The truth is that it’s never too late to change career and many older people have successfully made the transition to something new and loved every minute of it. Whether in your forties and considering your options or older, wanting to put some vim back into your work life, there’s plenty to be said for going off in a totally different direction.
Of course, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons carefully before you start. You’ll need to understand what has to be done to switch careers – do you require additional training, for instance, or do you have enough transferable skills to make the change?
One of the first things you’ll want to consider is actually why you want to change your career in the first place. Perhaps:
- You were on the wrong career path in the first place and now you really need to change.
- You want something challenging or more in keeping with your values.
- Your current career path has reached a dead end and the opportunities are not as fruitful as they used to be.
- You want to take advantage of a new, developing sector that you find engaging.
The world is full of people who followed a certain career for years and then made a successful change in later life. And it doesn’t only have to be the privilege of the rich and famous. There are business executives that have gone into nursing and midwifery, sales people who became office managers, and even accountants who decided to become yoga teachers.
The Key to Changing Career
Changing takes work. That’s the first thing you need to understand. While you may have a number of great transferable skills, the chances are you’ll have to learn some new ones along the way. That might mean taking courses to get yourself up to speed. It could mean taking a step back and starting again at a lower position, then working your way up again.
The key to making a successful change is ensuring that it’s actually what you want. One of the main things you need to consider is the impact it’s going to have on your finances, particularly if you have to take that important step back. Most older workers have accrued a certain amount of baggage that can impact on their career decisions. For example, you might have a family to support or a mortgage to keep up. Alternatively, your kids may have left home and you might have less commitments which give you more flexibility.
Another thing you might like to consider is why your current career isn’t delivering what you had hoped. After all, you may have spent the last 20 or even 30 years working hard to get somewhere and are now putting that at risk.
The truth is that the job market it a lot more flexible than it ever used to be. There are simply more options to switch to new careers than ever before and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this. Of course, there can also be a sense that the grass is greener on the other side which is not always true. Perhaps your considering changing career because you’re having some kind of mid-life crisis. You’re not alone if this is the case and it shouldn’t stop you from trying a different direction that makes you happier. Just make sure you sit back in the cold light of day and examine all the options objectively.