Fresh-faced graduates receive the same advice from every podium speech they hear before going up to the stage to pick up a piece of paper they spent four years earning and haven't started paying for: Do what you love, be happy, always wear sunscreen, and success is about building a network around you. What if your network isn't going to help you?
So, you go about building a network of friends, colleagues, old professors, or high school teachers. And of course, you gravitate towards like-minded folk. People in your industry or who have helped you understand that what you're doing is what you want to do for the rest of your life. People who will remind you the degree that probably put you in debt for the at least the next fifteen years wasn't a waste of time. But then you hit a moment, three years down the line, or five, or maybe twenty. And you realize you aren't happy. This isn't what you wanted, and it took trying the career that you're in for as long as you did for you to realize it. And sometimes that happens. It's in our nature to change. Sometimes that change is big, and the job we want and the job we're in are two completely different things. And at that point, you need to scrap the majority of that network you spent years building to pursue something new and fresh. You need to build a new set of like-minded people in the career you want to go into. It may feel like you're 23 and awkward all over again, but if this new career is what you want to do, the process is worth it.