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Why I changed careers at 30

This article appears in: Balance work, life and study, Changing careers, Online study
Dan McKey

Daniel had a career in banking, but after eight years he realised that it wasn't the career for him. He shares how he decided to put passion ahead of profession, and study his hobby.

Why did you decide to change careers?

I had dedicated the last eight years to a career in banking and although successful, I never really felt passionate about the work I was doing. It had become just a job to me. When I first left school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or what I wanted to study. I passed time by travelling and trying different jobs; my poor mother became more and more frustrated as each year went by.

I never really felt passionate about the work I was doing.

While travelling, I would often make new friends and they would always tell me that my travel videos and social media posts were really interesting and that I should pursue it as a career. For me, it was just a hobby I enjoyed but they helped me to realise I could turn this hobby into a career that I could actually get excited about. So I made the decision to pursue it further and started studying.

What was the most challenging aspect of studying?

The most challenging part about taking on further study was definitely juggling my study with work and family commitments. I wasn’t in a position where I could leave my full-time job in order to study and I also didn’t want to give up spending time with my friends and family. Studying online really helped with this as I was able to login and study at any time. I was worried at first that it would be difficult without the face to face contact that you get in a classroom but I found that there was so much support available both from the unit coordinators and the other students. I made friends with other students from all over the country that shared my interests and it was great to bounce ideas off each other in the discussion forums.

I would listen to lecture recordings on my phone while ironing my work uniforms

My best tip for tackling your study is to consistently chip away at the workload and to also make the most of any downtime that you have. I would often login and read through discussion forum posts while eating my lunch at work and I would also listen to lecture recordings on my phone while ironing my work uniforms. Every little bit helps.

How has your world changed since completing your studies?

I can happily say that I have left banking behind and have started in a new position in communications. I’m gaining so much experience and I’ve had the opportunity to work on some really exciting projects. Completing my degree has also given me the tools to take my travel stories to the next level – a fully realised website to share my articles and videos. It’s an incredibly busy time right now but the best part is that I’m busy doing things I love. It doesn’t just feel like a job anymore because the end result is so rewarding. As I look towards the future, I’m excited to start exploring postgraduate studies and really seeing how far I can take this passion.

What advice would you give to anyone looking at changing careers?

Make the decision and go for it. I think we are all a little guilty of allowing ourselves to be trapped in our comfort zone. The hardest part about changing careers is taking that first step. Be brave, change it up and challenge yourself. You will see that it’s not so scary after all and the rewards will be life-changing. The best part is, as a new graduate, you could bring all your previous experience to the table when applying for new jobs, something I really found set me apart from other graduates with no work experience.

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