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Did you ever want to give up & pursue something else?


#architecture #career

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Subject: Career question for you

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Toby’s Answer

Hi Karynne,

Absolutely. And in a strange way, it ended up bringing me back to my first career better than ever.

Several years ago I was in a rut working as a tech writer. I was struggling to find work that made me happy, and I was struggling to find work that paid well. I struggled even more with the decision to give up on writing and try something else.

I decided to take a risk and jump into a brand new career. I took an immersive design course and became a UX designer. Over the next few years I made new connections, developed new skills, and jump started my earnings.

Now I've combined my love of writing and my new design skills in a career as a UI writer. I love the work, I'm working with people that inspire me every day, and I'm a better writer than I was before.

Long story short, sometimes trying something else is the best way to find out what you really want to do. If you're struggling with feelings of wanting to do something new, I recommend exploring why you're having those feelings. Maybe the job you're in isn't quite right. Maybe you just need a different company where you can do the same thing. Or maybe you just need to try something new and branch out.

Trust yourself. Trust those feelings. And don't be afraid to look around and try something new.

Toby recommends the following next steps:

If you're interested in a tech career change, places like General Assembly can give you a great start.
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Cayla’s Answer

Hey Karynne! That's such a great question -- I'm almost 10 years into my professional career, and yes, I think about this all the time! Not only do I think about this, I've actually done it before.

Here's my advice to you -- spend sometime thinking about why you want to give up. Do you not like the subject matter? Do you think you won't enjoy your future career? Is there another passion you are inspired to follow? Those are great questions, and following those questions will lead you to a fruitful discussion about what you love and care about.

But if you are thinking of giving up because you are worried you are not good enough, or not smart enough, or not capable enough, I don't think you should give up. Everyone experiences self-doubt, and I know overcoming it is hard. But if people can do it, why can't one of those people be you? I believe in you. I wish you the best of luck!

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Alex’s Answer

Yes, and I did! For the beginning of my career, I was a web developer. After a few years building websites, I became very interested in biology. So I left my comfortable job and went back to school to learn about biology. It was one of the best things I've ever done. I learned a ton about a new field. I met tons of new people and made lifelong friends. I was very passionate about contributing to this new field, and my existing skills brought new value to this area.


In the end, that experience made me a stronger engineer and made me feel I accomplished something in life.

It's a long life, and a big world. It's ok to take some chances and try new things, and in the end it usually pays you back.

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Tom’s Answer

Hi Karynne. Yes. Why not?

If this is career oriented, deeply investigate what you want to do before you leave the current situation and when you are ready, hold you breath and make the move!! Good luck.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi Karynne!

I think it's pretty normal for people to evaluate their careers at times and figure out if they are still happy with them. I personally have questioned my career from time to time.

I began my career as a software engineer and am now a vice president of engineering. I've been incredibly lucky that anytime I've thought of changing, a new opportunity has opened up. Sometimes that has meant changing companies and sometimes that has meant taking on a new role at the same company, like when I moved into management.

I'll be honest that there was a time when I wanted to make a change, but didn't because the economy was so bad around 2008 and I was afraid of financial instability.

As a previous poster said, it matters why you are considering a change. If you are unhappy, though, it's definitely worth exploring other things you can do with your time. Sometimes those are big and sometimes they are smaller changes. I wish you luck!

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

Think about why you want a change
Consider constraints, like finances
Start looking for ways to improve your situation
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