What to do? Change career?


New Member
Hi, please forgive my long rambles but I need advice.

I have been in my current area for the last 6 years and have a masters degree in the field.

BUT...I find increasingly I do not enjoy the work. I have no interest in it. I dread when I am asked to do new tasks. I can do them well but the process of performing the tasks and having to learn more about the work is a chore as I do not enjoy what I do.

I may be crazy feeling this way as in all other aspects my company is good. I have a good paycheck, generally ok work environment and decent hours. WHAT MORE DO I WANT?? But..but...but

I am thinking of a career switch. There are some areas where I THINK I will enjoy more but I don't know. I have either no experience or no educational qualifications in these areas. Don't know if they will hire me or if it is ultimately the right choice for me.

I am still quite young (31) so should I just take the risk and look for something else or just stick it out where I am? I cannot see myself in my current job 5 years down the road. The place where I am working also has little scope so even if I had to change company in the same industry, I may not be of great value to other companies.

Studying further may be challenging as I have a young baby and my while my husband can support us, we will have little or no savings if I quit my job to "find myself". I am thinking of working part time for now...so I can spend some time doing some leg work and figure out where I really want to be and if I can be hired in the areas where my interest actually lies.

What do I do?


New Member
In the current economic climate where its still recovering from recession, a wise choice would be to stay put, go for those courses which are related to your interests and study part-time first, get the qualifications then look for new job.

Quitting your stable job now when you have a young baby somemore isn't exactly a wise thing to do. Nothing is too challenging, I had classmates who had 2 or 3 kids and yet they could still juggle work, studies and family time well. You just need to plan your time wisely.


New Member
me also same situation lar.. but i in my job for almost 8yrs.. but i dun quite like my working environment though..

studying part time now.. after i grad, wif the cert, also not sure w/o the exp.. will i b able to get into the industry anot.. sigh.. life is so full of dilemma..


Active Member

assuming that this isn't due to a recent birth, or perhaps a simple 3min fancy after coffee with frens, and basically assuming that u know it is what u want...

i guess the first thing to explore are your strengths... forget the field u're good at, just think simple - the person u are, your personality, what motivates u, if u're good with pple, reading pple etc etc... This should form the basis of the paths u can pick where u can find more sustenance on a happiness/fulfilling level.

depending on your strengths, the new path may/may not allow u a lateral shift in income, u may have to take a paycut. Whether this will be a short-term paycut will depend on u making the right choice, putting in the right efforts to excel and also the development of your new skills.

31 is a good time. it doesn't matter the climate, particularly if u have a husband already injecting the stability to the family... as long as he can afford for u to go unemployed, he can afford for u to try new things... and that's actually the best part of being a couple - 1 stays stable, the other tried to soar higher or seek a happier work-life balance, and then when u're stable, he has the option to seek new challenges If he fancies...

Fear of the unknown will be your 1st enemy, next being your outlook (but u can conquer outlook with the right amount of networking). u might like to consider increasing the coffee sessions/lunch meetups with your peers in other industries and find out the rough financial packages as well as what the true-requisites are. 'true-requisites' is what i term as Skills that are not commonly known to the average man, but is crucial to excel in a particular role.

sad fact is - most pple have the wrong perception of how to be successful and what actually makes them successful, which in turn - makes them happy becos the less u need to do to outperform the average - the more u will gain in a short span If u put in 100%. this is the factor that makes doctors worth $200-2,000 an hour, an accountant worth $60/hr, a waitress worth $10/hr etc... this is actually why pple study so hard for - to achieve a higher 'per hour' worth.

what's not known to most is, u can combine more than 1 strength to boost that worth. pple who use their papers will likely be paid on their paper-worth from the start, and if they dun have personality to match, that value doesn't increase much. some use their labour. If u can combine a series of strengths within an environment that let's u do it - u will not only increase this, but u will have the ability to decide how much time u wanna spend and how u wanna designate the roles.

Happiness is not found in simply 1 job or industry or role... that's the average'men's thinking, thus the average men is seldom happy majority of the time. cos the single factor that may spoil it all is Income. so choose wisely...

i'm also prepping myself up for my next career, i love wat i'm doing but i guess like u - i'm bored. i want new challenges and i'm seeking a higher level of fulfilment... i roughly know what i'm gonna do cos it's been a goal since i was in my early-20s... most of the legwork has been done, the same way some of us prep ourselves with papers after papers.

it's a huge subject, i guess the fist thing u can do is Start Networking and knowing more abt things u dun know. Assumptions/Advice/Information passed on thru our lives - may not be updated or relevant whilst some will still be. Update that. dun ever live in past knowledge cos the pple with past knowledge n information are getting retrenched...

