Tips for a Successful Career Change

With the start of a new year, you may have encountered a moment of realization that you need a change in location, goal, or even career.

By: Miriam Bird & Jake Hreha

With the start of a new year, you may have encountered a moment of realization that you need a change in location, goal, or even career. An urge to switch careers is common among adults in any season of life.

The potential of an increased salary, better benefits, leadership position, or different opportunities is a realistic and valid reason to make a change. Our passion for serving also develops over time and through experiences, and as a result, dream jobs can evolve.

It is also common to feel stuck or frustrated in your current job and feel like it's time to make a change. You might feel like your day job is not fulfilling, you have become less interested in the work you are doing, or you are just ready for a new career. Switching careers is daunting. There are unknowns and questions about how you will acquire new skills, how you will adapt to a new industry, and how you will land a new job. All of these fears and questions can come up when making career transitions.

The Fear of Changing Careers

Change can produce fear of the unknown, which then causes us to become stagnant. However, numerous doors can open when we lean into our new passions. Dr. Theresa Veach serves as the program director in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at IWU – National & Global. She shared her advice for anyone considering a change in their career by including two common hesitations that need to be debunked:

“I can’t do it.”

This statement is a short but persuasive phrase. Lacking confidence and determination is destructive and can ultimately impact what you choose to accomplish. Many who look to change careers never get past this fear. That does not have to be the case. You can be one of the many successful career changers. We often fall into the trap of doubting our abilities rather than believing in our gifts and strengths. You can do it! As simple as it sounds, this statement is true.

“I am too old.” 

You are never too old to learn, and your previous experiences actually accentuate the depth and perspective of your learning. Dr. Veach shared, “There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that we as older persons have to offer. As a part of the older population, I must remain willing to commit to ‘life-long learning’ in the deepest sense of the word, personally, behaviorally, and spiritually.”

Dr. Veach also experienced a time of changing careers. “Looking back, there are a couple of obstacles that were primarily self-inflicted. I recommend taking a good, hard look at any obstacles that we are putting in our own lives.”

With your fears removed, check out at these tips from Dr. Veach on making a change in your career:

  1. Assess yourself. Start by reflecting on your talents, passions, and most importantly, how God designed you to contribute to the world. If these things are addressed, your career change will be a great success.
  2. Research and network. Take time to research your interests and find opportunities in your community to serve and volunteer – even if you have to get outside your area of expertise. Then, start networking by reaching out to people in the field you are pursuing.
  3. Be adventurous! New opportunities include taking risks, which is the best way to learn more about yourself and your career goals.

Finding a new trajectory for your career is exciting and daunting. You can take advantage of any opportunity because they are presented for a reason. With your fears and doubt removed, you can prioritize your strengths, connect with people and resources, and take risks. It’s time to challenge yourself and plan your goals for this new year.

Are you considering a career change or opportunities to enhance your professional experience? Explore numerous degree programs that can impact the pursuit of your calling at

Miriam Bird

Copywriting Assistant, IWU-National and Global

Miriam Bird assists with content development for IWU–National and Global, capturing student stories and journeys. She is currently a student at IWU–Marion, studying elementary education.

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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