Mid-Life Career Shift Strategies!
If you are thinking about switching careers at the midpoint of your life, you may be experiencing a range of emotions. On one hand, you are probably excited about the idea of seeking new opportunities and excelling at a new job; however, you still most likely have some understandable concerns. For instance, you may wonder how your younger colleagues may react to having a person well-acquainted with the work world among them. You may even fear how others may perceive your chance: too hasty, a sign that you lack skill, discipline or some other essential quality? In this post, we will look at some ways that you can make your mid-life career shift less stressful and more rewarding than ever!
1. Before completely committing to a new line of work, experiment a bit.
Even if you are certain that you are ready for a career change, try not to jump into anything that seems more appealing without first getting a feel for the field to discover if you are looking in the right direction. For instance, before you apply for positions in your new field of interest, try seeking out volunteer opportunities if they are available. Take on new projects that might reflect the kind of work you would be expected to produce in the chosen work environment. You might uncover a whole new level of enthusiasm for the field that you never experienced before, one that is much more focused and will help you convey to employers why you could handle the work load. On the other hand, you might learn that the line of work is not for you after all. This is also fine. In any case, it is better to learn more about your interests and skill levels before you jump into a life-altering decision.
2. Be ready for a significant change.
No matter how proficient you may be in your desired line of work, expect a mid-life career change to test you in many areas. One such area is your self-confidence. Self-confidence goes beyond believing that you can do the work and performing accordingly. When you are self-confident, you convey to others that you have the drive and the enthusiasm to succeed. You want potential employers to see such a quality in you; however, it is natural not to be beaming with self-confidence the moment you exit the job you have held for years and step into a world presently unfamiliar to you. To build confidence, consider some of the challenges you may face as you change careers. What are some of your weaknesses? In what areas do you wish to grow? Tackle these problem areas head on. Acknowledge that there will be obstacles, but to not balk at them. Embrace them. Prepare yourself for a potentially emotional journey, but try to learn from every step of it.
3. Rely on you network.
When it comes to a career change, your support network is everything. After all, who wants to go into such a major life change alone? Make sure your family is fully aware of your decision and what it will mean for them. For instance, will you have to relocate to pursue your new career? How much will it cost, and is the interruption something your family can afford both financially and emotionally? If they fully support your career change, the transition will be a lot less stressful for you. If you sense any apprehension, however, you might want to take some time to talk with your family and understand their concerns. Take their advice and constructive criticism without getting defensive. If you have any colleagues or friends who have experienced a similar career transition or who currently work in your desired field, seek out their advice and mentorship. Building your network can go a long way at a time like this. Do not underestimate its power.
4. Know yourself!
While many of the previous steps touch on this, it is worth emphasizing: you need to be realistic with yourself and be ready to think very deeply about why you want to change careers and why you think such a change is a smart move for you and your career. Think about why you want to change careers in the first place. Is it simply because you are in a rut in your current job and are having trouble overcoming it? If so, make sure that this one obstacle is not the only thing keeping you from continuing a fulfilling career and you are not simply fleeing out of fear. It is important to remember that you will face challenges in a new job as well. They are inevitable. However, such challenges help talented professionals grow and learn more about themselves and their jobs. If you are sure you are up for the challenges of a career change after much self-reflection, the next step is to research extensively and to be honest with yourself every step of the way.
5. Be positive!
Do not go into your mid-life career change expecting to fail. Stay positive, take risks, and be excited about what the future holds. That is not to say that the journey will not have its stressful moments; it will. But, do not view the stress as a deterrent; view it as something to overcome in pursuit of a rewarding career.
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Are you making a career transition? Do you need some assistance in making a transition smooth? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.