“We all have imposter syndrome, right? But you have to be brave and make that first move. Changing your career starts with changing your mindset,” says serial career changer, Matthew Bamber.
Matthew started his career as a ‘boring’ (his words) Tax Accountant in London. After that, he went on to work as a Financial Advisor and Bar Owner in Portugal, a Founder of a social impact start-up and a Product Manager. Throughout this career-switching journey, Matthew was searching for a role where he could have a real impact, which he says he’s found in his latest role as an Enrolment Advisor at Fourthrev.
Forbes notes that more and more people are thinking about pivoting professionally, opting out of jobs they dislike or that don’t offer them the balance they need, and are actively choosing to move into new careers. But in order to pivot with confidence, one needs to be open to possibilities and the challenges that might pop up along the way.
It’s all about mindset, and positive self-talk is key in order to push past your fears and move forward.
Matthew, now 30, started dabbling in career switching in his early twenties. For him, choosing a different career path at this time of his life carried less risk. Sure, the switch meant he’d change both careers and locations/cultures at the same time. But Matthew still had little to lose at this point in his life and had flexibility on his side. However, entering a completely new role in your 40s or later can be very daunting. The good news is that a study conducted by the American Institute for Economic Research found that 82% of the 47 and older career changes surveyed were successful in switching career paths mainly because they now did work that they were more passionate about.
The first career change
So, what instigated Matthew’s first career change?
He started his career in tax but says that after a few years, he found himself looking around the office and felt it littered with complacency. “The job offers a good salary. And that’s safe. But the safety of the job is complacency. I think it’s just a dangerous zone to be in where you can’t even remember who you are anymore or what you wanted to get out of the job initially. I didn’t want to be bitter.”
The turning point came one day when Matthew had to join a webinar with 25 of his colleagues. “At some point in his presidency, Donald Trump made loads of tax changes, and we were in a webinar to discuss the impact on us in the UK. All of my colleagues were really excited. Like really excited. I felt like I was in prison. I realised then and there that I was never going to be as excited about tax as I maybe should’ve been.”
Three hours later, Matthew was on a call with a financial management company he’d heard about when holidaying in Portugal the previous summer. The hiring manager asked him to come in for an interview as soon as possible. He booked the next available flight to Lisbon and got the job a week later.
The power of transferrable skills
From there, Matthew fell into several other careers over the years. They were never actively planned or researched but rather came through connections or out of interest. One thing that helped him along the way, he says, was his transferable skills.
On his CV, he describes himself as ‘a dedicated and detail-oriented individual with an entrepreneurial mindset, who is personable and adaptable.’ “I’ve always been really conscious about trying to harness my hard and soft skills,” he says.
Knowing Excel inside-out made him more analytical, which in turn helped him better advise his clients to make sound financial decisions in his role as a Financial Advisor. Being detail-oriented helped him in his role as a Product Manager, and his vibrant personality allowed him to connect with customers at his bar and with leads over the phone.
What led him to FourthRev? When reading about the Career Accelerator programmes online one day, he immediately thought, “I would love to do that programme.” And now, as an Enrolment Advisor, believing in the product helps him convey its value to others: “It’s so impactful to feel like I had a little part in the decision-making of individuals who chose to grab onto the opportunity of changing their mindset and lives for the better.”
Reflecting on his career journey up to this point, Matthew says that it’s important to industry-proof yourself from the start of your career by focusing your attention on building up a base of skills that make you a valuable employee, no matter what field you’re working in.
Knowing what you want, why it’s important to you and how you can make it happen are key to feeling satisfied and excited about your career. If you’re unsure about how to make this happen for yourself, a Career Coach can help you. That’s why we’ve included one-on-one career coaching as an integral part of our Career Accelerator programmes. We have a dedicated team of coaches to help you understand and set your short and long-term career goals so that you plan for your future with confidence.
If you’re curious about this, you can read more here.