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The Pinay's Ultimate Guide To A *Successful* Career Switch

Planning a career switch? Don't be overwhelmed.
guide to switching careers
PHOTO: Getty Images

Jonas—not his real name—has started asking former colleagues to vouch for him as he looks for his next job. After dedicating six years to his work as a social media manager, he said he's ready to move on and find a job that requires no onsite work. 

Like many employees, career switching is on his to-do list this year, he told just hours before his scheduled job interview with another employer. At 28 years old, he had seen former teammates go, felt he was passed over for a promotion, and was stuck with a new batch of teammates who are fresh out of college. He was recently ordered to physically report to the office, a dealbreaker for him who has gotten used to remote work, he said.

"Sabi ng mga kaibigan ko ang tagal ko nang nagpapakamartir... Feeling ko lang parang underappreciated ako dito kaya siguro gusto ko na rin umalis. Parang walang nakakakita sa akin," he said.


Jonas said his salary increased just once in three years, and it was barely enough to stave off inflation. It's unacceptable, he said, especially now that he plans to propose to his girlfriend of nine years.

"Desidido na talaga ako mag-resign. Kailangan makaipon ako kasi tumatanda na rin naman."

The COVID-19 pandemic proved effective in shaking up employment arrangements, and the sudden shift had workers (or at least, those who can afford to mull over it) revisiting their options in their pursuit of having what everybody wants to achieve: proper work-life balance. This paved way to what we all know as The Great Resignation, or the resignation wave when employees all over the world decided there are better ways how to grow in life and career. At least, if you're ready to take the plunge.

So if you're looking for signs to just do it, or you haven't decided yet if it's time to go, read this ultimate guide on a career switch to aid you in weighing your options.

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Why do employees consider a career switch?

There are several factors that push employees to hand in their resignation, especially during the pandemic.

Lack of work flexibility

The COVID-19 pandemic altered the strict eight-to-five workday of employees and opened our eyes to better work-life balance. Before COVID struck, the majority—58% of employees—wants to work onsite completely, according to Jobstreet.

But when COVID came, 49% of employees prefer to work remotely while 48% said they wanted a hybrid arrangement, or a mix of remote and onsite work, Jobstreet's 2021 Decoding Global Talent report said. Some 44% of employees also want to embrace a combination of fixed and flexible hours at work, according to Jobstreet.

That's why when people were asked to return onsite after working remotely, which was a "time-bound temporary measure" as per ex-Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez, there was a pushback among workers, including those working in BPOs.


Of course, you can try to say no to your boss and argue your case to work from home forever, according to an HR practitioner. Don't be scared; there are ways how to have that conversation about RTO and WFH.

Compensation isn't enough

Some 59% of workers surveyed by Flexjobs said low salary was one of the top five reasons they quit their jobs. Another survey showed that the top financial reason for quitting is to seek higher pay, which is understandable given the rising cost of living and soaring inflation.

Some employees may also feel they are underpaid for the work they do, especially if they have taken on more responsibilities without a corresponding raise or promotion, according to the job search website Indeed.

Toxic bosses, toxic company culture

Workers leave bad managers, and at a time when employees are prioritizing themselves first, it's easy to let go of a job you love than stay there with a toxic boss that kills your productivity. Who are these bosses? They are the slave drivers who don't respect your time; bullies who physically, mentally, or verbally abuse their employees; or bosses who aren't trained to handle subordinates.


Nine out of 10 young Filipino workers also check if the company culture—which includes its values, inclusivity, and diversity—matches their personal values, Jobstreet said.

Lack of support for employees' well-being

More people became more conscious of how to take care of their well-being during the pandemic and that extends to how employees see the workplace as well, Jobstreet said. Do employers value their workers' mental health and provide support? Do workers receive improved health care and insurance, especially for those who work onsite?

(READ: 6 Pinays Share What Company Perks Make Them Stay In Their Jobs)

No room for career advancement

Employees who don't feel seen or recognized for their hard work and achievements can lose the desire to do better and might no longer see a career progression if they stay. Some employees may also feel they have mastered their roles and they don't see a long-term career path in their current workplace so they set their sights somewhere else, said Jobstreet.


What are the signs that it's time for a career switch?

Some employees can cite specific reasons why they want to leave, while others remain conflicted and unsure if it's just a career rut or it's time for a switch. To guide you in your decision-making, watch out for these signs, according to HR practitioners:

What should you consider before a career switch?

So you've convinced yourself that it's time to move on from your current job. Before you inform your boss or teammates of your decision, think about these things so you would know when to resign and where to go next.


Is this the perfect time to resign?

Do you have trips lined up for the year and do you need vacation leaves? Do you have a car loan you have to pay every month? Consider how a career switch fits into your schedule and how much time you need to make the switch, according to Jobstreet

Some employees also factor in the season of bonuses, so they leave after Christmas to collect their full 13th month's pay. For some lucky individuals, even a 14th or 15th month pay. 

