6 Practical Steps to Help You Shift From a Wrong Career

The realization of being in the wrong career could be disconcerting and can feel like a dead-end. But at the same time, it is also a pivotal moment for change.

Once you identify that misalignment, you’ve already taken the first step toward finding the right path and with some strategic moves, you can turn this crossroads into an opportunity for growth.

Reflecting on What Matters

Take a pause to assess what aspects of your job make you unhappy or unfulfilled. Is it the company culture, your job role, or a misalignment with your personal values and goals?

stuck in wrong career

One way to go about it is to list these pain points alongside elements from past experiences that brought you joy or satisfaction (this helps delineate what to look for next). Tools like journaling or career assessments can provide deeper insights here.

Build a Supportive Network

Networking is more than exchanging business cards. It’s about cultivating meaningful relationships building a supportive network that can help in your career progression.

career networking

Here are some practical steps you can take to build a robust professional network:

  1. Be relational instead of transactional – Rather than viewing networking as transactional, think relational. Focus on building deep connections rather than seeking quick gains.
  2. Be authentic and transparent – People value honesty. Share your career pivot story genuinely – it may resonate more than you expect.
  3. Offer value before seeking favours – Look for ways to help others before asking for help yourself. This creates goodwill and mutual respect.
  4. Leverage the power of social media – Platforms like LinkedIn are invaluable resources for connecting with industry professionals. Regularly engage with posts, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions.
  5. Attend industry events (virtual or in-person) – Conferences, webinars, and local meetups offer excellent opportunities to meet people who can provide insights into your new career path.
  6. Follow up consistently – After initial meetings or conversations, don’t let the connection fade away. Regular follow-ups can help keep the relationship strong.

It is important to remember that pivoting doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Often, your current skill set can be a powerful asset in a new career.

Leveraging Your Existing Skills

Philip Kaplan, CEO of Distrokid, is a notable example of successfully leveraging an existing skill set during a career pivot. Because “accounting is hard and not fun.”, Kaplan transitioned into the music technology space by identifying how his tech expertise could revolutionize music distribution.

For those seeking drastic career changes, Kaplan’s advices to leverage what you already know but applying it in new contexts. He underscores the importance of adaptability and recognizing transferable skills: your current expertise might be highly valuable in entirely different industries.

Gaining New Qualifications

Greg Avola, co-founder of Untapped, is a fabulous demonstration of a successful career pivot. Originally working in finance, he felt unfulfilled and yearned for something more aligned with his passions.


Avola realized he could no longer tolerate being “out of breath for no reason, feeling tired all the time, and not eating right” and decided to make a major life change and developed a valuable platform like Ollie to help make life a little more hoppy for everyone.

Avola’s advices others in similar positions to follow ones’ passion with purpose and persistence. He emphasizes the importance of continuous learning – whether through formal education or self-taught methods – as well as seeking mentorship from those already in your desired field.

Importantly, Avola advocates embracing uncertainty and staying resilient through setbacks.

Streamlining Life During Transition

Changing careers is a mentally and emotionally demanding move. Simplify other aspects of life so you have more bandwidth for this major shift. But let’s be real – amidst all this change, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet isn’t easy.

Meal delivery services can be a lifesaver here (think HelloFresh or Factor meal delivery). They can help you save time on meal planning and grocery shopping, offering nutritious options without the hassle.

fresh ingredients

Imagine coming home after a day of navigating your new career and not having to worry about what’s for dinner. These meal services with their pre-portioned, nutritionally balanced recipes enable you to adopt healthy eating habits effortlessly.

Plus, the diversity and creativity in their meals can inspire you to experiment with new flavors and cuisines, keeping your culinary life as exciting and dynamic as your new career path.

Navigating Financial Considerations

A career pivot often comes with financial uncertainties. These tips can help you navigate these transitions smoothly with thoughtful preparation that ensures you’re chasing passion while securing your future:

  • Maintain an emergency fund – Your career leap maybe financially challenging. So before taking any decisions, make sure you have enough savings to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. This buffer provides peace of mind as you transition.
  • Budget adjustments – Review and adjust your budget for any changes in income or expenses. Depending on your situation, this might mean cutting back on non-essential spending for some time.
  • Keep multiple income streams – You can consider getting into freelancing or part-time work while transitioning into a new career. This extra income may help reduce financial strain and provide flexibility
  • Seek professional advice – Consider consulting with a financial advisor to develop a personalized plan tailored to your specific situation.
emergency savings

It is important to maintain financial stability during a career change. The experts at Joist recommend flexibility when switching careers, and think beyond a strict hourly rate, instead “you may have to charge less at first.”

Staying Motivated and Resilient

Changing careers isn’t just about finding a new job – it’s about redefining what’s possible for you. By taking these strategic steps, you position yourself not only for success but for fulfillment.

Treat this pivot as an investment in yourself (because it truly is). Stay motivated, be resilient, trust the process – the right path is waiting for you.

And before you start doubting yourself, look at Kaplan’s entrepreneurial journey or Avola’s shift from finance to tech as proof that transformation is quite attainable with courage and clarity.

Final Thoughts

Shifting from a wrong career may be tough, but this journey is filled with potential for growth. By following these carefully crafted steps, you can turn your career pivot into a powerful narrative of success and personal development.