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Want To Make a Mid-Life Career Change? Here's How To Do It.

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

career coaching

Does it ever feel like there's a lot of pressure and fear from society, which makes it extremely tough to make a midlife career change? Let’s change that mindset!

Although a midlife career change can be terrifying, it is also very exciting - if that change is something you truly long for. There should be no reason why you shouldn't pursue your dreams just because you feel like it's too late.

Numerous people find it intimidating to make a midlife career change because they are afraid that it will disrupt their lives or that they don't have what it takes to start a business or go back to school.

They just cannot imagine themselves in a classroom once again but this time learning a whole new skill with people much younger than them.

Switching Jobs And Switching Careers - What's The Difference?

During a job search, you are most likely looking for the same role you already have at a

different organization, with a different salary and maybe even a new level of seniority. A career change, on the other hand, is more of a process that leads you to change your role, area of expertise, and industry.

If you are unsure of what you want, ask yourself these questions to help evaluate your current situation -

  • If someone told me I couldn’t work in my current field any longer, how would I feel?

  • What would my perfect promotion look like?

  • If I was able to do this same work in a different environment, would I like it?

  • Does the work environment I desire exist?

  • What exactly is it about my job making me unhappy?

Take your time to think through these questions and see what you discover about your career preferences.

Why Are So Many People Changing Careers In Their 30’s Or 40’s?

As we get older, the benefits of career change become more prominent, and our past experiences, passions, and opportunities for obtaining new skills all have a part in our decision-making process.

Here are a few reasons why people make career changes in their 30’s and 40’s:

  • WORKLOAD/HOURS - getting unmanageable

  • BETTER PAY - to meet ambitious financial goals

  • GROWTH POTENTIAL - to advance into a senior role

  • NO PASSION - it disappeared long ago

  • LOCATION - to be close to home

  • NOT VALUED - by the company management

  • NOT LEARNT ANYTHING NEW - the job has become a grind, with no learning

  • WORK/LIFE BALANCE - is very common in the 40s

  • UNHAPPY IN CURRENT FIELD - is very common in the 30s

  • WANT A NEW CHALLENGE - is common with everyone

  • RETIREMENT BENEFITS - I get this a lot from my clients

career switch

My #1 Tip for A Career Change - Figure Out Your ‘Why’

A lot of people realize they have outgrown or hate their jobs, but other than that, they aren't too aware of what is going on. It's crucial to figure out your "why" before you embark on something new, or you could end up in a place you didn't really want to.

Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Why do I want this?

  • What might the risks or downside be?

  • Why do I feel like this career change will make my life better?

By asking yourself these, you will come to realize that a change might not be as great as you thought it would be.

Or you might realize that yes, this change makes sense for me.

My Top 10 Tips to Change Careers When You're Over 40

The greatest challenge of a career change in your 40’s is not knowing where to start. Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain can keep you from moving on. Follow these simple tips to help you make a start for a career change.

  • Value time over money

  • Build a network

  • Put yourself out there

  • Focus on one change at a time

  • Have a niche

  • Do what you want, not what the job market says

  • Eliminate old patterns

  • Take your time

  • Remember there are no guarantees

  • Learn healthy methods of dealing with stress/anxiety

Trusting yourself and evaluating opportunities as they come is important. This way, you’ll know exactly what to do when an opportunity arises.

Is Acquiring New Skills And Qualifications Necessary For A Career Change?

Obtaining new skills is a good way to develop a new career and maintain marketability.

By possessing skills that are rare, you become more valuable in and outside your company. Many companies offer opportunities for professional development to show their commitment to their employees to increase productivity. It also helps keep valuable people. However, if your employer isn't offering free training, there are still other low-cost or free training available, like on Udemy and Coursera.

If you are struggling to figure everything out, speak to a coach and explore your career possibilities.

Not sure how a coach can help? Here's what they can do for you.

What Role Does My Network Play In A Career Change?

When done well, networking will help you land a job much faster and give you more of a competitive edge. The most successful people are usually the most connected. By investing in any relationship, it will benefit you throughout the course of your life and career. Networking helps improve and develop your skill sets, be aware of the latest developments in your field, keep up with the job market, meet potential partners, clients, mentors and obtain access to resources required to speed up your career development.

Also, when you feel like you're stuck in a career rut, you can reach out to someone for help.

OK, so you’ve Changed Your Career, But How Do You Succeed in It?

Starting a new job can certainly involve feelings of fear, anxiety, and excitement. These emotions are completely normal, and although you might not be able to get rid of all of them in the beginning, by having the right mindset, you can certainly minimize them.

Here is how you can find success in your new field:

  • Take initiative

  • Be ready to learn

  • Evaluate yourself

  • Anticipate your boss’s/company’s needs

  • Communicate well

  • Set goals

  • Gain trust

  • Create solutions

  • Be compassionate

And if you ever feel overwhelmed, don't forget to seek expert career change advice from a professional.

Maya Angelou defined success aptly when she said- "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it".

Take one step at a time and see where it takes you!


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