I’ve Changed Careers 3 Times — And Learned 6 Critical Lessons About Work And Life

Within a year of graduating college, I found myself on a fast track toward a mid-level management role with a major Los Angeles entertainment company.

I was going on business trips, meeting with executives from across the industry, and helping plan sizeable acquisitions of new ventures.

But it all fell apart when the head of my division was caught in an embezzlement scandal involving fraudulent invoicing and a cover company. My coworkers and I were shocked. My division was promptly shut down, and I was out of a job.

I’ve Changed Careers 3 Times — And Learned 6 Critical Lessons About Work And Life

I was still in the first half of my 20s, and with a sparse resume, there was no way I was going to find another position with the same responsibilities and pay as my old job. So I swallowed my pride and took a position as an assistant at a talent agency a few miles down the road.

After a short stint there, and then multiple years at another agency, I finally decided to change careers for a third time, working full time out of my house as a self-employed writer.

It was a move that was equal parts liberating and terrifying, but I’ve come to see it as the best move I could have made. Only with the benefit of hindsight do I see how dissatisfied I was with both of my previous careers.

With that in mind, here are six crucial things I’ve learned about work thanks to my multiple career changes things that anyone contemplating a change of scenery could use.

I couldn’t tell just how unfulfilling my work had become until I left it.

When I used to hear people say they loved their jobs like, they genuinely enjoyed going to work I was always a bit confused. Happy for them, sure, but a bit dubious, too.

After having changed careers multiple times, I see that I had been comparing apples to oranges, because I strongly disliked my own workplace and the greater culture beyond it.

Though I have been self-employed for nearly a decade, not a week goes by where I don’t see the clock hit 7 p.m. and think that, in my former role, I would just be getting dismissed for the day, just in time for a 45-minute drive home.

Not all skills are transferable, but all experience is.

Like any worker, over the years, I’ve built up a body of knowledge relevant to my work. Switching to a totally different line of work rendered a lot of that information essentially useless.

But one thing that is always applicable from one career to the next is experience.

The abilities I honed, like being able to educate myself on previously foreign topics, work with multiple different personality types, and manage several projects simultaneously, have been a priceless and compounding asset.

You won’t keep most of your work friends after you leave a job and that’s OK.

In my days at the entertainment agency, I had six or seven close friends in the office, and I was close with a handful of people who worked at other companies in the same industry.

We hung out at each other’s homes, went to bars and shows, and played beach volleyball every few weekends, too. At work, the jokes and chatter were constant.

But within a year of leaving the entertainment industry behind, I was only in meaningful touch with four or five of these people. And now, years later, though I am loosely in touch with some of the gang, only one former work friend has become a genuine, lifelong friend.

I was surprised and somewhat saddened that I lost touch with some many people in such a relatively quick time. But I’m also clear-eyed about it. After all, it’s not as though I was constantly finding time to head downtown for lunches with my work friends, or making plans with them via phone or email, as opposed to just leaning into an office as I walked past for coffee.

Many companies are going too far in trying to control their workers.

I understand that a workplace needs to have certain systems in place to keep people on the same page and keep operations running smoothly.

But now with an outsider’s perspective, I can see that many companies have gone too far in how they control their workers.

In my last regular position, if I wanted to take a personal day or even a few hours off to go to the dentist, for example, I would need to fill out at least two forms have have a multi-step back-and-forth with HR. Taking a longer vacation? That required planning weeks out.

I remember once feeling genuine guilt for having to leave in the middle of the day as I was overcome with a high fever. I would think: “Sorry, listen, my vision is swimming and I’m sweating and shivering and I can’t really think right now. Is it OK if I head home? Sure, I’ll find someone from the mail room to cover my desk before I go that’s exactly what I want to be worrying about right now.”

The way you use your time is immeasurably important.

These days, I work for about six hours a day, sometimes five.

But I get more done in any day now than I ever did when I worked full-time for a company. Sometimes I get more done in a day than I did in a week.

That’s because working from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for several years taught me how valuable time really is. So now when I sit down at my desk, I’m laser-focused and I work with only a few short breaks, like going upstairs for a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit.

That way, I can get done what needs to be done professionally and then get to all the other things in life.

It’s hard to see the writing on the wall unless you’re really looking for it.

After working in Hollywood agencies for so many years, I made a conscious choice not to ever work in that field again.

But had my first real career not been cut short by my boss’ corruption scandal, I’m not sure I would have ever quit, despite my lack of passion for the work. The pay was good, but the fulfillment wasn’t there, and that’s a toxic combination for wasting years of your life.

Only once the rug was pulled out from under me did I realize I wasn’t where I belonged. It took switching careers to recognize that.

AuthorSteven John SourceBusiness Insider USA; businessinsider.com

I’ve Changed Careers 3 Times — And Learned 6 Critical Lessons About Work And Life

You are a visionary! Kindly share this publication
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Please scroll down for readers' comments and / or to comment

Zing4Life! will equip you with simple and very insightful principles, techniques and strategies that will bring out your true / hidden potential and that of your people and get you to become… Exceptionally Brilliant, Exceptionally Creative / Innovative, Exceptionally Productive / Wealthy, Exceptionally Healthy, Exceptionally Free / Happy, and so much more!

I’ve Changed Careers 3 Times — And Learned 6 Critical Lessons About Work And Life

Get involved!

Member? Please login below...

Not a member? Cool, registration is FREE!*


No comments yet
Never miss a single beat! Get all the goodies.

Subscribe to our top publications


When you enter your email address, and click the ‘Yes, add me!‘ button, we will add you to the Seers Voice Subscription List, and you will receive an email alert when updates and / or new exciting publications are posted on this website; you may remove yourself from the list anytime you so wish. By the way, it’s FREE!

If you don’t have an email address, or that you prefer any of the following: SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Etc (probably in addition to email) no problem! We can send you an alert via your preference; click here to make your selection.

Join our social get-together...


Featured Publications

From Our Pressroom
From Our Market
Featured Products

You may display a different currency for the items on this website by clicking the following currency selector…

USD, $
USD, $
WOOCS v.1.3.0

Countdown to Our Upcoming Major Event


Opportunity for #Impact, and for #Wealth

You can pay in any valid currency of your choice using especially the ‘Pay via Rave Platform‘ option; available at checkout… GHC, NGN, GBP, EUR, DKK, Etc. Also, several payment options are available; including Mobile Money, Bank Card, Etc. To select (or reserve) an item you are interested in, just click the ‘Add to Basket‘ button beneath that particular item; please do this for each of the items you may be interested in, and ‘View Your Selection / Basket‘ later. For more about ‘Direct Coaching‘ please scroll down…

If you are new to buying online (online shopping) and need some additional guidance you may click the button below…

Direct Coaching

Comes in 2 main options, each with a different cost implication...

  • Option 1 :: Online on a suitable interactive social media platform with the guidance of a facilitator
  • Option 2 :: In person with a facilitator at a training location / venue (usually our premises, or an equally suitable location for the training)*

Prices shown for Direct Coaching* are for the popular choice... Option 1.

For Option 2, a minimum of 10 subscription purchases are required. Where trainee(s) opt for a significantly different training location / venue other than one within the reach of the facilitator, prorated facilitator transportation charges (FTC) may apply, in addition to the subscription purchases. Where it occurs, actual figures shall be determined and agreed upon prior to the training.