3/4 of US Workers in their 30s Want to Change Careers

Gillian Sisley

And why there's no better time than now to make the shift.

Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

In a survey conducted by the University of Pheonix Business School, it was found that 73% of US workers in their 30s reported wishing that they could make a dramatic career change. That percentage has grown by 10% from results drawn from the same survey in 2013, where the reported number was 64%.

And I can't say I'm exactly surprised by these numbers.

The longer I'm in the workforce the more I realize just how precious our creative and passionate energy is. And how important it is for us to safeguard it.

Not long ago, I found myself at the exact same crossroads as those surveyed above -- I was ready to make a change from running my social media marketing agency to finally becoming a full-time writer. But of course, the idea of such a drastic change was terrifying.

I ultimately chose to make the jump to being a full-time writer, which has always been my dream career.

And here's why I haven't regretted it for one moment since:

Overall happiness is limited in a hated career.

In the World Happiness Report from 2017, it was found that those who described themselves as "disengaged" from their jobs were less content, not only in their career, but also in overall life.

This isn't exactly a surprising link when we consider that full-time employed people spend 50% of their total waking hours at their 9-5 job. If you're miserable or disengaged for 50% of your waking life, it can be easy to imagine how discontent a person could become in general.

Creative and passionate energies in life are precious commodities. They cannot be squandered or taken for granted.

The longer I ran my marketing my business, the more frustrated I became with spending my creative energy on people other than myself. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my clients. I could argue that I had some of the best clients in the world.

But at the end of the day, the thing I’m most passionate about is creative writing. And in order to have a regular output of writing, I have to ensure that I have enough energy left at the end of the day to create.

Most days, I find myself exhausted and lacking in any further energy to then go and write.

Creative careers are happier on average.

A Canadian survey taken of over 12,000 employees found that those who were in 'creative' job positions (such as art, writing, graphic design, etc.) reported the highest level of job satisfaction and happiness compared to other careers.

One of the surveyed individuals was quoted as saying:

“When you’re creating something, you’re putting a lot of your thoughts, ideas and inspiration into the project, so it’s more than just a job. The right job can be a real source of happiness and fulfillment, so the potential is there.”

In 2020, I was still running my social media marketing agency, but was no longer satisfied with the work. I was part of the 3/4 of adults who wanted to make a career change.

I decided to jump into creative writing full-time in January 2021, and my overall happiness and job satisfaction have gone through the roof since. I truly feel like I'm working my dream job, and that is such a fulfilling feeling.

Before that point, I felt too guilty or scared to admit that I just wanted to be creative writing as my full-time work, and ideally not be working with clients.

I finally decided that I was no longer going to feel guilty for being exactly who I was and wanted to be. I choose to make the leap and protecting the work environment that was best for me as a career woman and a creative.

It takes an immense amount of courage to put your happiness first in your career.

I'm not here to tell you jumping into a new career isn't a scary decision to make. Because if I did say that, I would be lying to you.

There are so many unknowns and so many things that can go wrong. It's a truly terrifying experience to make that leap of faith and jump into a new career.

But then again, life is too short for us to spend time in our careers doing something that isn’t fulfilling, or worse, something we absolutely hate.

It’s time to overcome your fears! And overcome the fears of others, who are projecting their worries onto you. Odds are, if you express to people your life that you're thinking of changing up careers, you'll get a mixed response. Some will support you, but others will advise against it, mostly out of their own fear.

At the end of the day, you are in charge of your own destiny. You are the person who has to live with your satisfaction level in your career, not the people who tell you to stay where you are.

After 4 years of running my social media marketing company, it was time for me to make a change, if only for my own sanity and happiness.

Are you ready to shift to your greatest passion, the one which you’ve always hoped to do but weren't sure you could ever make happen for yourself?

You at least owe it to yourself to try.

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Online solopreneur. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about womanhood, social justice, writing & entrepreneurship.


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