Switching Careers: My Story

I wanted to wait a while before writing this post, but I was just too excited I couldn’t help it. Two weeks ago I quit my job and today I’ll be switching careers and starting a new job that is the job. What I mean by the job is that I’ve been searching for something like this for exactly one year.

And I say exactly one year because I got the job offer on the same date that I had my last day at my job in Vancouver. I knew when I moved to Toronto that it could possibly take a year for me to find my dream job, but the fact that it took one year to the day is pretty crazy to me. Meant to be? I kind of think so.

Before I moved to Toronto, all I knew is that I wanted a job in marketing in either the media, entertainment, or arts industries. Pretty broad I know, but throughout the year I came to realize specifically what I want. First, I don’t actually want to work in any of those industries.

I’ve been working in media for almost 4 years and I definitely needed a change. Media is not the best industry to be working in right now (especially newspapers where I’ve been), and although I do love the excitement that comes with working for a media outlet, I’m looking towards the future which means wanting to work in an industry that’s more stable with better growth potential.

Secondly, I don’t just want to work in marketing, I want to work in digital marketing. For the past 2 1/2 years that I’ve had this blog, I’ve been teaching myself digital marketing without ever really knowing that’s what I was doing. All I was just trying to do was to get more traffic to my site. I had no idea that everything I was doing was called content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media management.

Also, after completing my first course at the University of Toronto’s Digital Marketing Management program, I just knew that this is what I should be doing for my career. I loved studying film for my undergrad, but honestly I’ve never been so excited to go to class, do all of my readings, and study for exams before!

So to any of you thinking about switching careers and starting fresh, take it from me, it is absolutely possible. It may take a year, it may even take longer than that, but as long as you don’t give up it can happen. It also takes a lot of vigilance. I applied to 135 jobs (yes, I kept track of every single application) and only got 16 interviews. That’s a success rate of 8.44%.

It wasn’t easy to be rejected over and over again for a year straight, but it was all worth it in the end when I got my dream job in digital marketing in an industry that’s one of the most stable around. There’s nothing worse than working a job you dread going to every day, and although doing something different than you’re used to is scary and risky, I believe that if there is a will there is a way. I knew I’d never regret taking this chance and possibly failing, but I would regret playing it safe and always wondering “What if?”

Have you ever considered switching careers before? Or if anyone has switched careers before, I’d love to know your story!

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Showing 52 comments
  • Charlotte
    Reply

    Congrats Jess! All your hard work and perseverance has paid off. Wishing you all the best at your new position !

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction
    Reply

    Congratulations! I’m in the process of trying to switch careers and I’m allowing myself a long time to do it. I’m unhappy where I am, but it’s a good pay cheque for the time being. Hopefully over the next year or so I will have the luck you do.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Just keep doing everything you can do (school, networking, applying to anything that looks interesting) and above all be patient. Good luck!

  • Jordann
    Reply

    Wow I am SO curious about where you are working now! I’m also really, really happy that you have moved on to something you are interested in! Sounds like you are moving in the right direction with your career. Congrats!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      I’ll give you a hint. It’s for a law firm. Very different than what I’m used to but super excited.

  • Lauren
    Reply

    Congrats on the career change! How exciting. It’s always better when you can do something that you really love.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Totally, and I’m so excited to finally be in a job that’s both analytical and creative 🙂

  • Cait Flanders
    Reply

    Congrats again! I can’t wait to hear how your first day/week goes!

  • Morgaine
    Reply

    Congrats! Its great to work in a job/career that you love 🙂

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Congrats! I’m glad that you found your dream job 🙂

  • Reply

    Congratulations! That’s awesome! Oh yes I’ve dreamed of switching, but to what is still kind of a mystery. Good luck and keep us posted how it’s going!

  • NZ Muse
    Reply

    I’ve switched tack slightly, too – left media/publishing for a content role in tourism/marketing. It’s a tough time in media but like I tell people if you’re not wedded to journalism specifically, there are tons of opportunities for people with editorial skills with the growth of content marketing.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Absolutely, and I know a lot of people with journalism backgrounds making the switch to marketing in different industries with more stability.

  • Mikhaila
    Reply

    Digital marketing, awesome!! I took the leap from health care to digital marketing last year, and it was the greatest decision I’ve ever made.

    Congratulations on the dream job, and kudos to you for applying to so many and making it happen!