Lastly, try to pick up some books to read... start with those that explore your hidden talents, as well as those that open your eyes to new ideas and can inject u with a fresh outlook. most pple are resigned even though they dun show it or say it... it does not come from their mouths but by their daily activities and the risks they take...

a little courage never really hurt anyone, but it has propelled a few.


New Member
thanks all for your replies,

powder, there is a lot of truth in what you say. I guess what is holding me back is lack of courage...FEAR of the "what ifs"....what if I don't get another job, what if my next job is worse than the last, what if I have to go back grovelling to my ex-boss etc etc

in terms of income, I am aware that my next career will definitely not pay as well as my current one, at least not in the near future. but I have made it a point to live way beneath my means so a lower income will not be much of a shock to the system.

so not so much the income, but the desire to be motivated when I work, to WANT to do my best because I enjoy it and not because I am beholden to a paycheck...I guess these are things which are driving my thoughts now.

hmm...networking...must try hard there. I am quite an introvert by nature and do not know that many pple outside my current industry but I guess I must try to find out more information before taking the plunge!


Active Member
yes u should.

but dun forget to explore your strengths! else u won't know why u're taking a lower pay for... there Must be an aim else u'll be aimless like the thousands out there - living on hope that good things will happen to them.

i took a paycut from 5-7k to 1.2k 10yrs ago, believe it or not. that in itself is something MANY pple cannot do, becos they are too used to the lifestyle that 5-7k can afford them. My motivation in life has always been money - the purpose it serves, n not money itself. what i dislike - are ceilings... whilst the money was good, the ceiling was Ever-Present - a 10k ceiling perhaps? i wanted a ceiling of 20k, and the only way was to leave.

actually i have been passionately sharing with pple abt looking at the Ceiling, n Never the floor, though it is so hard not to look at the floor. SO your next endeavour has to fulfill - your happiness/motivation at work, and perhaps give u a higher ceiling Even If the floor u start on is lower.

being an Introvert should not work against u, i am Very Very certain that u can use that to your advantage... as with every weakness - it is a Very fine line to being a strength. so explore that!

end part 1


Active Member
...the other portion i feel i should mention is - whatever certs u're holding - will always be relevant even if the subjects aren't. to be able to get to that level of education is in itself an achievement... just dun stand there as a Master's-holder like some and simply expect the money to roll in... u will be gravely disappointed. what u should derive from It, is - What made u do it in the first place? u know, studying is a form of mastery in itself... if u're good at that, perhaps a research field in a niche product and some creative thinking could make u a more valuable asset than just holding a Master's and getting paid for that academic achievement? this is where being introverted might work to your advantage.

it's like my peers, they are getting paid on their Relevant diploma and getting increments by the year... but remember that even at 45 - they are still using the same diploma to draw a higher salary based on long-service & abit of experience. there will come a boiling point where they simply cannot be paid anymore than what they are already getting - That IS the Ceiling. and when the company is no longer as profitable, how soon before they lose their jobs? so really - we MUST develop our secondary qualities concurrently, the more the merrier.

some pple do this on the side by taking up More studies... i guess it will really depend in the field u're in. to give u a Very exaggerated example - if u're a cleaner, no amount of certs is gonna give u a better pay if u Stay as a cleaner. some pple will laugh at my example, but alot of pple are doing it without realising cos it's just not as Obvious as the example i mentioned.

back to my peers.. most of them are doing well, mostly between 5-7k, the better ones are between 10-12k (working 12-15yrs liao)... BUT, a BIG BIG BUT - they are staring at a ceiling, if they are not Already There. what next? the pay may sound good, but this pay in another decade - will only be worth the 4k of today... that's WHEN the struggle is likely to come in, that's where after 2-3 decades of working - u are still not very secure and Unable to really retire worry-free. if u have a ceiling, your potential earnings are as good as diminished. i dun really have a ceiling, and my floor is elevated above the ceiling of my peers... now That's where the Real Money comes in. tat's where the decision to take that paycut 10yrs ago - starts to pay off...

end part 2.


Active Member
...do note i often use myself as an example Becos i am real, i am sporean, and i walk along orchard like everyone else. there are individuals who Instead of opening their Minds to what i'm sharing... actually prefer to think i'm blowing alot of hot air. Dun ever fall into that sort of thinking! i AM just an example of the many networks u can tap on for some refreshing ideas. learn to benefit when u meet pple like me, cos i certainly have nil benefit sharing so much.

remember - 1) Your Strengths, 2) Your Weaknesses that can be converted to Strengths, 3) Your Motivation, 4) Higher Ceiling (look up, not down) 5) the Environment where all these factors come into play for u (your new job/career/role).

it's not a formula and i'm not a guru, i'm just sharing the common factors i've tapped thru countless coffee sessions with successful individuals decades older than us. what i'm sharing is An Alternative, not a rule.

books-wise u can start with simple ones first... Jim Rogers "a gift to my children" is a good 1-day book to refresh your outlook a little. there are some very dry ones if u need to drill the point home on your strengths, for now i forgot the title cos it's Sooooo Dry! but honestly, the right books can cut down Alot of unnecessary dead-ends.

end, take care!


