Are you looking to change career in your 30s, 40s and 50s?
If so, you may believe that starting a new career is going to be challenging because of your age.
It’s likely that you’ll change career at least three times during your working life. That means it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to go through a midlife career change.
Compare that with fifty years ago and you’ll see how much things have changed. Back then, having one career was the norm and if you changed career more than once, you would probably have been considered a bit indecisive.
But here’s the thing:
It’s no longer the case that where you start is where you end up when it comes to your career. These days, you have lots of options. It’s hard to know what you want and it isn’t always easy to know what is available to you.
Today, you’re going to discover how to take the first steps in changing your career by figuring out:
If you are stuck for ideas, it’s worth doing a career assessment as this will highlight the types of careers and tasks that are best suited to your skills, interests and experience. It’ll also tell you how suited you are to a range of careers so if you’ve got something in mind, you can find out if you’re on the right track or whether you need to think again.
You know what you don’t want
A midlife career change is usually a choice rather than a necessity. It’s brought about by a desire to do something new or the drive to find a role that is more fulfilling and less stressful.
The desire to change career usually begins around the age of 30. Perhaps that gleaming job you worked so hard for all through your 20s has lost its gloss or maybe your priorities have changed. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there – that brilliant career turns out not to be so wonderful after all.
But this isn’t as bad as you think.
In fact, it can help you figure out what’s really driving this career change so you make the right choice about what to do next.
On the plus side, a midlife career change may become more realistic as you reach the ages of 40, 50 and 60 as the pressure on your personal finances is lifted. Perhaps the mortgage or other loans have been paid off. Maybe the kids have got through Uni and maybe you’ve finally got some decent savings in the bank.
The good news?
It means you’re now in a position to pursue a new career – one that is aligned with your personal interests and values.
Leave the misery behind
It’s possible that you to want to change your career because you’re unhappy at work. If this is the case for you, you’ll know how depressing it is to feel demotivated, unfulfilled and frustrated at work.
But here’s the kicker:
Being miserable at work affects your whole life. So, if you’re unhappy at work, you need to make changing your career a high priority.
Whether you have been sensing that you need to change your career for some time or you’ve had a sudden realisation that you’re on the wrong career path, you need to make sure you have the determination, desire and resilience to make it happen.
But no matter how you’ve come to the point where you know you want to change your career, you need to understand what you want from your next step.
Decide what you want from a new career
As you begin your career transition, you may be finding the question ‘What do you want?’ difficult to answer. That’s probably because you’re not sure what your options are or whether what you want is available to you. First, you need to become aware of what’s driving this change.
Are you looking for:
Take a moment to think about this, because if you can get to the bottom of what it is you really want, you’ll find it easier to choose what you do next.
Discover your options
So, by now you’re ready to take your first real step in making your career change a reality.
And that first step is to take a career assessment.
What will this give you?
It’s a very positive and informative process as it will help you unravel any confusion or frustration you have about what is right for you.
Best of all, a detailed career assessment will allow you to stand back from your situation so you can look at your options in a detached and non-emotional way.
It will also break you out of your current limited thinking and show you what could be possible in terms of your career.
Getting in touch with your particular career needs, aspirations and goals is usually the first step in the career change process. What you discover at this point will allow you to begin to define your new career so you can build a career development plan.
That means you’ll be able to begin researching different career options by talking to people who are already in the career or job that interests you and reading books and articles.
If you are offered the opportunity to shadow someone in their role, take it because it’s an excellent way to gain an insight into what it would mean to do this job on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, moving into a new career or profession could involve retraining or going back to college to learn a new hard skill. These days it’s possible you could train online, in blocks or in the evenings. That means you can retrain while continuing with your existing role, which will be a better option financially and reduces your risk. If retraining is on the cards, look at all the possibilities so you know what you’ll need to invest in terms of time and money.
Plan your career change
Changing career in your 30s, 40s and 50s demands a certain level of planning. You need a proper career change strategy in place so you can take each step with confidence and determination.
After all, you don’t want to rush ahead and change your career only to find you’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. You want something better than you have now.
Here’s the bottom line:
It’s easy to get lost down rabbit holes, get stuck and give up when facing the challenges of changing career on your own. But when you get help, the whole process becomes faster, easier and, most important of all, is more likely to deliver the result you want: a new career that you love.
Can you change your career without any help? Yes, you can but it’ll probably take you longer and may not give you exactly what you’re looking for. Doing it on your own can also be lonely. It’s hard to keep going when there’s nobody there to pick you up when you’re down. It’s difficult to know what to do when you don’t have those nuggets of expertise or feedback that allow you to take your next step with confidence.
“When I was in my mid-30s, I was doing okay in my career. In fact, I’d achieved the goal I set for myself by becoming a commission editor. But despite loving the job, I knew my days were numbered.
The industry I was in was shrinking and I wasn’t earning what I wanted and needed to have the life I dreamed of. I wanted more and I knew the only way I was going to get it was by changing my career.
What I really wanted was more freedom.
So, I retrained and moved into IT with a view to becoming a website editor. But once I’d retrained, that job didn’t seem to be available to me so I became an Intranet manager instead. But that turned out not to be the right career for me at all.
Fast-forward a few years and I’m finally doing what I always wanted to do: writing, coaching and teaching. I wish I’d taken some careers advice when I left my publishing job because if I had, I believe I would have got where I am today faster and with a lot less stress.”
Making it happen
There’s no doubt that changing your career takes time, effort and persistence. It’s definitely not something that happens overnight. It means you’re going to need to have a willingness to learn and grow if you’re going to succeed.
Here’s the thing:
Why choose Career Consultants?
At Career Consultants, we have been helping people make sensible and successful career changes for more than 20 years.
Our skills and experience mean we can help you if you know you want to make a career change but can't decide what to do and we can help you if you have lots of ideas and can't decide which to pursue.
Most importantly, we help people like you change career successfully, no matter what your circumstances.
If you’re considering a career change, why not share it with us and we will talk to you about how to make it a workable strategy so you can achieve the career change you want.
Tips for Making a Successful Career Change
Why not take a moment to fill in the career form on the page so that we can help you too?
Simply complete the form below and tell us what has happened in your career to-date and what options you are thinking about and we will help you to make a successful career change.
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