How do you know it’s time for a career change?

Published on Sep 14, 2023

Business woman with her head resting on her closed hands while she sits facing her laptop. Representing it is time for her to consider a career change.

Many of the people I work with are afraid it might be too late to switch careers. It doesn’t matter if they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s. They have worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and are used to the security their job gives them. But the truth is, it’s never too late. 

Although a career change might sound exciting, for many people it’s also very scary. ‘Should I give up everything I’ve built so far?’ ‘What if I have to take a pay cut?

From my experience, uncertainty is what stops most people from switching careers. Uncertainty is the enemy of change.

Whether you are a lawyer, tired of the long hours and without a clear idea of a new career path, an HR director with a buried dream of becoming a comedian (I actually helped a client with this exact transition!) or an accountant who always dreamt of landing a job in marketing, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

In fact, I’ve gone through two career transitions myself. Once in my late 20s and again in my early 40s.

Looking beyond the status quo

I had it all set up for what you would call a perfect life – my own apartment, a loving boyfriend and a dream job at the Swedish state television.

I was 27 – an age where I could have decided to start a family and continue climbing the career ladder. I had worked my way up to ‘second assistant director’ and was slowly but steadily moving towards my end goal of becoming a film producer.

But there was a very quiet voice within me whispering: ‘this can’t be it, can it’?

I grew up with an adventurous father who bicycled around Europe on his own at age 16, and was the first exchange student from his hometown to go to the U.S. for one year.

And I had a courageous mother who immigrated to Sweden at age 26, studied medicine in a foreign language and travelled the world with her band Glickers (‘luck searchers’’).

So you might understand why my mantra has always been: ‘the sky is the limit’.

Career switch #1

When the film photographer Marek said to me during a coffee break outside the studio, ‘I think you need to travel the world and see something other than this’, I knew he was right.

I moved to Warsaw, took an internship (and a 90 percent pay cut), and quickly advanced to become a successful news photographer working for one of the leading news agencies in the world.

I knew how to use a camera and I spoke a bit of Polish, but to be honest, I had no clue what the experience would lead to.

When I was 32 I quit my job at Reuters and moved to Berlin to be with the man I had fallen in love with. I had a rough start. My self-confidence was low, my boyfriend travelled a lot, and I felt lonely. I had no job. But I stayed, and decided to make Berlin my home.

After freelancing for a few years, I finally reconnected with a buried dream.

Career switch #2

When I was 41 I decided to go back to school to become a psychotherapist. I had taken a 3-month German course when I arrived in Berlin, but to study a new subject for four years, was of course a challenge!

I graduated with excellent feedback on my thesis, proving to everyone who said it was impossible, that the sky truly is the limit.

How did I finance it all? While I was studying, I did a coaching training and started working with clients alongside a part-time job in sales. What started as a necessity became my greatest passion: Coaching!

When is the right time?

So how do you KNOW it’s time to change careers?

From my experience, you will never know for sure before you start taking the steps to make it happen.

I have created a 4-week online course designed to give you clarity to make your next career move – something I could have used during my career transitions!

Sign up for my FREE online course ‘Reawaken Your Career Dreams’ to get clarity on your next move. Through practical exercises and reflective learning, you will uncover your gifts and shift your mindset for success. You will not only go from ambition to action, but also conclude this course empowered with confidence to pursue what you truly desire.




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I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

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