T Nation

Career Change Advice


Ok, a little bit about myself. I'm 28, male, recently married, don't have a degree and have been working IT/Computer Support for about 6 years now. I kind've just fell into this job. And although it's a good job, it's not a rewarding career, i'm getting sick of it and I need a change. So, I guess i'm looking for some advice on what my options are because i'm in dire need of a change. I feel like this job is really taking it's toll on me. I'm not as flexible as I use to be, my neck always hurts, my posture is getting worse and i'm tight everywhere. I know that I could just sit up straight and stretch but that's not the issue. The issue is I can't stand being a desk jockey anymore. I need to find a career that is going to challenge me and make me happy.

My passions in life are music and anything that has to do with the body. Working out, nutrition, the mechanics of the body, anything and everything. Since music is almost impossible to make into a career i'm left with trying to figure out how to make my other passion into a career.

Personal Training or something in that area would be my number one choice for a new career. I'm a major people person, love being around people, love helping people and would love to make a difference in people's lives. So, personal training is a natural fit. However, it could be very hard to make any money in that field. But ultimately, I think it would be the most rewarding for me.

Firefighter. I have thought about this ever since I was a kid. I love all aspects of it. It seems challenging and rewarding all at the same time.

Teacher. My sister is a 2nd grade teacher and I have lots of friends who are teachers. They all tell me that I would make an awesome teacher. I love kids and think it would be fun to be an elementary school teacher. Again, you are making a difference and can take pride in that.

Nurse/something in medicine. I have also always thought it would be great to do something in medicine. I wouldn't want to become a doctor but would love to do something else that would help people. I think becoming a nurse would be cool. They are in high demand and there are alot of different branches of nursing. I wouldn't want to be just a regular nurse, I would want to specialize in a certain area of nursing. I don't want to just give people their pills, clean them and that kind've stuff. I would want to do something else. However, I don't know what that is.

I guess the reason for this thread is to get some advice from people on any career I haven't thought of. Or get some advice on the careers I have listed. Like I said, I want to start making a difference, work with people and not be stuck at a desk anymore. Any career I choose will probably involve going to school and getting a degree which is fine with me. I just need a change. Any advice is welcome. Thanks all.


Hey man, I think it's good that you've realised that your current job isn't for you. A lot of people just stay in the same crumby job and hate it, that's something that I could never do.

I guess your situation is quite different to mine in that you're married but I would stay say the same thing: do what makes you happy. I think that everyone has got to enjoy what they do if they're working 40 hours a week+.

Other than that I suppose that you need to take into consideration whether you would need to go to college, and how you would find that extra study! But ultimately I think two of the most important things in life are having a job that you enjoy and a job that pays enough for you to live ok. If you can get a job that gives you both, I think you'll be fine.


They are all good choices. Except IT support which stinks for reasons you have outlined.

One thing to consider is some education because it will also expose you to more people and more ideas.

All the areas you listed also should have good long term prospects ie the jobs will not vanish over the next few decades.

My only advice is go for it. Nothing better than having a satisfying job.


Hey man, you sound exactly like me. I went to school for several years majoring in studio recording and Jazz performance but realized that in order to have a career in music I'd have to put off having a family and I'd have to be poor, possibly my whole like. I guess I didnt' love it enough to follow through with it.

I also, love all things fitness and nutrition. I also, have a techy job now where I sit behind a desk and sometimes I'm ok with it and sometimes i hate it and wonder what the hell I'm doing. I'e decided for the time being that I'm going to switch teams within my company. The company I work for is actually pretty great and I get paid pretty well but my current work environment and people I work with suck ass.

I'm like you though in that I'm not sure that I'm doing what I'm really meant to do. Am I really doing what will be most fulfilling to me? I don't think so.

I've thought about personal training and teaching as well. Both seem like flexible careers and possibly rewarding although they may not pay the best unless you're at a certain level.



Find something you love to do and go after it full force. If it doesn't excite the shit out of you, it's not worthy of your time and your life, which is exactly what you'll be giving for it.


That's one thing that I have never done. Stay at a crappy job I don't like. I've worked too many places where people show up everyday and are absolutely miserable about it. But yet, they just keep working that job, day in and day out. I vowed I was never going to be like that.

And it's not that my job is crappy or anything, it's just not meant for me. I know that i'm suppose to be doing something else with my life. I just don't know what that is yet.

I wish that one day I would wake up and it would be written on my bedroom wall.

"Dre, you are suppose to do "this" for the rest of your life." LOL


I am in a similar position as you, I am in the IT field and I do like dealing with people. My dad was a teacher and I think it is a good bet, even though it is not an easy job or a 9-5 job, you at least get your summers off and I think that is pretty sweet, though you might want to look into pay, though now I bet you get less than you deserve. I know alot of people including myself that dont make as much as they deserve in the field of IT, even if you are MCSE certified and such, its not a very in demand job field depending what you are looking for.

To be honest with you I think you have to do your research and go after what you like best. And if what you went after doesnt work out, go after something else. It wont matter how long it took you to get there, because whats most important is that you find something you enjoy doing. Good Luck!


Yeah, i'm trying to find a career that has good growth projections. I'm also trying to find a job that will help me to feel like i'm making a difference. Something that I can do to leave my mark on this world.

I have already come to the conclusion that any new career path I choose will involve more schooling. And like I said, i'm fine with that. As long as it interests me, I can read all day. Like take this site for instance. I spend more time at work reading and learning on this site than I do actually working. Sssshhhh.... don't tell my boss I said that. lol


Are you my long lost brother? HAHA!

Yeah, I was majoring in vocal performance in college for a while. Then I realized that you have to be really, really good to make it. And like you said, the struggling artist lifestyle really didn't appeal to me so that kind've killed that dream.

Teaching is a nice idea, I love the fact that I would have my summers off. But it just doesn't excite me when I think about making it a career. And if it doesn't excite me, I don't think it's for me. But then again, nothing really excites me when I think about so who knows.


Yeah, I should. However, that just sounds easier said than done.


I have prayed for that writing to show up so many times! :slight_smile: I now realize it doesn't work that way. It only works when you take steps towards something... ANYTHING that you feel is the right way to go. And then events take place and you run into people and things fall into place and you find out where you're supposed to be.

At least that's been my experience.


Yeah, i'm sure I don't get paid as much as I should but oh well. I think the fact that I don't have a degree definitely comes into play.

The only problem with trying something and trying something else until you find something you like is that it takes time. I would like to start to make a family soon and it just seems like time is something I don't have anymore. I know that people go to school with families and do very well. I guess if you find something you want to do, you'll make it happen no matter what. Now I just need to figure out what that something is.......


Oh, believe me, i've prayed for that a ton of times too! I always thought that I just wasn't ready to hear that answer. Or that I was asking and not listening. And i'm sure it's still that way. Asking and not listening. But that's a whole different conversation! :slight_smile:

You are right though. I just need to start going in one direction and see where it takes me.


I'll just chime in with my experience...I did the whole music thing with my band but there's absolutely no money in it unless of course you make it big. I have a degree in social work...I work with troubled adolescents and I absolutely LOVE what I do...very rewarding and I can see the change that I make. I have great relationships with most all my clients and it's a great feeling. Also, with a social work degree you can literally choose what area you work in...with social work you can work at a hospice, with older patients, young babies, or adolescents. The possibilities are endless.


I never thought about social work. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the insight!!