7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

| 4 min read
7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

Nkechi, a writer, stopped feeling enthusiastic about her work. Deep within herself, she knew could do more and wanted to do more. She was currently meeting her employer’s expectations in terms of tasks assigned to her but she felt totally out of place and wanted a career change.

She eventually moved on from her writing job to a Customer Service role in an FMCG industry with better benefits. However, 6 weeks into her new role, she resigned.

The big question is why did Nkechi from a job she was initially excited about? Career change can be very important in attaining personal goals but it is even more important to avoid certain mistakes that can come back to haunt you.Take a quick look at the blunders below and how to avoid them.

1. Job Change Versus Career Change7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

When you are unsatisfied with your job or in your present field you need to evaluate the true cause of your dissatisfaction. It could be that you do not have the capacity to do the volume of work your employer has assigned to you. Your dissatisfaction could stem from working for extremely long hours. Nkechi might have changed her situation if she understood fully if it was a career change she needed or a change of job.

It’s important to avoid confusing the need for a change of job to be same as a change of career, you may go on to the new job and remain dissatisfied and unhappy.


2. Changing Career Without Research7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

A successful career change is backed by research. This will keep you equipped. Unlike Nkechi, you would have the right skill-set and technical know-how needed to thrive in your new career. Research also gives great insights into knowing the thought leaders and potential mentors in the industry.


3. Doing It For The Money Alone7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

A good salary is always a good incentive but a career that provides you with just a great paycheck and no career progression, challenge or growth easily becomes very frustrating. You do not want to quit your job and change a career just for the money.


4. Quitting Without Exploiting Possibilities7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

Sometimes, a career change is not the answer. You might just need to take on more responsibilities or try functioning in a different capacity before you make that decision. Nkechi might have found this out if she moved to other fields or industry. Whilst still writing, she could have found out a career change was not what she really needed.


5. Failure to Continue Learning7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

This could happen to you before and after the career change. Consider Nkechi’s situation – Did she truly understand what it takes to be a good customer service professional? Did she have interpersonal skills? Did she have communication skills? Did she have time-management skills? Did she study herself to know if she was good at multi-tasking? Perhaps, she simply became overwhelmed.

If you make a career change and fail to develop your skill-set through relevant training and courses, you will most likely hit the rocks in a very short time.


6. Not Saving Up Enough7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

Economic hardship is real. When you quit a job with a plan to change career without another source of income, you can easily become broke. Same happens when you quit your job abruptly without having a savings account to rely on while you hunt for a new job. It’s very important to think of your savings. Will your savings sustain you after you quit your job? It’s also important to consider what lifestyle changes quitting will cause you – Are you really set up and ready to quit without another means of income?


7. Don’t Be Hasty7 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

Physicist and Chemist, Marie Curie once said, “I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” Plan, plan and re-plan before making that move. Impulsive decisions when making a career move always hurt you personally and the organisation on the long run. You want to be happy when you make a career change and progress rather than regress.


Before a career change, evaluate your current job satisfaction level, assess your interests and skills, upgrade your skill-set and consider alternative careers before you eventually make a final decision. Are you currently considering a career change?

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.


  1. Wow..really and truly insightful. Considering a career change at the moment. I’ve changed jobs but the new one isn’t really doing it for me.

    • Hi Mimi,
      Now you’re better informed to make a better choice and the change you need. Wishing you all the best.

    • Hello Vicotria,
      Great to hear from you. My advice is to start from here, it’s a good place to start and to start now.
      You do have a career, get to work and start.
      Believe and Achieve.

  2. I’m in the process of switching careers. Currently studying and gaining the necessary skills I need. The hardest part is landing a job in the new field. I am enjoying the learning process though and hoping to start gaining experience in the new field. I did do my research but I’m still half scared that I may get bored again.

    • Hello,
      You’re on a great path, don’t let fear stop or deter you. Opportunities will definitely come, it’s more important to be ready.
      Make sure you don’t get bored, best regards.

  3. This is quite insightful. I think the mistake people make before switching careers is lack of proper research.
    I currently teach with an international school, likewise I volunteer with NGOs that are aligned with my passion- education. so when I want to switch careers I will be comfortable with working in the non-profit.

    Thanks again for the wonderful tip.

  4. Very informative ! Currently out of work due to downsizing. Always wanted a career change from Customer Care to HR. Already acquired a MBA in Human Resoure Management and have applied in various companies as a HR assistant. Hope it works out as planned.

    • Hello Judith, Congratulations on your MBA. I’m fascinated by the steps taken and progress made. Keep being the best you and cheers for greater opportunities that await. Best regards

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