Also, consider its timing on your career. To avoid being a "red flag" and being tagged negatively as a job hopper by human resources, employees should stay for at least a year to gain experience and at least two years to master the ropes, human resources manager Tessa Mercado said.

How are your finances?

Whether you're a breadwinner or you live solo, check your finances first before you decide to finally leave. Do you have enough savings to keep you alive while you wait for your next salary? Can you still pay for existing loans, condo rental, and other bills? Take note that when you resign, your last salary won't be released until you get 100% cleared from the company so there's no specific date as to when you can receive it.


Can you find another job before you leave your work? If yes, at least you have an idea when your next payday will be. If not and you've decided to leave anyway, make sure you have enough in your savings and emergency funds.

Is a career shift an option?

When looking for a new job, it's possible to find jobs that aren't in the same industry. It can be tempting to find other work—or any job, for that matter—if you're too eager to leave your current workplace. It also presents an opportunity for you to be bold and pursue your passion in other fields. Why stick to a career in sales when you've always wanted to go full-time in graphic design, for example?

It's okay to explore other occupations especially if you boast an extensive professional skill set and have transferable skills you've developed in your previous career, but prepare for a learning curve as you adjust to different roles and responsibilities.


Will you look for a job in a different location?

While this won't matter if you'll apply for remote work, this could be a big deal (or even a dealbreaker) for employees who will be required to work onsite. Moving to a new job might entail having to report to work in the office, which can be in the same business district, a different city, or even overseas. For those who don't want to spend too much time commuting, relocating and finding a condo for rent can be a wise choice.

(READ: You Are Not What Your Job Is, And It *Doesn't* Pay To Be Married To Your Work)

What are the jobs and employers to look out for?

The pandemic continues to shape the future of work, so it's worth noting the emerging trends in the work landscape to see if you fit in.

These are the jobs that made LinkedIn's 2023 Jobs on the Rise list: 

  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Business Development Representative
  • Insights Analyst
  • Delivery Specialist
  • Anti-Money Laundering Analyst
  • Media Analyst
  • Customer Success Specialist
  • Virtual Medical Assistant
  • Salesforce Consultant
  • Data Engineer
  • Security Operations Center Analyst
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Product Owner
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Tax Associate

Want to know which companies are considered the best employers?

The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Statista released its Philippines’ Best Employers 2023 list, with the top 10 listed here:

  1. Honda
  2. Verizon Communications
  3. Makati Medical Center
  4. De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde
  5. Google
  6. Unilever
  7. Microsoft
  8. EM Devices Corporation
  9. Canva
  10. Pascual Laboratories

How do you look for a job while still employed?

It's ideal to find a new job while you still have one so you won't have to deal with financial troubles while waiting for your next payday. But take note that it can also be tricky if you don't want your boss or teammates to know about your plans to leave them especially if you haven't landed the job yet. Remember, you'll still be working with them if you don't get the job so if you want to avoid the backlash, discretion is key.


Here are some tips from Jobstreet on how to job-hunt quietly:

  • If you can, keep your job hunt a secret until you've received and accepted the job offer. If you have to talk to someone at work about it, make sure you can trust that they will keep silent until you're ready to broadcast it.
  • Be respectful of your current job by searching for a new one outside work hours.
  • Don't use company-issued gadgets when job hunting as they were given to you to do your job effectively, not to look for a different one. This should go without saying, but please don't use the company printer to print out your resumes.
  • When scheduling interviews and exams, do it during your rest days, break time, or after your shift. If you can't, file for leave but be smart about taking them so as not to arouse suspicion.
  • Continue to be productive at work as this reflects your character and preserves your good reputation until your last working day.

How do you finally resign and switch careers?

If you're still here, congratulations! You're ready to finally step out of your career comfort zone to find a new one and that can only begin with this: resignation.

Here are some tips on how to resign and transfer jobs, according to Jobstreet:

Notify your boss and if possible, do it in person

It's best for your boss to know it directly from you, not from your officemates. Ask for a meeting to break the news, and keep the conversation polite. Assure your boss you will assist in a smooth transition while you render your 30-day notice.

Render 30 days of service

While it is well within your rights to resign anytime you want, the Philippine Labor Code states employees should render at least 30 days so employers still have time to look for a replacement. This isn't a waiting period for you, though; this is the time when you will assist in turnover and if possible, help train your replacement for a smooth transition especially if there are ongoing projects.


During this time, you can also tackle end-of-employment details with HR, which may also include exit interviews.

Submit a formal resignation letter

It's written evidence of your desire to end your employment with the company, and will eventually be part of your permanent employee records. It doesn't have to be too detailed: you just need to mention when your last day of work will be and assure them of your active participation during turnover.

Finish strong

Be a professional employee until the end and that means no slacking off until your last clock out at work, even if your mind wanders off to your next job. Remember that in the end, these are the people your future employers would call to know more about you. You're down to your final days at work so make it count.


This story originally appeared on Spot.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.



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