A Career Change Puts You Back at the Bottom

I used to be a carpenter and had worked my way up the ladder a bit in that job. But with hard economic times and a dishonest employer, I had to make a career switch.

As you guys know, I’m in demolition now. Carpentry and demolition are both physical labor jobs, but they’re pretty different and require different skills.

And what happens when you switch up careers? You fall back to the bottom of the totem pole.

And that’s where I am right now. The bottom.

It’s an adjustment to get back into the habit of just doing what you’re told (I used to be the person telling others what to do in my last job!). But I’m making the adjustment pretty good. I expected to start back at the bottom again, and I’m pretty grateful for getting a better paying job. And hey, I’m picking up new skills too.

Are you planning a career switch? It’ll be awesome, I promise, but be ready for dropping back to the bottom of the heap!


A Career Change Puts You Back at the Bottom — 24 Comments

  1. I understand your pain! I switched from my own business to teaching. My students are completely different from employees. A teacher is at the bottom of every scale. I enjoy my role in my classroom, but resent less than well thought out changes. It seems education is constantly making changes for the sake of changing.
    krantcents recently posted..The Lost Art of HandwritingMy Profile

    • That’s one thing that people don’t mention about job switching — starting back at the bottom! Glad you got to stay where you are. :-)

  2. I am looking to change careers at some point in the near future. By near I mean in 12 months. I do know what you mean about falling back at the bottom. Even if you were not the one telling others what to do, it still works out like that. You need to build new skills and trust with new people before you can start moving back up. Just keep it going and I am sure you will be back at the top soon enough.
    Alan@escapingmydebt recently posted..2013 Goals Update #1My Profile

    • That’s what I keep thinking, just stick with it and you end up moving back up eventually. Good luck with your job change coming up!

  3. I switched careers voluntarily or otherwise no fewer than five times during my sixty-three years. I’m finally doing what I want to do: I’m writing novels. While I’m not making money hand over fist, I am doing exactly what I want to do. I’ve published five novels, optioned film rights to one and the last one is currently in audio book production by Alistair McKenzie. Life is grand. Over a decade ago, my good friend and one-time mentor Steven Pressfield told me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. When I was trying to decide whether or not to write my first novel, Steve told me over a bowl of tortellini, “You have got to continue to reinvent yourself.” I have and I think you are doing it as well. The process is not painless, but quite worth it in the long run. Go for it, dream it and live it.
    tVM recently posted..Dear tVM… When is it time to stop exercising?My Profile

  4. I am there with you my friend, went from being a carpenter to running jobs (foreman) sometimes upwards of twenty guys…..now I do what I am told at the hardware for a third of the money but loving every minute of it….oh retired and living the happy ever after life…..also went from 50 plus hours to 18 to 20 …went from carrying drywall and plywood and bundles of studs to leaning on the counter and talking to others about how to fix things……..by the by i started out the demo guy 40 years ago and moved up to carpenter to retired/hardware guy

    • A retired hardware guy doesn’t sound like a bad gig at all, you won’t be throwing out your back or anything and you get to help people out. Sounds like a good deal.

  5. Anytime it’s possible, when a career change is desired, learn to do the job and gain some experience somehow before the actual job shift. I was fortunate that the bottom of the career I moved INTO paid a lot more than the one I moved OUT of after 12 years. Also, the tech field is so broad that you can cross train easily, and make another career change without really leaving a field. I found a way to do tech support in my off-time, so when I made my entry level shift, I had the experience I needed. Now I do a lot of private-time training for my next efforts, and doing web design and programming are things you can freelance or do privately, you don’t need a J-O-B to make money at them; build up a portfolio of projects and then when you want that JOB, you have something to prove experience.

  6. I feel like I’m below the bottom of the heap, but I don’t mind starting there. I’m pushing myself to learn what was difficult (thus, what I avoided) by learning about options. I already knew the basics but not enough can be done with those, so I’m putting myself through school, so to speak. I have to do my own research and consult with basically one person who’s being kind enough to mentor me, but I have to put up with his social problems in order to get help from him. So, I’m not even making any money while I’m learning – I’m back in virtual school. But if that’s what I have to do, then that’s what I have to do.

    It’s like an unpaid internship that I chose to take; I’d better make some money eventually. I’m not learning all this just so I can know what’s in all the books before picking them up.
    444 recently posted..Who wants some money? (various companies want it from us)My Profile

    • That’s a pretty tough situation. It’s nice you got someone to mentor you along, even if he is an oddball, but hopefully you actually start making some profit at some point. Unpaid positions are allright, but eventually one does need to get paid!

  7. I don’t know about your job, but at mine, scheduling goes by seniority as well. When my boss has to decide who is getting overtime, the people who have been there the longest get it. Of course, on one crew I was on, most of us started within 2 weeks of each other and the rest were hired a couple months later. So the whole idea of seniority was a little thin!
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..How to Fix Incorrect Charges on Your Credit or Debit CardMy Profile

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