Jan 3, 2022 - News

Switching careers during the pandemic

Photo: Andy Weber

Switching careers can be daunting, especially during a global pandemic.

Why it matters: 10% of readers responded to our recent work-life balance survey saying they switched careers since March 2020. 

By the numbers: 15% are considering changing careers, while almost 50% remain in the same field with the same job. 

  • More than 25% said they have the same career, but a new job.

Of note: Over 2,000 readers responded to the survey.

Below, respondents shared their journeys and tips for career changers.

When you reach your breaking point 

Like many Charlotte residents, Tony Bulgarella and his wife are transplants. They moved here from Chicago 2.5 years ago.

  • He remained with the same company through the move, working as the customer success manager for a digital media company.

Yet with their first child on the way, Bulgarella knew working 12-hour days and feeling short-staffed and burnt out in his role wouldn’t cut it.

  • Bulgarella wasn’t alone. More than half of respondents to our survey said they work too much. 
  • He reached a breaking point, and wanted to transition industries.

In April, he joined a software company as a customer success manager, and they welcomed their daughter on June 30, 2021.

  • It’s been a crazy eight months, but he no longer works 12-hour days.

If you’re considering a career change, he advises you not to leave your current job until you have something in the hopper.

  • “Make sure you have something hopefully lined up and make sure everything’s signed off on,” Bulgarella told Axios. “I’ve heard a few horror stories of people thinking they’ve had it in the bag and then things changing on the company’s side and them not signing the final contract.”
  • He also suggests diving int your issues with your current role, and then research what company and industry could to change that.
  • “For me it was the crazy hours thing and being kind of short staffed,” Bulgarella said.

From selling insurance to transaction coordinator

Right before Christmas, last year, Christine Wilson was hurled into the job hunt. She was terminated without cause from her job selling property and casualty insurance for an independent agency.

  • “Basically, they chose to go with two part time employees instead of keeping me on as a full time employee,” she told Axios.

But she didn’t want to work just anywhere.

  • “I wanted to find something that would be a good fit, and I wanted something with longevity, that, you know, fit my lifestyle,” Wilson said. “So I started the hunt and took my time.”
  • She had her first interview with CLT Buyers, a real estate investing company, at the end of March, and was hired within weeks. Now she’s their transaction coordinator.
  • “It’s the best job of my entire life. I love it,” she said.

If you’re on the job hunt, her parting advice is to remember, “you’re worth being a part of a company that values you. Look for something that would make you happy, because life’s too short to be miserable in a job.”

Editor’s note: Tony Bulgarella declined to share the name of his current and previous company due to feeling fairly new in his current role. 

Go deeper: Charlotteans want a four-day workweek, but few have it


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