Midlife Career Transition: A 5-Step Actionable Plan
Is making a career decision hard?
Few people have a lightbulb moment that makes everything clear.
For most of us, moving to a new career involves a better understanding of -
What we truly value at work
What really makes us tick
What potential career opportunities we can find
Which new things we can gain a bit of experience in
How we're able to market ourselves
Too much to think about? I thought so too!
So, where do you start your midlife career transition?
The ideal start is to really find what you’re looking for in your career. Think about what you want in your job at this point in life. Do you want -
Better work hours?
A more understanding boss?
A better work environment?
A more convenient location?
A bigger challenge?
The more you understand what you want, the closer you’ll get to finding a job that gives it to you.
Once you’ve figured this out, it’s time to TAKE ACTION!
Midlife Career Transition: A 5-step Actionable Plan
Here’s an actionable plan you can make today to make a midlife career transition.
1. Treat Every Career Change Opportunity Like It’s H-U-G-E
Making a career transition takes time and resilience. And you must know how to grab every opportunity that comes your way. This is especially if you’re thinking about switching to a new industry. You have less experience in the field and feel like you are starting from scratch. In such situations, every little opportunity matters. It may not be exactly what you want to do, but maybe it’ll get you started! By doing this, you also start building connections. Others can help you build confidence, maybe even introduce you to many others who will, in turn, help you too. Every small connection you make will take you closer to where you want to be. Next time someone offers you a small gig, TAKE IT. It may be a start to a new career.
2. Make A Career Pivot
Making a career pivot isn’t as dramatic as changing careers completely, and is probably what you're looking for! It could be where you -
Leave one company to join a different one
Change roles at the same company
Use your transferable skills to start a new job
Start your own business, in the area you're already good at
Before you make a career pivot this is usually the question people ask - "Should I stay in my job or should I leave?" But this is not always the most useful question... The better question to ask is - "I know I want to leave, but how do I do it the right way?“ Knowing you’re ready for a career transition is much easier than deciding HOW to get started. A career pivot usually aligns with that pivotal moment in your life when you decide between the two choices that always loom in front of us.. OPTION 1: Stay with the status quo OPTION 2: Take a calculated risk towards a change I decided to take a chance and try something different. I pivoted and took a calculated risk. I doubled down on my strengths, to make a purposeful shift towards a new, related direction. A career pivot will make you feel a little uncomfortable, and that’s ok. Be intentional in your efforts. Plan. And Execute it.
3. Refresh Your Resume
Marcus Buckingham said - "Emphasize your strengths on your résumé. It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people simply list everything they've ever done."
If you have an old résumé that needs refreshing, here are my top tips!
3.1 Keep It Simple Keep it easy to read. No big words. No long sentences. 3.2 Tell A Story Make the reader want to call you. Change "I am a project lead" to "I got the project done in half the time" if you actually did of course :-) 3.3 Use Keywords Grab the reader's attention. If you want a callback, show them words they know and understand. 3.4 Categorize Headings give the resume structure. Summary. Skills. Experience. Education. These are the basics. 3.5 Know Your Brand What is the one thing people should know about you? Does your resume scream it out? 3.6 Get Feedback Ask someone experienced for an opinion. And LISTEN to what they say.
4. Don’t Burnout
Is it easy to switch jobs while experiencing career burnout?
This is a paradox I faced myself. When I changed careers at 42, I felt burned out. I was stressed. I wanted to change, but that stressed me out even more!
So, how do you handle a major career transition when you have zero time, and your energy is at an all-time low?
For a successful transition - these are my top tips.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Shift into a growth mindset - You CAN change!
Find a mentor or a coach, or better still - BOTH
Do something new. Act. Action is the antidote to self-doubt
Don’t live on auto-pilot - Explore - What do you really want?
Be ruthless with self-care - Look after yourself
5. Don’t Suffer From “FOPO”
No no, it's not Fear Of Passing Out!
It's the Fear of People's Opinion.
It happens when you start paying less attention to what makes YOU you and start giving importance to what others may or may not say.
I’ve suffered from it too and have felt the fear, the paralysis, and the helplessness that comes with FOPO.
And these realizations helped me come out of it gradually -
Most People Don't Care I used to think everyone was looking at my bald head! Most people don't care, their lives are complicated enough. The Present Is All There Is What's happened has happened. I spoil my present by staying in the past. Getting on with it is the only option. I Am Not Alone I found those who would always love, support, and guide me through tough times. Once that happened, others' opinions didn't matter so much. I Can't Make Everyone Happy Enough said. Life Is Too Short If I keep worrying about what others think, then I'm living the life they want me to live. My life is too precious. Call me selfish, but I want to live my life my way!