Barely five months into her new career as a public relations specialist, Yen is reconsidering returning to the tourism industry, saying she feels "stupid" in her new job and that joining the great resignation might have been a mistake for her.
With over three years of professional experience in a travel agency, Yen said she was ecstatic when she made the career switch late last year-- a feeling that was short-lived as doubt crept in with the transition.
"I feel stupid in my new job kasi it's all new to me. I used to be a top-performing employee in my old job but now, I feel like I don't know how to do anything correctly and it's embarrassing," Yen, who asked not to reveal her full name, told reportr.
"Kahit na hindi ako masaya sa dati kong trabaho, at least alam ko yung ginagawa ko. Ngayon kasi iniisip ko kung tama ba yung naging desisyon ko?," she added.
Yen was among millions of millennials and Gen Zs worldwide who joined the so-called Great Resignation as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a rethinking of career paths and priorities in a time of uncertainty.
While career transitions can be overwhelming, it's important to remember that everybody starts somewhere, and facing difficulties doesn't necessarily mean that you made the wrong choice.
"Basically, every job will have its own challenges. This is also a question to open your eyes to the realities of work," career coach Aurora Suarez told reportr.
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Here are tips from JobStreet on how to navigate career transitions:
1. Do your research
A new career means new challenges and new responsibilities. Researching about your new role and what comes next can go a long way in starting, staying, and thriving in the industry.
Know the basics of your new career for a smoother transition. Join webinars and virtual conferences by organizations and experts of the industry, read industry-specific resources, and talk to professionals in the industry.
Researching helps prepare you for the daily grind of your new career and provides a general overview of what to expect.
2. Think about your transferable skills
A career change may mean starting over again but it doesn't mean that you have to come in empty-handed. There are transferable skills that you have developed in your previous career that may be relevant and just as useful in your new one.
Think about the skills you have honed and how these could help you in your new career. Soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and time management are essential in thriving in any industry.
3. Build your network
Career transitions are a great opportunity to connect with new people and reconnect with old acquaintances and colleagues in the new industry.
Get insights and learn from professionals in your new career to make the transition more comfortable. What tips can they give? What is the best and worst thing about the industry? How do they deal with certain problems and situations?
You can also join organizations related to your new career for a sense of belongingness, to further your education, explore new opportunities, and build your network.
4. Be realistic
When starting out in a new career, you have to be realistic about your expectations and goals. Remember, a career transition is different from simply transferring jobs. Career transitions are significant life changes that require a holistic approach.
As Suarez puts it, it's a matter of asking oneself: "What are you willing to do or sacrifice for the career you want?"
This could mean starting out with a reduced salary or a lower position compared to your previous career. It's important to put things into perspective and in the right context.
5. Improve your skills
It's normal to feel anxious when it comes to change. To thrive in your new career, work on developing new skills required for the career transition.
Take online short courses, ask a colleague for help, or consider pursuing formal education to get ahead in your new career.
Studying in your new industry lets you gain new knowledge and also allows you to assess your strengths and weaknesses as a new player in the industry.
A career change is a major life decision but it's not the be-all to one's life too. Looking at career changes through the eyes of curiosity can help you navigate the transitions with more positive emotions instead of anxiety and doubt.
"While your career can provide meaning and purpose, it is only one aspect of your life. Don't forget to give importance as well to your relationships, community, creativity, fun, spirituality, health, and love," Suarez said.
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