Career Change in Midlife

It may not be as hard as you think

Is career change in midlife a real possibility for you? Are you already thinking 'I'm too old' or 'it's too late'?

Here are 10 reasons why it can be easier for you than for someone younger.

1. You have a host of skills and experience

Just because you have been around longer, done more jobs, worked with more people you can't fail to have got more in the way of skills to offer. The challenge is to acknowledge them in yourself and understand how transferable they are.

2. You know what really matters to you in life

It often takes us to midlife before we work out what is really important to us as individuals. It takes time for us to learn to shut out all the expectations and demands that we place on ourselves but which really come from others.

3. Your children are growing up

Very young children are endlessly demanding but as they grow up, you are in a better position to explain to them why lifestyle changes are necessary. That doesn't mean teenagers will always be delighted with change, but you'd be surprised how it can open communication channels if you share you dreams with them. You may get more support than you expect!

4. You are more confident

You might not always feel it, but just think back to how you were at 18 or 20. Of course you are in a stronger place than you were then. Young people can have a brash confidence which is based on inexperience, while yours is based on the 'been there, done it, got the t-shirt' of the more mature.

5. You can be patient and planful

A career change in midlife may take time. It will usually involve some careful planning and a willingness to be patient. The instant gratification generation find this a real challenge. They want it all and they want it now while you have learned over the years that good things come to those who wait.

6. Your finances are more secure

OK, in the current climate, your finances may not be rosy, but in midlife you are usually in a better position to make cut backs and save for a career change than you would be at 21. You are also ready to ask the question 'Is it really just all about money?'

7. You can progress more quickly in your new field

Often a change to a new career will involve a drop in status. You have to be ready to prove yourself in your new arena. But because of your wealth of experience you likely to move up a lot more quickly than you would have done if you were starting at 21.

8. You have an extensive network of contacts

Your network is often a key element in your career change strategy and by midlife, your network will be extensive. Just think back to all the people you know form your various jobs, your social life, your family, your friends... the list goes on. Don't be afraid to ask them for help.

9. You have coped successfully with work & life challenges

OK, now you are not going to tell me that you haven't had a few challenges in life so far? You may have been through the mill a few times – and yet here you are, still going strong. You don't weather life's storms without learning something along the way. You have developed a resilience that you will be able to use as you face up to the challenges of a career change. Midlife does not need to be when it all stops.

10. Thinking outside the box

Some people say that you get more closed in your thinking as you get older. Well I think the opposite can happen. As you drop the 'rules' of life that you have imposed on yourself, you get to be more open about what is possible. Maybe it's the clock ticking makes you more prepared to go for things before it is too late?

Just ask yourself this simple question:

Do I want to look back from 70 and be thinking '

I wish I'd made that change.'

If the answer is no, then it is time to get moving.

So when are you going to take the first step towards that career change in midlife? Click here if you don't know where to begin.

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