Job Security Is Overrated
So many people feel tied to their jobs on the basis of money, status or convenience. But these perks are only worth it so long as what youre doing makes you happy. If not, theyre simply things that are holding you down, and keeping you stuck somewhere you dont want to be.
Dont wed yourself to a career for the sake of stability alone. You can be stable but miserable and unfulfilled. Equally, you can have a future full of unknowns, but with ideas that fire you up and actually give you some drive in life.
How Old Is Too Old For A Career Change
Taking the benefits of changing careers into account, and your specific circumstances, a career change can seem like a no-brainer, right?
But wait. The age-old question of age has reared its ugly head: Am I too old to be changing careers? No. Absolutely, categorically, no. You are not too old for a career change because no age is too old.
The idea that your career is on a timer and the moment you hit a certain age milestone you forgo the opportunity for changing your mind is silly. It’s rooted in the thought that you MUST know what you want to do with the rest of your life when you leave school, that if you make the wrong choice in your youth, its tough luck.
This is nonsense. If you want to make a career change, go for it.
The two ages thrown around most often by the its time to stick with the career you chose, I’m afraid brigade are 30 and 40. The thinking goes, that by 30 or 40, youve invested a lot of time in your current career and leaving means throwing away years of invested energy.
This is a perfect example of the sunk cost fallacy, and it can be extremely destructive if followed.
Why would you spend even longer in a career you hate because youve spent a lot of years there already?
Its crazy. So lets focus on dispelling a few how to change careers myths.
Take Advantage Of Your Network
It may be helpful to talk to other people directly to get their perspective on career change options. Get input from friends, family and coworkers. Talk to people in different positions and industries. In some cases, the people you talk to might even be able to point you to specific opportunities.
You might find that you can get some advice within the company you are currently working for. You might even find that you do not need to leave the company. Determine if there is a position in that company you would like to transition to. You might need to talk to HR and people in other departments.
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What You Need To Know
If you’re stuck in your career change, there are three main challenges or paradoxes that you’re going to come up against.
1. It’s you that wants to make a change, but it’s also you that’s your biggest obstacle
In the depths of my despair about my job, there were signals from all around me that I wasn’t in the right place: I was embarrassed to talk about my work with others at parties I couldn’t imagine doing my boss’s job and I was petrified that I’d reach 60 or 70 and not feel proud of the work I’d done in my life.
On a day-to-day basis, I just felt numb uninspired by the meaningless work I was doing, and seemingly stuck in a Groundhog-Day reality of waking up to the same story every morning.
Yet, at the same time, I had no idea what else I wanted to do and no idea where to start.
Looking back, I now realise something I didn’t at the time that I was blinkered in my view of the world of work. All I knew was the industry I was in. I had surface-level visibility of some other careers, but there were so many fields and roles that were completely off my radar screen.
I was also scared of taking a cut in salary, scared of what my family and friends would think, and scared of losing the status I’d worked so hard to achieve.
These weren’t obstacles in the outside world they were obstacles in me. It was me my lack of knowledge and my fears that was most holding me back.
Does this also hold true for you?
2. You can’t figure it out by figuring it out
Why Do I Want To Change Careers
Its quite common for people to consider a midlife career change, and successful midlife career changes occur every day. However, it is important to have the right motivation behind your decision to pursue new opportunities. People who are solely motivated by money often end up regretting their decision, which is why it can be helpful to learn more about the Dos and Donts of Changing Your Career.
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Why Do People Seek A Midlife Career Change
There are many reasons why you may be looking to change your career.
It could be as simple as wanting to work in a career that matches your lifestyle choices, in a role that works better alongside your outside interests and hobbies. Or you may have been forced into a midlife career change due to job loss or relocation.
Your lifestyle may have changed significantly since you took your first steps on the career ladder. Or you may be looking for a switch between part-time or full-time hours.
You may even be considering a midlife career change to remain professionally satisfied perhaps your existing role isnt giving you enough opportunities to upskill yourself.
Whatever the reason, you have more choices than ever before.
Keep Developing Your Skills
You want to show that you are committed to learning and making a career change. And that youre capable of it. Dont wait to land a new job to start upskilling yourself with new skills for the future.
