Very few people can’t change career direction.

Tightrope walker

Cabin Brewing Company is located in the heart of Calgary’s craft brewing district. Its distinctive philosophy, taproom, and marketing set it apart, as do its award-winning products. And behind the scenes is another intriguing story: the resume of its head brewer, Jonas Hurtig.

Prior to becoming a brewer, Jonas was a sound designer at Six Degrees, Calgary’s top sound-design studio. Changing jobs is stressful. But changing jobs and industries presents even more barriers.

Nonetheless, we believe the trend will continue to grow. The days of joining one organization and making a life-long career of it are largely in the rear-view mirror. By most estimates, the average worker will change jobs between three and seven times in their careers.

In an Indeed.com survey conducted before the current economic downturn, 49% of respondents had made a dramatic career change. And of those who hadn’t, 65% were thinking about it. The reasons varied. Some were looking for new challenges. Others more job satisfaction. Personal growth, development, and compensation were also cited.

Today, facing fallout from resource prices and the pandemic, making a big career change might not be entirely your decision. Some jobs are disappearing. Others are being created to cope with new conditions. To succeed, one trait is becoming essential.

Adaptability.

Every year, Prospect helps hundreds of people overcome barriers and gain employment. Thousands more come to us for different facets of employment assistance. Often we help candidates by fostering adaptability.

Skills gained in one job or career can be assets in many others, even when you’re making a radical change in direction like Jonas Hurtig, from sound to brewing.

“There were a lot of parallels between my former profession and my new one. Sound engineering is a very technical career, as you’re dealing with microphones, cables, software, and the science of sound. There is also a huge artistic component to the job. You get to create soundscapes, and take a whole bunch of components (dialogue, music, sound effects etc.) and mix them together how you see fit. Brewing is also a very technical profession as there is a lot of biology, microbiology and chemistry involved. But there is also a huge artistic component as well; conceptualizing something in your mind, and then adapting that to a recipe and creating it,” Hurtig said.

Adaptability is a trait Prospect has facilitated thousands of times, notably in our Forces@WORK program, where veterans have to adapt skills they gained in the military to civilian jobs and culture. We help them translate their skills, apply them to civilian equivalents, and manage cultural differences.

The challenges of the new economy can be met if you are adaptable and agile. Just last week we helped a young worker whose experience was in construction move into a job at a technical call centre, after upgrading his reading, digital literacy and oral communication skills. He is now planning to enter a business education program.

Any career change comes with a degree of anxiety. But as Jonas Hurtig found, “No matter how scary it may be, or how many unknowns there are, if you are passionate about something, you’ll make it work. You’ll find a way to apply your skills to the job and likely excel at it because you’ll enjoy it.”