Don’t Let The ‘Job Investment Trap’ Keep You From Switching Careers

Switching careers can be daunting for many reasons, but some people are afraid to do it because they have already invested so much in their current career. This is called the “Job Investment Trap”, and you shouldn’t let it get it in your way.

Ask LH: What Should I Know Before I Change Careers?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm thinking about changing careers. My current job feels like a dead end, and I'm thinking about doing what I love for a living. What should I do before I make the leap? How can I make sure I get a decent job when do? Thanks, Jumping Ship

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The Job Investment Trap is basically a form of sunk-cost fallacy. You invest in something, and however unpleasant it unfolds, you still hate to give up on it because that would mean it was all for nought. Plus, you have to start over, which is exhausting.

In terms of your career, young people can be especially susceptible to this trap because two years of training seems like a lot longer when you’re 20 than it does when you’re 50. The School of Life explains:

…and it explains why many people, especially young people, mistakenly turn away from retraining… We need to weigh up investments now, not against our most recent experiences, but in the light of a more accurate picture of an entire life.

Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. There are other factors that get in the way of switching careers too, namely money. However, it’s a valid point if you’re worried about “wasting” your time in one career. Keep in mind: The skills and experience you’ve already learned aren’t necessarily a waste, either. Even though I no longer write manuals for drilling tools, the skills I learned as a technical writer come in handy not just in my new career but in other, non-work-related areas, too.

If you’re thinking about switching careers, the video has some useful insight, so check it out above or at the link below.

Why You Still Have Time to Switch Careers [The School of Life]

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