SINGAPORE: A man disclosed on an online forum that he left his position as an IT support engineer after six years because he had “grown tired of this mundane job having to rack up my brain to help users and the bosses as well” and wanted to pursue other opportunities.

“I want to have a breath of fresh air and not be stuck behind a desk job all my life… For one, I will be starting a new job as a RedMart delivery driver. Pick up groceries from shops and send them to the warehouse for distribution,” he wrote on r/askSingapore on Monday (Feb 26).

According to the man, the pay was close to what he used to earn in his previous job. The difference, however, was that now it involved more labour work, in contrast to what he was used to when he just sat behind a desk.

“I just got my driving license for over 1 year, and I feel like my calling is towards driving. I somehow love to drive around and just explore the heartlands,” the man said with apparent excitement.

The only issue now was that his wife thought this was a bad move because he was not in peak physical condition and was prone to “gout” (a painful form of arthritis).

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“She’s afraid that I’ll not be able to commit to the new job as it is physically daunting. On the other hand, I believe that working behind the desk for 6 years has made me weak, and I want to prove her wrong.

That I’m able to keep up with the physical labor work. I am now in my mid 30s,” the man added.

“If the physical aspect is not a deterrent, then go on and do it”

Singaporean Redditors were split on their opinion about the man’s career switch. Some agreed with his wife and said it was a bad move, while others encouraged him to follow his heart’s desire.

One person highlighted the drawbacks of working as a delivery driver, stating, “There is little or no chance of moving up the cooperation ladder as a delivery driver. It is more physically demanding.

Sometimes the items you are delivering can be very heavy, like when you are delivering rice, cooking oil, bottled drinks, etc., and some people like to order in bulk.

You also need to be careful where you park your van during delivery; you can get a ticket if you are not careful. You are liable to pay for it out of your own pocket.

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Sometimes the deliveries cannot be completed within your stipulated working hours. You will likely have to work extra hours without compensation.”

Another person, meanwhile, encouraged him and said, “If the physical aspect is not a deterrent, then go on and do it. You can always get back to the desk a while later.

Perhaps trying it out part time is a good in between, if your current role allows. Otherwise, make sure your support system is in place, then take the plunge. You’re only in your mid 30s once.”

One individual also suggested, “It’s true that sitting behind a desk is equally draining. Try to find a work from home job if you can.”

On changing careers

Before changing careers, the Harvard Business Review recommends doing some in-depth reflection first.

It’s important to weigh, for example, the advantages and disadvantages of your current role and to determine what could possibly make you regret your decision in the future.

It’s also imperative to determine the motivation behind changing careers and ask yourself:

“What kind of growth opportunities do I want to see in my career? What is lacking in my current industry, and how may entering a different one fill that gap?”

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Moreover, you must consider and list the transferable skills you currently have in your arsenal. One can apply these skills to multiple jobs, like writing, leadership, collaboration, or even technical skills like Excel and coding.

And then, ask yourself, “Do you have the necessary skills to be qualified for the job that you desire?”

Once you have identified your motivations and are confident that you have the necessary skills to apply to another field, experts suggest creating a personalized resume and cover letter for every application, including a section briefly explaining why you’re making a career change.

As for the interviews, several leaders have told the Harvard Business Review that they want to hear that you are leaving for the right reasons, such as a better opportunity, more challenges, and professional development. 

Hiring managers will also want to know whether you can learn the job, work well with their teams, and fit into the company culture, so it’s better to prepare yourself for these questions before interviewing.

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