How to make sense of undoing your career change.
Making a career change takes courage. Starting in a new industry takes courage. Realising that you were actually happier in your old job where you started takes courage. Undoing your career change and going back into your old industry or role takes courage.
It’s not uncommon for people to make a career change and then after a period in their new industry, to realise that they were actually happier where they started. Making sense of this type of transition can be challenging. Juggling your own expectations and emotions, thoughts around the sunk costs and time, and others’ expectations around your transition can combine to make it hard to not feel like it was a big waste of time. It is rarely a waste of time and in this article we want to share a range of reasons why undoing a career change can actually give your career a boost.
So, don’t be afraid of negative impacts, instead we’re here to help you to reflect on how to take advantage of your story to jump back into your old job with renewed skills and energy.
You won’t live your life wondering ‘what if’…
When people look back on their life it is often the things they didn’t do or the risks they didn’t take that they regret. It is hardly ever the roads and avenues they tried and stumbled through. If exploring that career was something that you really wanted to do and you didn’t give it a go, you would always have wondered what it was like. Now you can say that you had the courage to try it and it wasn’t for you.
You’ve got new skills
Having experience in another job is likely to expose you to a whole new set of skills. Some of these are likely to be directly transferable into your old job and others may come in handy later in life. Having had experience now in another industry, it is likely that you will bring a new perspective to problems that need to be solved and you will have a broader set of experiences than if you had just stayed in your old job. In short, you now have new string to your career bow.
You better understand your priorities and values
Career change and making conscious transitions in your life require you to reflect on what you value and what your priorities are in life. While it can be easy to just go with the flow in your career, one of the benefits of a career change (and even changing back to your original career) is that you will have spent conscious time thinking about and designing a life that better matches your priorities and values. Knowing these will continue to reward you over the rest of your life and will help to inform all of your future decisions.
You have new mental models and ways of seeing the world
Different jobs require different ways of thinking. It is likely that through your career change you have gained new mental models or ways of seeing the world that will inform how you make decisions and solve problems into the future. Each career change adventure will have added to the tools you have at your disposal.
You’ve extended your network
New industries and jobs will help you to grow your network. It’s likely that through your career change you will have met a range of interesting friends and colleagues that you will stay in contact with. The power of these friendships both personally and professionally is worth considering!
You’ve solidified your commitment to your old career
If you’ve landed back in your role, it’s likely that you’ve solidified your reasons for signing up again. You’re motivated again to be back in and ready to work hard. This is a great frame of mind to be in and is likely to have you motivated to grow and reach new heights.
AKA – It’s not lost time. You’ve gained a new set of skills and experiences to add to your toolkit!
Taking a bit of time off from your old job to explore a new avenue before returning is hardly ever lost time. You’ve gained new skills, met new people and had the chance to explore what you value in your life. We hope this article has helped you to see the journey you’ve been on as a positive learning experience in which you’ve actually given your career a boost!