New Member
thanks powder, I needed some encouragement

my motivation is not so much money...the industry i am in now, the earning possibilities are really limitiless depending on how much you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it. that's the thing...I can't work for money alone...like how many can. of course what I earn must be decent enough to live on, spend on some luxuries, educate my child and save for retirement. i NEED to actually like what I do to drive me. Last 6-7 years I TOLERATED what I did, felt happy seeing the paycheck and spent money as a "reward" for TOLERATING my job. but don't think I can go on doing that for the next 30-35 years of career left in me. I want the JOB itself to be some form of a reward. I know that no job is a bed of roses...but isn't tackling problems related to something you enjoy better than trying to grapple with matters which you ultimately couldn't care less about? Or is that just an illusion..far cry from reality in a very real world? How many people have those options?

Funny thing is, now that I look back, I have been trying to get out my industry almost the moment I joined it 6-7 years ago. In fact my masters was a direct result of that. Got accepted into a number of masters programmes and was going to take up one which I was ACTUALLY interested in...BUT..again societal/parental pressure..again the FEAR of venturing out to different territory...and BAM! before you know it, back into the same spinning cycle you are trying to get out of...anyway, bygones.

Sometimes I wonder whether having a masters in field X might be a handicap instead? Potential employers in field Y might see you as a liability, think you are only interested in field X and applying for field Y is just a whim or fancy...or see you as someone so used to earning $x dollars and cannot understand why you are willing to take $x-y dollars and feel that it will be no time before you run back to $x dollars so why bother giving you a chance?! It is not like many potential employers take the time to chat with you to begin with...they just look at a structured application form.

anyway, i have formed a game plan to execute..to network more and talk to people in the areas i am interested in, read the books, maybe even volunteer to get a feel of things.

thanks again and wish me luck!


Active Member
well for starters, if money isn't the main issue n paycut is just a matter of compromise for your happiness, then u're definitely in a unique position to have this option! so your hard work n suffering has not come to nought, but has put u in exactly the position u need - in order to chase that elusive 'rewarding job'.

well u can always keep the education level under wraps if u please... and ya, networking is one way to meet the potential employers where your personality comes before any need for paper... thus u're not judged on paper before personality... it merely serves as a back-up.

another side of frens i have are the volunteers... those who have Even More courage than u or me, and volunteered as a career without needing to build up the financial nest. i dun think i could ever get the kind of satisfaction that some of them get seeing fruition to their hard work... but of cos there are low moments when things dun go well... it's like a roller-coaster of emotions, but helping pple prob gives us so so much more meaning to our lives than just earning the tens of thousands. how to compare?

well i'm sure u will find something somewhere somehow if u have decided to cast aside some of the expectations from around u... Hey! a good photographer who started purely out of interest doesn't do too badly and can plan his schedule better, he/she can decide whether to take on the jobs or not, money is simply a choice they say Yes to. or simply decline, to go on a nice little holiday overseas with loved ones. NOW that's POWER... beats the hell out of us little 9-5 creatures.

the chinese saying that "行行出状元" is a good saying... no harm exploring your interest n passion as well rite? who's to stop u from making a career out of it? and the best thing is - u can Afford To. now, doesn't that put u ahead of the crowd already?

have a good weekend!


New Member
Please advise me.

I have 10 years of HR experience and is currently a Senior HR Executive drawing reasonable pay. I started as a junior assistant handling payroll while I took up part time diploma and then part time degree courses. It took me though 10 years to move up to where I am today. But now, I admitted I am not in the right track. I dislike my job. In fact, I feel disguisted.

Very often, HR is sandwiched between company policies and colleagues. I am not enforceful by nature and I hate it when boss questioned me silly things like 'why are some staff still late for work', and 'what have you done to reduce staff medical and benefit cost' etc.

Due to job nature that HR handles confidentiality matters, I cannot openly discuss anything with colleagues. HR is often perceived as hypocrite and have no friends in office.

Tired and disappointed with this route, or rather with myself, I am looking forward to a career switch. Yet, HR is such a general role that I do not know where else I can go.

Can I take up courses and start a new career all over again?