Focus on one or two areas that might be big gaps for you like social media strategy. Go for a working understanding of new skills or knowledge rather than trying to develop deep expertise in a technical area.
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Use Linkedin To Reach Out
Search your connections to find contacts who work in the industry or at similar jobs to the one you want. Send them a note to update them on your status and ask them whats going on in their professional worlds. Use LinkedIn to strengthen networking relationships, instead of just pushing your agenda.
Just Making A Decision Will Spur You On
The hardest bit about changing careers is when youre undecided, or trying to second-guess the decision that youve already made. Your mind embarks on a spiral of what ifs?, desperately figuring out if youve made the right decision.
The truth is, theres no such thing. But also, just making a decision to change careers will put you in a more positive frame of mind. Its massively freeing, and itll energise you in ways that are hard to imagine before you do it.
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Best Careers To Start At 40
Depending on your situation, you can start fresh in just about any career. Some of them are going to be a lot harder if you’re truly starting from scratch in your 40s. For instance, becoming an astronaut or a professional athlete are probably off the table.
Joking aside, if you aren’t already in the field, careers that require a significant accumulation of specialized knowledge and practice hours will be harder to build a new career in. Transferrable skills will only take you so far in open-heart surgery. So will careers that tend to have a very structured, formal career path.
At the same time, with the right combination of confidence and humility, learning mindset and imagination, these formal careers can be ripe for fresh, outsider perspective. You may need to think more creatively about less-technical related roles or be prepared for a few years of education and low-paid apprenticeship.
Some career fields are more straightforward than others. Here are some of the best career changes to consider for your switch:
The Best Second Careers For A Midlife Career Change
As with any big change, switching careers in the middle of your life can be a daunting prospect. However, regardless of where you are in your life or career, there are a number of careers that can be ideal for a rewarding second act. If youre not quite sure about when its a good idea to make the leap and what kind of second career ideas work best for someone interested in a midlife career change, here are some ideas and tips for making a switch.
You Cant Fully Prepare For The Unknown
When youre on the brink of a major career change, people will tell you to prepare. Do your homework. Research. Speak to other people whove done the same thing.
This is valuable advice, and you should absolutely follow it. But also bear in mind that no amount of prep compares to being knee-deep in the thick of things.
The only way you can learn from a midlife career pivot is by throwing yourself headfirst into it. And then youll learn thick and fast. So dont spend too much time dithering beforehand.
Own An Emergency Plan
Youll need time to ramp up in a new career. But how much time will be enough? Even with a thoroughly mapped out business plan or assurance from the new boss, things can still have a twist.
If the deal doesnt work out as planned, will you be able to return to your original career path? If its a business you plan on starting, can you sell it if things dont work out?
Yes! Indeed engaging in mid-life career change is quite stressful. Yet, deciding to avoid a mid-life career change several years later, with no plan, will even be more stressful.
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Do A Skills Assessment
skills. You can find multiple types of skills assessments online, for example, personality or occupational themes tests. If you decide to acquire new skills, determine how you can do so. Some careers only require months of training and you may choose to seek certifications, degrees or training sessions.
Allow Yourself The Luxury To Dream Big
Now that the idea has taken hold, what is your next step? You may have to reckon with financial responsibilities, such as a home mortgage, a car payment, and a family to support, so making a rash move isnt in your best interest. Still, give yourself the luxury of dreaming big.
Give some thought to what your ideal career looks like:
- Whats your perfect job title?
- What responsibilities will make up your workday?
- What qualities would make for an outstanding boss and great colleagues?
Make a list and refer back to it as you consider new opportunities.
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Take Stock Of Your Skills
Now, make a list of all your skills, abilities, and qualifications. What are your top strengths and skills? How could they be applied to your new role?
If none of your technical skills apply to your new role, dont panic! Chances are, youve built up many transferable skills over the years that can be used in your new career. Transferable skills typically refer to soft skills like leadership, time management, communication, and problem-solving, but they can also include clerical skills and managerial skills.
For example, if you wanted to switch careers from journalism to marketing, you could use the same basic skillset to be successful in your new role.
Build Core Skills In Your New Field
If youre moving to a field similar to your old one, you may only need to take a few online courses to get on track. For example, a graphic designer moving into UI/UX design already has most of the core skills required. What they need is a focused understanding of UI/UX and the technology trends that drive success.
