Opinions & Lessons

5 Challenges and Rewards of a Mid-Level Career Transition in 2023

By February 8, 2023 No Comments

A couple of mid-level career transitions in 2012 were thoroughly researched by a Barrington-based independent research firm. Despite the fact that 2012 seems like a lifetime ago, several of the major indices highlighted aren’t that far off from what may be possible in 2023. The report compares the journey of mid-level personnels satisfied with their career change to those who were not.   Those who were satisfied attributed their change, which took less than a year, in large part to obtaining professional certificates, followed by soft skills and short-term class training. On the other hand, individuals who weren’t content went through a transition period of around two years during which they heavily invested in acquiring new credentials, competencies, and expertise. It was concluded that the amount of resources and energy put in by the unsatisfied personnels, can be linked to their off-the-roof expectations, which were eventually unmet. A valuable insight from this survey, emphasizes the need for adequate research that informs you on important indices relevant to the career transition of your choice. 

From the study carried out, it is clear that a career transition process can become emotionally draining, thus increasing the possibility of ‘just settling’ – whatever settling might be for you. However, other real life examples have proven that it is possible to have the best mid-level career story whether or not you choose to go with a transition. In this article, we aim to ease your decision-making process by exploring the challenges you’re likely to confront and benefits you stand to gain while you traverse this side of change. The goal is for you to be completely clear on what lies ahead and make profitable decisions accordingly.

The Challenges of a Mid-level Career Transition in 2023.

The Fear of What’s Next 

How do you know It’s time For A Career Change? What are the signs to look out for? 

Should you settle for a job change or do you need a complete career overhaul? 

When you’re at a crossroad between a never-ending career rut and a desire to try something new, these questions might be on your mind. You may have lost interest in your sector at this point, or you’re looking for better ways to master the art of work-life balance, or you simply want complete control over your time as a resource. All of these are very common at the mid-level stage because you are well past the entry-level threshold but not yet considering retirement. Hence the query: career transition or job change, what’s next? 

A recent MIT Sloan Management Review affirms employee turnover is frequently caused by a nasty work environment and uncertainty about the future. Although, figures from the report don’t exactly point a finger to mid-level personnels, it is obvious the uncertainty is one key player in job or career changes. Being confronted wiith uncertainty in this period will make you speculate about what-if scenarios while creating a pro/con list for the change you desire.

To make this decision easier, a research study highlights seven pointers to know if the change you need is a job or a complete career reinvention. These pointers include; lack of opportunity at work, poor leadership, toxic corporate culture, need to advance, under/over worked, and pressing financial needs. Clearly, this might be the case for some. However, if you’re experiencing career dissatisfaction, a desire to work more flexibly, or a change in your life goals, then you might be at the border of a full career transition. Whichever the case, one challenge you’ll definitely be confronted with is the question ‘what’s next?’. A small tip, figure out what you want early enough, it helps make this decision less burdensome.

Nobody Wants a Pay Cut!

Now let’s talk about risks. Usually taking risks revolves around the corridors of what ifs and why nots. What if I switch and don’t get a good paying job in this new industry? What if I start out as an entrepreneur and fail? What if nobody understands my decision to shift careers? These are real concerns, questions that should be addressed thoughtfully while making a decision to change careers. In a bid to avoid starting from a lesser position than you already are, it is important to identify necessary skills and transition. 

Some tips from a similar article that highlights the story of Jeff Bezos, his regret minimization framework and how to carefully navigate the risks attached to  making successful career transitions at mid-level positions.

How Long Will it Take?

The founder of Network Capital, Utkarsh Amitabh shared his journey on how he built his 100,000+ strong, worldwide, peer-to-peer networking group for ambitious, enquiring millennials, for four years while juggling a job at Microsoft. During this period there was obviously a war in his heart as to which direction to go, because in his case, he loved his job and his passion project. What broke the jinx for him was his life goal and how he pictured the use of his talents. After 4 years he chose his passion project. That is Utkarsh’s story, for some others it took longer than 4 years, while others weren’t even lucky to run a side project alongside their regular job. When it comes to career transitions, one unpleasant reality is that no research has been able to accurately pin down the time range for a successful shift. It all boils down to your set expectations, plans and the industry you’re moving into.

It’s Not Just About You

Remember when you were an entry-level creative, how exciting it was to jump on a new opportunity, or make a bold/scary move in your career? Well things are a bit different while you’re at a mid-level position. 

At the mid-level, the focus is frequently not on flashy titles or posh offices (which, believe me, are fantastic!), but rather on a strong internal drive to be and do more. That is, by and large, what propels change at this level. It does get a little dicey, though, because at this point you’ve established networks and perhaps even a stable corporate identity or family. Therefore, no matter how subtly you try to pull on the strings now, your choices have an impact on each one. You must go beyond this obstacle as well during the transition time.

Is this a wise financial decision?

Another unpleasant reality you must confront while you transition is the possibility of unemployment. According to research 25% of 2000 Americans in mid-level positions are concerned about the financial implication of switching careers. This concern is understandable as the intermediary phase of ‘no-job’, can ultimately mean no income. Therefore, before taking that big step it is important  to decide on alternative means of sourcing income, or preparing emergency funds in advance. This pause may influence your decision to stay a bit longer at your current job and ensure that the change is gradual and as seamless as possible. 

The Rewards of Mid-level Career Transition in 2023.

According to a report by Align Thoughts, 75% of workers who went through with their decision to change careers were satisfied and 69% felt fulfilled. Another 65% admitted that their stress levels greatly reduced after their career switch. This statistics reassuringly affirms the fact that a mid-level career change although challenging can yield surprisingly rewarding benefits. Therefore, it is safe to say that a mid-level career transition isn’t completely a bad idea. The most important action you can take during this period is to run a thorough research and analysis on your industry and yourself. Haven done that, here are some rewards that you’ll most likely encounter after the change

Flexible Work Opportunity

For those who are looking to venture into entrepreneurship, consulting or partnering, great examples are all around promoting this possibility. With people like Jeff Bezoz and Utkarsh Amitabh trailing an enviable path already, it’s easy to visualize and manifest your desires with regards to your career decisions.

Achieving Life-Long Goals

If your motivation is that deep sense of motivation that drives you to utilize your skills in line with how you’ve visualized your future, then you should consider an industry or position that satisfies that. For Instance, a former finance personnel running a year round rotation at JP Morgan, left prematurely to pursue a career in human resource management. Despite her academic background, she chose to pursue a passion that aligned with her life goals, and she was definitely pleased with the outcome.

Other benefits include;

  • Attaining Financial Freedom
  • Higher Income Generation
  • Job Satisfaction/Fulfillment
  • Achieving Work Life Balance
  • Reduced Stress Levels

In conclusion, the estimate that 59% of 2000 Americans will likely change occupations in 2023 should reassure you that you aren’t insane or alone. Even better, 24% of them are prepared to spend up to two years upgrading their skills in order to give themselves a better advantage in their search for greener career pastures.  The enormous fulfillment you feel after tenaciously pursuing a goal you’ve imagined is what’s so lovely about this process. However, before making the final decision, it is strongly recommended that you are aware of the difficulties and thoroughly consider the benefits. As you go about doing this, let Herminia Ibarra’s quote dwell in your thoughts and serve as a guide.

“To reinvent ourselves, we need to live a period of transition in which we rethink and restructure multiple possibilities”. 



Ifeoluwa Alabi enjoys exploring the dynamic power of words as they control narratives, evoke desired emotions and propel specific actions. As a content Strategist, she designs conversation that improve overall brand and user experience. She is also in charge of communication and editorials at For Creative Girls


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