Hey Lifehacker, I work in the IT industry and I'm a software developer. I have been finding that I'm just sick of the work (three different jobs in three weeks, and they weren't contracts). I used to have a passion for the work but just find myself really hating every aspect of the job now.
My question is what other career paths/industries could I move into? What skills are transferrable? Will I have to start all over again with a low pay?
What I would really like to do is study medicine to ultimately become a GP but I have commitments such as a mortgage holding me back. Any advice? Thanks, Burnt-Out Developer
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If the total career change is what you want to do then I would be looking for ways I could do it rather than the obstacles. I've known several people who have changed out of their old career path into something they found more rewarding. But it takes planning, commitment and a solid support infrastructure.
Let's start my thinking about the mortgage, as that seems to be something that you're seeing as a blocker.
When one of my friends decided to return to university he and his partner changed their mortgage from a traditional borrow/payback style arrangement to one where they could draw against the value of the mortgage through an offset arrangement. That meant they were able to live off the proceeds of some part-time work and by drawing against what they'd already paid from their house.
This does have a downside as it meant by the end of the three years of study, they owed more on the house but my friend's earning potential was much higher and they recovered quickly.
So, I'd start my looking at how I could make it work financially.
When it comes to choosing the course of study – if medicine is what you're thinking about there are some options.
Traditional medical courses run for about six years. But there are some other choices. For example, some universities (Deakin University is one example) offer a postgraduate medical path that shortens the study time for people who have extensive life and work experience.
If you change your mind, about looking at medicine, it's worth spending some time thinking about your other options.
When I did this a few years ago, I looked at the skills I had, the interests I had and the skills I wanted. I thought about what I wanted to do and looked for jobs where all these intersected. But you'll need to think laterally about your skills.
For example, programming isn't just about languages and instructions. It's about problem solving and logical thinking. Those are valuable skills in almost any job. If you've had management or supervision experience then those are worth talking up to prospective employers as well.
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This story has been updated since its original publication.