If youre making a major life career change, however, you may need to develop an entirely new skill set. A mid-life business analyst could have great career success as a data engineer, but theyll have to dig into many different highly technical skills first.
If thats the case, consider a bootcamp program. Bootcamps like those from Springboard can prepare you to apply for a new position in less than a year.
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How To Make A Midlife Career Change
If midlife career changes are on your mind, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first.
Are you willing to start again?
Career changes at 40+ generally means starting at the bottom of the ladder, and you will probably be working for someone younger than yourself.
Are any of your skills relevant to your new career?
Some of the skills that you developed in your current career might be transferable to your new profession. Remember to highlight these in your resume and at your interview.
Do you need any qualifications?
Youll probably need to do qualifications or training courses for your new career. Can you afford the cost of these, and fit them in around your existing work?
Can you afford to make a midlife career change?
Changing careers midlife could mean taking a break to re-qualify or starting on a lower salary. Do you have savings that you can use to plug the gap? If not, you may have to put your plans on hold while you build up a savings fund.
Changing Careers In Midlife: Here Are The Options You Need To Know
While a midlife career change can be scary, it also can be exhilarating if the move is truly what you desire. Your happiness at work correlates with your overall life satisfaction. If you are not fulfilled at your job, it can affect your health in ways you may not realize. For these reasons, an increasing number of workers are finding themselves in a mid-career crisis, and are looking to make the best midlife career change.
Prioritizing your health and happiness requires working at a job you enjoy. Midlife career changes can help you achieve work happiness that decreases overall stress levels. Maybe there is a passion you have always wanted to pursue professionally, or the field you thought you wanted to work in during college is no longer what you are interested in.
Whatever the motivation, changing careers mid-way into a career is a reality for many people. According to , 59% of workers ages 35 to 54 and 51% of those 55 and older believe that job-hopping is beneficial
When you have decided to transition to another career, use this roadmap to minimize disruptions as you move into a new position, field or job.
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Finding Out Who You Are And Who You Want To Become
Cameron Brett, Managing Director of Randstad Technologies in Japan, points out that mid career job seekers typically transition from an exploratory part of their professional journey to one in which they start to specialise in their skills.
In other words, what you are doing at work may not be exactly what you hope to be doing, but itâs going to help get you to where you want to be and perhaps achieve your ultimate dream job.
One of the most important things you can do at this stage is to find out what you like and what you donât like in a career. Do you prize a healthy work-life balance over career progression? Are you an introvert, extrovert or someone in-between? Do you get excited by new challenges?
Your answers to these questions can likely explain why you feel unsatisfied with where you are presently in your career. More importantly, they will give you a direction of what are some of the career options that can meet your aspirations.
Here are some useful tips to help you structure and refine both your personal and career goals to plan your mid career change.
Leveraging Your Past Work
One of the best things about your accumulated years of work is that you have a lot of experience. You may be thinking, “What good will my experience do if I change to a new career?” Two words: transferable skills. These are talents and abilities you have acquired from doing one type of work that you can use in another. For some careers, you may even be able to substitute your transferable skills for formal training.
When deciding between a career that requires additional schooling and one for which you can use your transferable skills, you may decide to choose the latter. It will allow you to transition more quickly and with less effort, at an age when you may want to limit your expenditure of time, energy, or money. That’s not to say you shouldn’t choose an occupation for which you will need to prepare formally, but it’s nice to have options.
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How To Make A Career Change Midlife
11 Min Read | Apr 19, 2022
Does it ever feel like cultures definition of career success belongs only to the hip young entrepreneurs and 30-under-30 listers? Lets change that right now. The truth is, you can make a career change midlife.
You should do work that brings you joy until you take your last breath. That doesnt mean you need a full-time career when youre a great-grandparent, but theres no reason you cant do what youre passionate about just because you hit a certain age. And this idea that you have to be stuck in the same job forever with no hope of making a changewell, thats just false.
I know this is more intimidating for folks midlife because its hard to imagine sitting in a classroom again learning a new skill or leaving the place youve called home for 10+ years. But if you follow these seven steps, youll see that changing careers midlife isnt as intimidatingor difficultas you think.