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It's never too late to switch careers

June 15, 2015 Jasiel Moreno

By Mark Huffman

June 15, 2015


If you are in mid-career, it may have dawned on you by now that you'll probably have to work a lot more years than you anticipated before you can afford to retire.

If you love your job that could actually be good news. If you hate your job, the whole idea might make you depressed.

But that begs the question, if you hate your job, why don't you just do something else? Don't think you can? Well, plenty of other people are doing it.

Scientific approach

One organization is trying to make the process of job change a more scientific process, based on psychology, statistics and expert advice.

“We’ve seen reports stating people change jobs 11 times in their lifetimes, said Joseph Schmoke, founder and CEO at University Research & Review, an education start-up founded by former college administrators and professors. “It seems then that people should get better at making career change decisions as they go from job to job. Unfortunately, that’s obviously not the case.”

It's true that most job changes occur out of necessity. You get laid off or the company you work for goes out of business. Schmoke and his organization focus on voluntary job changes – how to pull them off and make them go smoothly.

Surprising data

University Research & Review started off advising clients who were thinking about going back to college, to finish a degree or get an advanced degree. But after analyzing the company’s data the firm found that a surprising percentage of users were interested in guidance about changing careers.

For example, a 50-year-old female had worked years in a family-owned business but it had recently been sold. She did not feel comfortable with the new owners but was concerned she was too old to change careers.

“I asked her if she was still breathing,” Schmoke said. “So we took her through our free process and advised her of careers that, based on a test we offer, suited her personality.”

University Research & Review is still primarily focused on helping students select the right college but Schmoke says the processes of selecting schools and and vocations have things in common. As for the reason employees want to change careers, he says they tend to be shared by people of all ages.

Reasons for switching careers

  • Career lacks in purpose and personal fulfillment;
  • Does not leave sufficient time for balance;
  • Educational and professional background does not match well;
  • The money is insufficient to properly care for self and loved ones; and
  • Consistent feelings of disrespect and dread from superiors.

Schmoke says people need to understand that a career where you are happy and valued is not just a pipe dream. University Research & Review's college guidance is free and so is its career advice.


Soruce: Consumer Affairs