5 Things You Need To Know Before Career Switching


So you want to switch career.

The thought alone is daunting. You don’t know where to begin but your heart is pulling you in that direction. Or it could be a case of situation because of the recent retrenchment.

Your options seemed so limited and your age isn’t helping either.

With mounting bills and escalating cost of living, taking any form of pay cut might not be practical.

And while you are pondering over all that, you are dragging your feet to work every single day. Buying time a day at a time to just “see how it goes”

Sometime the annoying colleagues, stifling bureaucracy or downright crazy boss might push you to the edge.

You clinched tightly to that resignation letter with anger but as you stormed your way to the manager’s office, the same thought process goes through your head in split seconds.

With a heavy sigh, you turn around and slouch your way back to the cubicle to buy another day and “see how it goes”

Sounds familiar?

Making that decision to switch career is never going to be easy.

Your family will think you are nuts and every single recruiters you speak with will tell you that is not going to be possible.

It is going to be risky and the outcome will be totally unpredictable.

To that, I will want to share with you the following quote by Mark Twain:

Markt Twain 20 years quote

We are all going to die one day and I’m sure none of us will be lamenting the lack of time spent in the office doing the things that we completely could no longer relate to while we are on our death bed.

If you are honestly bored, fed-up, or simply unhappy in your current line of work, switching career could solve that problem.

In fact the longer you procrastinate, the more it will becoming higher risk for you because let’s face it, age is always going to come into play.

Even if you are in your 50s, you still stand a better chance compared to when you are 60.

But before you get fired up and send that nasty resignation letter to your boss, here are a few things you wanna do or ask yourself first:


1. Are there successful case studies?

With so much information available online, it would be silly not to do some research and find out if there had been anyone that took the path that you have intention to take, and how that is working out for them.

In Singapore, lots of assistance are provided by employment centers to aid the transition of an interested career switcher.

One of the way to do so is via Place-And-Train Program.

e2i presently has one that is targeting people who are interested to become Property Executive. WDA has similiar program that is called Professional Conversion Programmes. It targets:

Infocomm Technology

  • Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Specialists
  • Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for IT/Desktop Support Administrators

Early Childhood Care and Education

  • WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Childcare)
  • WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Kindergarten Teaching)

Creative Industries – Design / IDM

  • WSQ Advanced Certificate in Industrial Design (Furniture Design) – SFIC Institute
  • Specialist Diploma in Game Design and Entrepreneurship – MAGES Institute of Excellence

Social Services

  • Social Workers

What if what you want isn’t on this list?

That will take a bit more research but nothing that is impossible.

Simply head to LinkedIN and search these two fields: Industry and Past Company.

LinkedIN Search Screen

In my example, I’m assuming someone who is a teacher and wish to career switch into Consumer Services.

I can see 11 results which I can click into all of them to review their transition journey.

Search Result

There has to be something they did right to be where they are today. Isolate their commonalities and you should arrive at something you could use to reflect and review.

If you don’t get to see as many results as I do, that is because your connections level isn’t high enough. You could either build your connections organically to reach that level (at least 500 connections) or simply get connected with someone with many connections.

[et_bloom_inline optin_id=”optin_4″]

And if I’m you, I will get connected with them and write them an SOS.

Just imagine – many years ago they were in your shoes. They went through that emotional roller-coaster before and logically speaking, they will want to help someone (who reminds them of themselves years back) to avoid the wrong twists and turns.

You can write something like this:

Subject: Love to get your advice on career switch

Hi Emily

I chance upon your profile as I’m doing research to consider a career switch.

Just like yourself, I am currently a teacher and is looking to move into the Consumer Service industry. But I’m so lost and do not know where to start.

Given your successful transition, I hope you could give me some advice.

Let me know when and where is good. Coffee’s on me.


Don’t take up a job in another field without some thinking and lots of research. Nothing is worse than leaping before you look. You don’t want to end up in a field that makes you feel exactly what you did in your last.


2. Is it a good match for your skills and interest?

Do you actually possess what is required for the new interest? If not, are you willing to invest in time and money to acquire those skill set?

Or are you totally unsure what are the requirements?

Take an assessment test to find out.

You can try using Sokanu

Their career test is designed to measure a person’s traits and match them to careers. The unique psychometric assessment measures people on 186 traits across 8 categories including, personality, needs, culture, interests, and abilities.


The free version matches from 50 careers. If you upgrade to the Premium version, users are matched with a pool of 500 careers.

For US$30 per year, it is a small price to pay to find out what you really like.


3. Money should not be the deciding factor

It is an important factor but it shouldn’t be the key reason why you are making the move.

If it is, you might as well remain where you are, work your socks off and be the best in your current function. Some company will surely come by and poach you away.

I know people who used to work in property but because of the cooling measures, they decided to exit the industry and took on franchisee – one in education and the other in F&B.

Based on my understanding, the decision was made because of the monetary potential they see in them.

An existing business model in a market that seem pretty necessary. You just have to press the ON button.

The education one has since folded and the F&B one is still bleeding.

A car enthusiast, the former also went into the car grooming business when he left property.

Because of his immense interest, that one is doing really well. And due to that, the money is rolling in.

So if your intent is purely money driven, think again. There are too many instances of such not working out. They just don’t get air time compared to the rag-to-riches billionaire story.


4. Do a trial

Why not give it a try before you go all out?

It really isn’t hard to get into what you want even if you do not possess the skill sets.

Just do it for free.

That is the best way to beta test this new function and see if you like it.

You could go to sgcare website and search through the area of interest. Connect with them and help them with that function. It doesn’t just allow you to gain experience points but you are doing good at the same time.


or would you prefer something else. Perhaps something outside of Singapore.

Check out qlc.io.

They allow you to try-before-you-buy your next career by taking up short term, flexible and remote career discovery projects.




5. It’s gonna take a while

Finally you need to be patient. You can’t expect to change careers overnight just as you can’t expect to be successful in one day.

A thorough career change usually will take a minimum of six months to pull off, and the time can also stretch up to a year or more.

Remember, making a career switch is one of the most refreshing things you can do and it makes you feel like you are experiencing youth all over again, except with the wisdom of whatever you know by now!


What’s your biggest takeaway from this post on how to better career switch? I’m genuinely curious and will reply to every comment below like I always do.

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