Changing Fields with Courage: Embracing a New Path, Discovering New Horizons and Overcoming Challenges

Photo by Karolina Kaboompics Close-up photo of accounting documents.

By Sibgha A

Are you considering changing your career path but finding it difficult to locate first-hand accounts of individuals who have successfully made the transition possible? A few years back I was looking for valuable insights and inspiration to contemplate a similar leap. I wish I had someone’s experience to guide me when I was struggling. It would have made it easier to make timely decisions.

In the bygone days, throughout my teenage years, I was very perplexed about which field to choose – which career field  would afford me the most mileagein perpetuity.  As an inherently indecisive person, I always get bewildered when it comes to making decisions, but in this instance, my interests seemed more skewed toward science and medicine.  To put it concisely, I chose medicine as my career and, from my perspective, it was MY field.

I began preparing for my entrance test, however, despite my utmost desire to secure admission to medical college, multiple attempts proved unsuccessful.  I had to start looking for a new path.  I think it was one of the toughest decisions to make without any guidance, experience, or confidence.  It was, indeed, a pivotal decision that would shape my future.

Do you know what difficulties I faced while changing my career path from medical to accounting – a field I was unfamiliar withand how I pushed through it? For me, it was:

  1. Lack of Experience: When switching my career, I knew I didn’t have the necessary skills or knowledge for accounting.  Initially, I found it grinding to cope with the transition.  Later, I came to realize I was capable of excelling in this field.
  • Uncertainty: The unknown can be intimidating, and it’s natural to feel uncertain about your chances of success in a new career. I, too, was uncertain, but with time (as I gained more experience) my interest in it grew and I started to develop a strong grip on it. 
  • Financial Concerns: Switching careers involves starting from scratch, I needed to manage my expenses because it might have led to financial instability during the transition period. 
  • Fear of Failure: The fear of making mistakes or not being able to adapt quickly enough held me back from leaping into something unfamiliar. However, with time, my fear gradually dissipated, and my confidence grew.
  • Limited Network: Switching careers involves entering a different industry with new connections to be made, which can be demanding.  Being an introvert, I struggled with making new friends and establishing new networks.  I had to work on myself and, fortunately, it shaped me into a better person.
  • Self-Doubt: Lack of confidence in my abilities and questioning whether I could make the right decision made it hard for me to take that first step toward a new profession.  Nonetheless, self-doubt doesn’t always stay the same. Over time, you will learn to manage it.
  • Emotional Attachment and comfort zone: Letting go of familiarity and comfort associated with my prior career was emotionally challenging and resulted in resistance to change.  A comfort zone often holds you back, and I knew I had to step out of it to achieve my goals. 

What are we if hopeful about the future which is beyond our control? The problems I feared facing were not as a big as I assumed them to be.  In the end, changing careers was the best decision I ever made.  It was not easy, but stepping out of my comfort zone allowed me to grow in ways I never imagined.  If you are feeling stuck, remember that leaping could be the start of an exciting new journey.  Believe in yourself and embrace the possibilities that come with change.

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