When you reach the age of 50, you either feel the urge to try your hand at something you always wanted to do, or you find yourself being forced into a new line by your employer who is looking for younger employees to take the control. In other words, a mid career change can be both voluntary and necessitated by the circumstances. Regardless of the reason for your career change, taking such a bold step in your midlife can be quite frightening and challenging. Hence, before finalizing this decision, you must take proper time to evaluate your current situation in order to explore suitable career options, and to ultimately choose a career that can offer you the kind of satisfaction you desire. In fact, here are a few points that you must keep in mind in order to make an informed decision regarding your career.
- Make sure that it’s not just passion behind your decision – It is true that passion drives your career but this is also correct that your hard work and talent play an equally important role. At the same time, you should also consider whether or not you are willing and have the ability to work hard in your 50s. Establishing a new career demands you to start from the scratch which may even consume plenty of your time, and given the fact that you already have a lot of responsibilities at this age, it can get quite difficult to learn new skills and adapt to a totally different setting.
- Assess your financial position – Career change often leads to a pay cut and losing several benefits that you used to enjoy. But the question is can you actually afford to deal with the financial stress for an uncertain period of time. At the age of 50 or 65, if you have already built an abundance of cash or liquid assets then you need not worry about your finances while changing your career. But if you have to take a debt or sell your non-liquid assets to arrange the required funds for making a career change, you may be creating a troublesome situation for yourself.
- Analyze your skill requirement – Entering into a completely different field may require you to upgrade your current skill set as you may have to go back to the basics or undergo proper training to gain adequate knowledge about the skills that may be demanded in your career and for your personal growth. At the same time, you may also have to assess all your transferrable skills as these are the skills you already have and can be easily transferred to your new job opportunity. By making a list of all the skills you have and you require, you will be able to seamlessly execute the process of mid career change.
- Prepare yourself for uncertainties – Gaining success in your new career requires proper time, but exactly how much time is something no one can guess. In addition, even with a well-designed plan, you may encounter various situations that may put you under excessive stress. Therefore, you need to have a contingency plan to make sure that if things don’t work out as planned, you do not get back to point zero.
- Seek professional guidance – Changing your career not only requires proper guidance but you also need someone to hold you accountable at every step of your transition journey. And to seek this support and guidance, you can approach a career coach. A career expert is an experienced and trained professional who can map out the most suitable career path for you, and can constantly motivate you in the right direction.
Few mistakes you must avoid while making a midlife career change
- Don’t change you career because of money – Needless to say, everyone prefers a higher paycheck, but money should not be the sole factor for your career change. You may get a better salary, but you may not be able to achieve job satisfaction. Hence, it is advisable to look for a career that you would love to work in.
- Never change your career because you are unhappy – People often feel unhappy with their current job role, and eagerly wait for the right time to leave. But before switching careers, you have to find the exact reason behind your unhappiness. Otherwise, you may feel the same sense of dissatisfaction in your new job role as well.
- Don’t change your field without a thorough research – Entering a new field may sound exciting, but you should never take such decisions without proper research about the industry you wish to enter. You have to find whether or not you are well suited for the industry you are preparing yourself.
Clearly, a mid career change requires proper planning and research, but when planned correctly, it can yield great results. Hence, you should definitely consider the points mentioned above as from assessing your financial position to preparing yourself for uncertainties and seeking professional guidance, you need a proper plan to ensure your career growth. Also, you must avoid making the mistakes discussed above in order taste success in whichever career you decide to move to.