Regret Your Major? How to Pivot to a New Career Right After You Graduate

Blog / Regret Your Major? How to Pivot to a New Career Right After You Graduate

You’ve come to a fork in the road. You have just graduated, but you’ve already realized you made a big mistake and regret your major. Perhaps you’ve realized it prior to starting your first job. Or maybe you realized it right after starting that first adult job. Either way, you suddenly have a clearer idea of what you want for your career and this just ain’t it. 

Okay, maybe don’t use “ain’t” in a cover letter or in an interview. But we totally understand where you are coming from. 

People change and so does what they want out of a career. It’s totally normal. Let’s face it, it’s a big reason why college students change their major during school and take the 5 or 6 year plan.

But what if you don’t want to go back to undergrad school again and rack up even more student loan debt? How can you pivot to a new career? 

Here are some tips to help you follow your career dreams, even if it means pivoting right after you graduate.

The Graduate

If you have only gotten a bachelor’s degree, you might consider getting your master’s in the field you’d rather be in. It may not always be possible, but if you majored in Political Science and want to be a journalist, you can take graduate level classes for journalism and make that jump pretty easily. 

Getting your master’s can be expensive so you need to make sure that this is the field you really want to work in. Start by asking yourself what motivates you. Also, make a list of the things that truly make you unhappy with your current field. Doing this can be really clarifying. 

Non-Traditionalist

If grad school isn’t really in the cards, or you are making a huge pivot (let’s say from English Literature to Coding), then you might need to consider non-traditional ways to get some of the experience you’ll need on your resume. You might be able to take a handful of online classes or do an unpaid internship for a few months. Consider certification classes you can take. 

For some jobs, some experience is better than none. Just know that your first real job in your new field might not be your dream job, but a rung on the ladder to getting there. 

The Network 

Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know! Spend time getting to know fellow alumni or networking on LinkedIn with those who are in the field you want to be in. Learn as much as you can about your new dream career field as much as possible from them and see if someone will even let you shadow on the job for a few days for some first-hand experience. 

Transferable Traits

Don’t think that pivoting means you need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. You still learned a lot of things in college that can be transferable skills. Did you have a work-study job? Chances are it had nothing to do with your new dream career but you probably learned some great interpersonal skills that can be brought to any job, no matter the industry. So make sure to acknowledge the things you’ve learned from college that can still apply to this new career. Remember, an education is never wasted!

Personality Picks

A lot of companies understand just how important it is to select a job candidate who is just going to mesh well with the organization’s personality. So much so, that many organizations will opt for someone with less skills or qualifications in comparison to other candidates just because they mesh well with the company culture better. 

Not to mention that many companies are more than happy to do a little on the job training for new hires, especially if they know that employee is going to stick around for years to come because they are happy working for the company. In other words, a company is willing to make an investment on someone who fits well with company culture. 

But how do you know you fit well with a company’s culture before even starting to work there? Taking a personality assessment is one way of doing that. There are a lot of different ones out there, but Workzinga combines soft skills and personality insights in a way that’s never been done before. 

And Workzinga isn’t just for job seekers, but allows companies to take the personality assessment as well. This allows us to match up job seekers and companies who mesh well on culture. We like to think of ourselves as the Tinder of the working world. So what are you waiting for? Swipe right!