What's The Biggest Lesson Your Career Change Taught You?

Changing careers is scary, but it's often worth the pain. Our readers share lessons they've learned during their first year of doing what they love.

We've all learned some interesting stuff this year. We learned that the NSA is definitely watching us. We learned how to write a perfect headline. And most important, we learned how to be less stupid.

But perhaps none of us learned more than those who switched jobs or even careers. New experiences, challenges, and failures bring all kinds of new lessons. So, in the spirit of the coming new year, we turned to Facebook and asked what people who've changed careers have learned.

Did you change careers this year? What's the biggest lesson you've learned so far?

The answers piled up:

Overwhelmingly, commenters said that changing careers to do what they love made them happy. Unfortunately, it didn't necessarily make them richer. But there's a way around that.

The sad reality is that rent still has to be paid while dreams are being chased. Setting aside a few hours a week to earn some steady income can help offset the loss of cash. Maybe that day job will teach something you can take with you:



Versatility is a valuable asset, especially since you'll probably be doing something totally different in four years anyway.




Sometimes you just know that you need a change
, not what that change will be. In the meantime, positivity now will pay off later.



A vegan will never flourish if the office kitchen only has whole milk. A better-fitted work environment, even if it's a lateral career move, can make work much happier. And the key to a good work culture is passion.

And of course, some have learned that they made a mistake:

Sorry, Jared. Hope everything works out in the end.

[Image: Flickr user Kevin Dooley]