10 Reasons to Change Careers in 2024 By: Alana Walker January 10, 2024 Estimated reading time: 5 minutes. For most of us growing up, our dream job switched every few months or so. We wanted to be an Olympic athlete, then a teacher, then an astronaut, or maybe a scientist. As adults, we realize that we can't be all those things (if you can, kudos to you!), and we usually settle on just one job at a time. But, in a more realistic version of our childhood fantasies, it's pretty common for people to have a change of heart when it comes to their career choice and to follow a different path. Here are some common and totally valid reasons to change your career. Top 10 reasons to change careers 1. Pursue a passion Sometimes, you pick up a hobby, and it stays as such. Designing websites for friends, refurbishing furniture to save a few bucks, or discovering your green thumb. What starts as a simple side project sometimes becomes a passion we'd like to pursue full-time. In this case, you need to decide between taking the leap or staying comfortable. 2. Have a greater impact Your worldview is unique, and it might drive you to positively impact the world via a career switch. Whether starting your own company to solve a problem or diving into cyber security to protect millions of Canadians' private information, the desire to see your work make a difference is a great reason to look for new employment. 3. Better work-life balance Making a living and providing for you or your family is good. Having a job that constantly steals time away from loved ones — not so much. An overbearing job can affect your physical and mental health and have a negative impact on your relationships. Seeking out a career that allows you the flexibility to run to appointments, take adequate vacation and sick days, and finish each day at a decent time is a life-changer. 4. In need of a new challenge You’ve grown and now you’re squeezing into your jeans and feeling squeezed out of your career. Taking on a new career path can challenge you for the better and break you out of a career slump. 5. Self-discovery We start our careers with the best of intentions. Maybe you followed in your parent's footsteps, looking for the best-paying job, or the industry you picked aligned with your beliefs. As we get more ingrained in the real world, our values can shift, and we might realize that our conscience is no longer comfortable in our current circumstances. This reason has led people to start non-profit organizations, take on social work, or simply steer their companies in the right direction. 6. Change in interests You hated mushrooms as a kid, comedy used to be your favourite genre, and you're no longer passionate about accounting. There's nothing wrong with developing interests, and pursuing something that brings you joy is worth your time. 7. Dissatisfaction in current role There's little worse for morale than realizing you're stuck in a dead-end job. Currently, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Canadian workers say they are less satisfied with their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding a career that offers you a positive environment and respects your life is bigger than the 9-5 is what leads to quiet quitting and an eventual change. 8. Better job security Certain industries are more stable than others. The constant worry of wondering if your career is secure can do a number on your morale and mental health. Moving into an industry like tech, healthcare, finance, or other always-needed professions can bring peace of mind and stability. 9. More opportunities for career advancement The first few months or years on the job are exciting: learning new things, discovering the industry, and learning your strengths. However, you might eventually realize that your chosen career path doesn't offer much advancement. And you're not alone in feeling stuck. Moving to a career with more growth opportunities was one of the top reasons our grads switched to a career in tech. 10. Salary While salary usually shouldn't be your only motivator, being underpaid takes advantage of our time and hard work. On top of that, having a higher salary can open up new horizons, like owning a home, starting a family, investing more, or using the extra cash to help others. We need money to thrive, and seeking a job that pays fairly is okay if paired with one or more of the reasons mentioned above. Why a career shift is important According to Gettysburg College, the average person will spend 90,000 hours or ⅓ of their life at work. That’s a long time to dedicate to a job that drains you. Taking the necessary steps to change careers can be scary. It's a calculated risk putting your current career on hold, from financial worries to uncertainty surrounding your new path. But this is one of those cases where the risk is worth the reward. You're better off sacrificing a bit of short-term security for long-term fulfilment. How to shift into a tech career Getting into the world of tech has numerous benefits. Many positions offer flexibility and great work-life balance. They also come with impressive salaries, growth opportunities, and benefits. They have built-in transferable skills, making it easier to switch industries when you feel it's time. Generally, there are three major ways to launch a tech career: University or college Classic post-secondary degrees that lead to tech are computer science, data science, data analytics, software/computer engineering, and artificial intelligence systems engineering, among others. College and university degrees usually take anywhere from 3 to 4 years and often come with a co-op option, meaning you earn experience. This pathway might not be the best choice for those looking for a quick career switch, as it takes years of study. However, it opens doors and is an excellent place for networking and gaining experience if you have the time. Self-study There are many free or cheap online resources where you can start picking up coding and other valuable technical skills. Learning on your own can be a great way to test the waters to see if a tech career is something you'd be willing to jump into. While it is possible to land a job in tech with self-study, you may lack the professional network vital to entering the workforce. This method can also be challenging for those who need a more structured learning approach. However, showing that you've started learning independently can be a plus when applying to a university or bootcamp. Bootcamp Bootcamps, largely now online, are a shorter-term, structured, yet intensive way to start a tech career. Bootcamps, like the ones offered by Lighthouse Labs, focus on the essentials and come with a built-in network of potential employers, mentors, and career services to support you. This option is usually best for those needing a career change who don't have years to dedicate to a university degree and need more structure than self-learning. Networking Regardless of your chosen path to tech, networking is essential to break into the industry. You can network through virtual or in-person events put on by your selected post-secondary institution or via online platforms like GitHub. Lighthouse Labs celebrates 10 years of transforming lives Over the last 10 years, we have launched new products, iterated our curriculums to ensure industry alignment, and worked hard to make tech more accessible. With the help of numerous partners, we’ve provided funded courses and programs, introducing Flex programs (part-time iterations of our full-time intensive bootcamps offering a more flexible way to learn for those who need it), introducing accessibility initiatives, and more.