Don’t Fall Into This Career Changing Trap


Jenny Blake, Author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One

One of the biggest mistakes pivoters make is jumping straight into scanning activities (looking for specific job opportunities) before really taking time to get clear on what I call the plant stage (think of a basketball player who has one foot firmly planted into the ground while scanning for passing options with the pivot foot).

The plant stage is about identifying known variables: in your experiences up until this point—what’s working best? What are my biggest strengths? What are my values? and your ideal state one year from now—what does success look like? What would I be thrilled to learn and become better at?

The more resonant your one-year vision (even if it seems vague at first), the more effective and efficient you will be at scanning for people, skills and projects that relate to it when it’s time. Otherwise you’ll make the same mistake I did: running around the basketball court without any grounding, thus dragging out your pivot much longer than necessary :)

Zsolt - Dev Career Mastery, Career Coach for Software Developers, Founder of

The grass is always greener on the other side. I have seen many people lose “motivation” due to the continuous impulses they see from the outside world. As a consequence, the career-decisions of these people became more and more short-sighted. There is always a position out there that appears lucrative at first sight. Wherever you work, there is always a small problem that’s bothering you.

The one biggest mistake I have seen is that people tend to compare their current position to an idealized dream. In this comparison, the dream always wins, as we can shape this dream in the way we want.

In The Developer’s Edge, I dedicated a whole chapter on discovering where you are right now, and where you want to be in five years. Minor issues like earning $5.000 more, or avoiding pain by leaving does not matter much in the short run. In the long run what matters more is your career path. Find out what you want in five years, what position, which country, which type of company, and what kind of work do you imagine yourself doing in five years. Then move backwards in time and discover what needs to happen in 3 years, 1 year, 6 months etc. in order to reach your goal. At the end of the breakdown, you will get a task that you can do right now.

DJ Chung, Product Manager at Dropbox (2013-present)

Going after the wrong roles.

It’s very rare when changing careers, you get your dream job in a completely new industry. If you’re trying to break into a new industry, find the nearest adjacent role at a company in that industry. For instance, if you’re in finance but want to break into tech, look for finance roles at a tech company to get your foot in the door and then navigate to other roles if you don’t want to stay in finance.

This is what I did to break into tech and become a product manager. I first started off in customer service to break into tech and then moved internally to eventually become a PM. If you’re interested, I wrote about my transition into tech here: How I finally got job interviews at Palantir and Dropbox

Arun Kumar Devarajan, Health and Wellness consultant at Victor International (2014-present)

1.) Don’t let your current employer to know about your job search or even like you are having an intention to move out unless until you get a solid offer letter. (especially not to your colleagues or so called friends in office), it always spoil the work atmosphere and the relationship.

2.) when you think of a new career: first know your strength and weaknesses, and the level of success you wish to have in future couple of years.

3.) Do search for appropriate opportunities, dont try to fit in a job which is good in pay but not in job description, do not degrade yourself by selecting a job which has lower responsibilities than your current job.

4.) Before you upload your resume for any job make necessary changes to your resume in order to highlight the points which the recruiter is looking for.

5.) Never resign your current job before having a solid offer letter and always provide and take enough notice period to make the transition smoothly and create a good impression in the organization from which you are relieving.

6.) If you really dont wish to regret of your decision then please consider all the factors in your life which would or which might have to change after you get the new job, like the comfort of your family, the housing, education, your parents, transportation because I have seen people switching jobs and then regretting that the expenses are too much, the time & money in transportation is way high than the old job, I dont get time to relax or spend with friends and family, I had to move in a different part of the city or the country, the people are not friendly like the old place, the school is far, things are expensive, I am not saving instead loosing money on & on & on and at the end I think it was a bad idea. Please dont do it to yourself.

7.) The most important factor always negotiate for a package on the base of your strengths and not on the base of what your job will be, dont compromise if you know you deserve it.

Answered by: Anonymous
1 - Going after an opportunity for money. Yes, money is great, but don’t solely pick one job over another because of the pay.

2 - Picking the “comfortable” option. Yes, comfort does sound great, but by venturing out and being comfortable with being uncomfortable, we grow.

3 - Going after the name. Don’t work for Google or Microsoft just because it sounds good. Work there because you want to and feel it will best help you.

Semira Amiralai, Technical Recruiter
Following money and trends rather than exploring their interests thoroughly. Another that I’ve seen too often is taking a job which they don’t really want.

In all cases, I understand the motivation; it’s hard to keep up the social waves. In the case of a job-identity mistaken, I was happy to be able to step in and steer the candidate right. That is, the candidate was trying to convince me that they wanted a particular role when it was painfully obvious they wanted something else. So, I dug, and I dug, and, eventually, we dug the truth out. She was relieved.

A few months later, I received an awesome call; the candidate had landed a pretty awesome job doing exactly what she wanted and with a choice employer.

Placing people in our roles isn’t always what a Recruiter does or must do. Instead, we need to help people in the game of Hide & Seek. That is, stop hiding from what you want and go seek that which you do; you’ll be thrilled when you find it :)

Sudarshan Shetty, Writing what I have experienced

Assuming that all high paying jobs are amazing!

Answered by: Peter Morgan

Biggest mistake … thinking that you can’t do the job!!!,



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