unexpected circumstances can derail the best of plans. Take the advice, for example, of building a side business while you have a job, so you can then transition out of it into the security of your own new enterprise. Some companies include a clause in their employment contracts that prevents employees from starting a side business, or you might feel so down after coming back from work you don’t like that you feel too demoralized and too insecure to start a new venture. It’s not that the advice is bad — working on building your business while being fully employed is a great suggestion! — it’s just that not one piece of advice fits everyone’s situation.
Don’t look for one fool-proof way of changing careers — focus instead on creating your own path to a new career based on what you find most helpful.
2. Personality Tests, Journaling or Reading a Book Are the Secrets to Success
Nothing happens just in your head. While writing, meditation and personality tests can give you some new insights and ideas, if you have been stuck and unable to change careers for a while, the answers you seek are either buried too deep or are out there already — most likely both.
We react to our perception of reality — not reality itself. Because of this, each one of us has formed a number of beliefs about ourselves and the world that we mistake for the truth. Some common beliefs I see with my clients are that they are not good at something, or too old to change or bad at money, etc. Even with lots of journaling, the deeper and more ingrained your belief is, the most likely it is that you will not to be able to recognize it for what it is — a belief, not the truth. If you suspect this is the case for you, working with a coach will help you unearth what is driving your behavior unconsciously, and once you see your belief for what it is — just a belief — you will be able to choose what to do with it. “I am bad at money” might simply become “I need to learn how to negotiate my salary better”.
The other very common situation is that you have no idea what jobs are out there. I am always curious about what kind of work people do, and am often surprised to find people have professions I didn’t know existed. For example, a lot of people don’t know what a Technology or Developer Evangelist does. Nope, it’s not a religious order! Here’s a handy definition from Wikipedia: “A technology evangelist is a person who builds a critical mass of support for a given technology, and then establishes it as a technical standard in a market that is subject to network effects. An evangelist promotes the use of a particular product or technology through talks, articles, blogging, user demonstrations, recorded demonstrations or the creation of sample projects.”
If you have technical skills and love people and content, this might be a dream job, yet so many people don’t even know about it. There are many more professions that are not very well-known, and this is why a huge part of you looking for what to do next has to include talking to people in the field.
3. You Need to Have Everything Planned Out
Some lucky people decide they want to do something different, research different options, find another job they like and voilà — they make the transition. For most of us, things are a bit more messy. Very often, people start exploring a different career, and something happens: they cannot transition into it, end up not liking it or discover something they like even better. There is no way for you to choose a new career until you try it out. The fastest way to find what you want to do is to try what seems like a good idea: job shadow, do it on the side, take a class (not an entire new degree!). You will discover that the journey will determine the destination, and not the other way around.
4. Changing Careers Is Only for Rich People
While it definitely helps to have a partner, tons of savings or a lucrative job to support you during your career transition, people change careers regardless of how much money they make. In fact, if you don’t like your job and on top of it you are making very little money, you should run, not walk, towards a new career! You are not doing yourself any favor by staying stuck and broke. We are incredibly lucky to have access to more information than ever, from finding free information online to the library (of which I am a huge fan!), to talking to people you meet at events, friends of friends, Linkedin… the sky is the limit! You can do a lot even with no budget, so don’t let lack of money stop you from doing what you want. Be resourceful and use it instead as a motivation to take the leap.
5. You Need a Degree to Change Careers
Sometimes we form ideas about how things are and give up before we have time to check if they are really true. If you find yourself thinking you need a degree to change careers, do lots of research. Some jobs do require degrees and licenses (e.g. medical doctor, psychotherapist, etc.), but many more jobs do not require a degree by law. The most important thing employers want is to know you can do the job. If there is no regulation saying you have to have a specific degree, some employers ask for a degree because they see it as proof that you know what you’re doing. Can you prove yourself without going back to school? More and more colleges now also offer specialized courses and Graduate Certificates to provide people with specific skills without the time and money investment necessary to get a whole new degree. Look at all your options, and then decide what would work best for you. In many cases, you will be OK without having to go back to school for years. And if you find you really need that degree, you will have made an informed choice.
6. You Need to Be a Business Genius to Start a Company
Psst… I have a secret. Very few people are “good at business” when they start. Most people have no idea how to run a business, and have to learn as they build it! This is why there are so many online courses to teach people how to market their work, get their first clients, etc. Don’t let your lack of knowledge stop you. Take it instead as an imperative to learn more about it. And if you can, start your business on the side and learn by doing. Then, when you’re ready, you can take the plunge and go full-time.
7. If Changing Careers Doesn’t Work Out, Your Life Will Be Ruined
When I lived in San Francisco, I took a four-month-long class through a nonprofit to learn everything about operating a business. I used to joke it was the cheapest MBA ever, and even got my friends to take it. The amazing thing? After graduation, some of the students founded highly successful businesses, some started pretty good businesses, some started a business and failed and some realized having a business was not for them. Everyone, though, learned enough new skills and developed such a deeper understanding of how a business works that they could leverage their new knowledge into a better business, job or salary. Some ended up getting better jobs, instead of becoming entrepreneurs. In other words, when you embark on your journey to change careers, you will grow so much that you will be able to use what you learned no matter what.
It might not be what you expected, and you might experience a lot of heartbreak, failure and discomfort along the way. But if you stay open, challenge yourself to learn new things and put yourself out there, you will eventually be able to do something you find fulfilling.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|2.49% – 11.72%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.30%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|4.13% – 7.39%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.24% – 8.24%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.48% – 7.98%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.69% – 9.92%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 6, 2022.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 09/09/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 4.13% APR – 7.39% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR – 9.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.
5 Important Disclosures for Navient.
6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%-9.92% (3.69%-9.92% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49%-10.11% (4.49%-10.11% APR).
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.39%- 9.60% (6.39% – 9.60% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.58% – 9.79% (6.58% – 9.79% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).
Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%- 9.09% (3.69%- 9.09% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.28% (4.49% – 9.28% APR).
Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).