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Creative Career Coach: Change

Fall is a time for change – which can be difficult, but sometimes necessary to improve your career and your life.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

Autumn reminds me that the world is constantly changing, whether we see it or not. In the fall, trees let go of their leaves, reminding us to let go of whatever might be holding us back. It might be that you need to change your outlook, your mindset, or your supervisor. Are you hanging onto a job or a relationship that is not helping you?

For some, change is difficult to navigate or embrace, especially if it comes when we don’t expect it.  Like with a loss of a job. I’ve had to accept this kind of change numerous times, and if you work in animation, you know that many jobs are project-based, so they end and you have to move on.

Change is sometimes necessary to improve your life too. If you are no longer learning or growing in a job, it may be time to switch things up. Ask for more responsibilities or take the initiative to learn a new skill. Is there someone else in the company that you would like to work with? Learn from? Don’t be afraid to approach that person and find out how you could be of service.

In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people had more than 12 jobs over 36 years–in other words, most people changed jobs about every 3 years.  Working in animation, it is likely that your average will be higher, particularly if you work as a freelancer or contractor.  Although BLS does not track it, Pew Research did an analysis in 2021 and found that 53% of adults who quit their job changed their occupation or field of work. Younger people tended to change their careers more than workers over the age of 30.  (Of those younger than 30, 61% shifted their field of work, while 45% of those older than 20 shifted theirs.)

Part of the reason might be because you discover new options for work.  You might also discover a new passion earlier in life.

I was one of those people who changed majors after starting college. I began with the intention of being pre-med and majoring in biology, but after discovering the joys of working in film, I switched and majored in Theater Arts with a Film emphasis. I’m not alone or unique in changing. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 80% of college students change their major at least once. On average, college students change their majors at least 3 times.

A major change might not be the answer for you, but you can always make smaller changes, which can give you a boost in motivation and get you back on track.

As Kelly Clarkson sings in Breakaway: “I’ll take a risk. Take a chance. Make a change.” (Song written by Matthew Gerrard, Bridget Benenate and Avril Lavigne).

What are you going to change?


As a creative career coach and recruiter, Pamela Kleibrink Thompson helps animators, visual effects artists, writers, and others in creative fields to design a life that they love. For personal one-on-one recruiting contact her at