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Congrats on finding your dream job! It can be very daunting searching for a new job, rejection and lack of response from people makes it draining. Thanks for posting your success rate, I’ve been experiencing similar results. I’ve also contemplated a career change, but like Tonya mentioned, I too am not entirely sure what that is. All I know is I’m not happy where I am and need to change 🙂

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      For me, it was doing my first digital marketing course that really solidified what I wanted to do. Maybe consider trying out a course to see if it’s up your alley?

  • Kassandra
    Reply

    You sound happy Jessica and that’s great! I too have switched careers in the past three years and I really enjoy what I do now. It was a tough learning curve but well worth it.

  • Rob
    Reply

    And my congrats to you too Jess! The route to a successful career is to love what you are doing because then it doesn’t feel like work, does it? Here’s my suggestion to you, based on what our daughter did to rise high in her career – now that you’ve found “the” job, start looking to find a mentor in that job, someone who can help you in many ways to grow in your job at your new employer. Remember, it’s not only what you know that counts but also who you know. Good luck!

  • Bridget
    Reply

    Congrats!!

    I can’t believe you applied to 135 jobs — props to you for such dedication, I feel like such a baby for complaining it took me less than 30 applications to find a summer internship.

    I’m totally pro-changing-careers, that’s why I went back for my MBA =)

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Ya, I applied to a lot of jobs, and man it took a lot of time out of my life. So glad to have more free time now!

  • femmefrugality
    Reply

    Ahhh! Congrats! Loving what you do makes work SO much better! I’m glad you found your passion! And so cool that blogging was what exposed you to it.

  • AldoRancier
    Reply

    Congratulations on the dream job! I really wouldn’t mind switching careers right now. I like what I do, but I would welcome a change of pace. I’m glad to know that it is possible to switch careers even if it takes a year and hundreds of rejections.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      It’s not an easy switch but totally doable if you can keep up the motivation and don’t expect anything to happen right away.

  • debt debs
    Reply

    Congratulations, J. Perseverance paid off and you got what you wanted. Now the hard work begins! 😉

  • Melissa
    Reply

    Congratulations on your new job!! Digital marketing sounds so cool, it sounds like a perfect job! You do have to let us know how it goes 🙂

  • Barry @ Moneywehave
    Reply

    Congrats!

    As someone who also works in media I definitely agree that it’s tough times in the business. CTV announced layoffs the day you got your dream job.

    I think I secretly want out of media also.

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      Yup, know what you mean. Media is sort of a scary place to be right now.

  • Reply

    Congratulations! You’re going to do great!

  • Laura
    Reply

    Congrats on the new job! How exciting, and sounds like a perfect fit!

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans
    Reply

    Congrats Jessica! This new opportunity sounds amazing!

  • Jon @ Money Smart Guides
    Reply

    I’m actually in this situation right now. I have worked in the finance industry since graduating college over 10 years ago. I was laid off last year and have turned my part-time blogging into a full-time job. I really enjoy the background stuff with regards to blogging and might want to try out a career doing coding/SEO/etc. I’m just not sure if I want to take the leap just yet!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      It’s a scary idea to take a leap of faith, and there is always the risk of it not working out, but I’m so glad I made the leap. It was easy but I’m so much happier now for it.

  • Josie Rodgers
    Reply

    Hey Jess! Enjoyed reading your blog. Glad that you moved on to better things. Your young and this is the time for you to do it. Especially before you and Josh start having a little family of your own. Glad to hear that you’re also enjoying your classes at U of T. Take care! Keep in touch! Josie

  • Newlyweds on a Budget
    Reply

    congratulations!!! I switched jobs about five times in six years until I finally found happiness at my current job. My friends called me a professional job finder bc I was so good at switching companies. But truthfully it would turn into a full time job finding a job. There are so many resumes and apps and just WORK bleh! SO happy you found THE Job!

  • G
    Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I found your blog from researching my own move.
    I have just moved to Vancouver from New Zealand for a life change and within a few weeks of being here, I met an individual who helped me tick off the few items from my bucket list which I had come to Canada to experience, such as working outdoors on a harvest. Being a lover of wine I also was awarded an opportunity for a new career. But this came a little too easy and a little too soon for what I am looking for.

    Long story short, whilst this was a great opportunity for a new career my heart is not singing for this. Your article is inspiring in that in doing what you want and love doesn’t always come easy. So now I am planning my move across the country and have a nervous but determined anticipation of what is coming next.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Jessica Moorhouse
      Reply

      It does not come easy, that’s for sure! But you know the saying, things worth having don’t come easy. Good luck on your move and thanks for the commen!

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