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In recent months you’ve probably heard of ‘The Great Resignation,’ which refers to the massive number of individuals who quit their jobs for various reasons. Those reasons include low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected at work, and child care issues according to a recent Pew Research survey.

Now, things seemed to have transitioned to, ‘The Great Reshuffle,” where individuals are leaving their current roles to land a new career that better suits their goals and desires.

I am one of those individuals who is proud to be part of The Great Reshuffle and I really resonated with the data presented by LinkedIn above.

I want to share why I decided to transition careers. First, it makes sense to share my story:

My Story

Like many of you, I started college at 18 years old. For several years I wanted to be a dentist and/or orthodontist, so that is what I pursued. I majored in Biology and 3 years into my degree, I realized I no longer wanted to pursue a career in dentistry.

Because I had already completed 3 years of my degree, I didn’t want to change majors and start all over…so I decided to go the environmental research route.

Throughout undergrad and grad school, I studied biology (microbiology) and participated in a research lab. However, the whole time I knew I didn’t want to do research for a living.

My main goal at the time was to become self-employed as an entrepreneur/content creator. Several months after graduating with my Master’s degree, my entrepreneurial ventures hadn’t paid off and I was struggling financially. I knew I needed to find a career in my field of study.

I landed a role as a microbiologist in April 2018 and worked there until February 2022.

This was a pretty good, respectable job that was low stress and flexible, but again, the whole time I was there I knew I didn’t want to stay.

I tried to leave several times actually:

  • In 2019 I started to apply to marketing or content creation roles
  • In 2020 I studied analytics and figured I would try to become an analyst (I didn’t really like the work though)
  • In 2020 I also interviewed to be a Biosafety Consultant, I thought I would get the job (but didn’t)
  • Then in 2021 I listened to Episode 297 on the ChooseFI podcast and that is where this whole transition began!

February 2021

I listened to the podcast (which was about Salesforce and the TalentStacker program) and was intrigued, so I signed up for the free 5 day challenge and didn’t open any of the emails.

March 2021

ChooseFI kept mentioning the the program and I was dreading going into work…so I decided to re-sign up for the challenge and this time I did all 5 days. Within a couple of weeks I enrolled in the TalentStacker program and I was studying Salesforce every day.

I thought my career transition would happen within a few months. However, due to health issues, failing the certification twice, and deciding to give up at one point, it took me about a year to go from a microbiologist to a Salesforce consultant. It still blows my mind.

Why I Wanted to Make a Career Shift

#1 – Changes in my job

Before the pandemic I was working on my own project and I actually did microbiology work. By April 2020 I had to completely stop my whole project and “work from home.” Working remote is pretty difficult to do as a scientist, but I was able to start writing my manuscript, create protocol documents, read papers, take courses, etc.

I realized I really liked being at home, and once I started having to come back I felt dread and anxiety.

My duties completely shifted as well. My team focused solely on a Covid research project and I was only doing Molecular biology work which is not my favorite. I kept losing my motivation and passion for science.

#2 – Professional growth

I’ve learned quite a lot as a microbiologist, but every day was the same (especially while doing Covid research). I no longer felt challenged and I started to desire a change.

There is also not much professional growth in general when you do research for a government agency. You don’t really get promoted like that, and I wasn’t even interested anyway.

#3 – Income growth

Same idea when it comes to income growth and potential. When you work for a government agency, you are on a pay scale and are basically capped. I was earning decent money, but I want to be making 6-figures ASAP and I knew tech would allow for that to happen.

When I left my microbiology career I was making about $62K (this is after over 5 years of school, $50K in student loans, and 4 years of working). In my new role, I am making $60K base with a 10% bonus plus some awesome benefits (this took <1 year and I invested <$3K).

Within a year or two I expect to be making 6-figures.

#4 – Benefits

As a microbiologist, I only had health, vision, and dental insurance. I wasn’t an “actual” government employee, but rather a ‘Fellow.’ This means my salary was treated as a scholarship and I had to pay quarterly estimated taxes on my earnings AND my insurance (which cost over $6K/year). I had no other benefits.

At my new job:

  • my health, dental, and vision premium is 99% paid for by my company (I pay $5.70/month)
  • there is a 401k with a match (up to 100% of 6%, immediately vested, Vanguard options)
  • I have unlimited PTO plus all Federal holidays
  • bonuses are available
  • I receive swag and other goodies
  • I am fully remote

Talk about an upgrade.

#5 – Remote/WFH

As I mentioned earlier, I really started to enjoy being home all day. Then that feeling only escalated once I started having health issues and got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Every morning I dreaded going to work more and more.

Working remote is a game changer!! I love that I can wear comfy clothes, throw a load of laundry in at lunch, cook food, take a walk, use my own restroom, save on gas/car wear, etc. It’s amazing.

Overall, I am SO glad I decided to transition careers. I want to talk about this more on my blog and Youtube channel because I know many people are thinking and feeling the way I did.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! And if you’re thinking about pursuing something else, do it!!