Why a Career Change is Possible at Any Age
It’s not surprising that a career chosen in our early adulthood (i.e. straight out of high school or university) won’t always see us through to retirement – after all, our values and priorities may change as we grow, we may move to another city, state or country, or we simply may hit a point in our lives where we realise “this isn’t what I want to be doing at all!”
However, at this point many of us believe that it’s too late to make a drastic career change in our lives. The truth of the matter is you can consider changing careers at any time in your life – you just have to know the right way to do it. In fact, one 2019 study suggests that over 82% of adults over the age of 45 who wanted to change their career were successfully able to do so!
Here’s how to change careers when all the nay-sayers tell you it’s too late to make the change, and why it’s possible to do at any age.
Look at What’s Working for You
Introspection is a skill that is seldom taught, but is very important when it comes to changing careers. In order to understand how you should move forward with a new job, take the time to reflect on the things in your life that are working. You’ll want to do the same for things that aren’t working. For example, is there a task at your current job that you enjoy doing the moment it comes up? Jot it down, alongside the tasks that you’re asked to do that make you uncomfortable or unhappy. You may come to discern something interesting about yourself and where you want to be in your career. Maybe you don’t want to take on all the extra responsibilities and climb the corporate ladder, because a traditional corporate ladder isn’t where you want to be at all, which will lead you to a more fulfilling life.
By doing this, you can evaluate your true job satisfaction.
Assess Your Skills and Interests
Take some time and ask yourself where your skills and interests lie. Does your current career allow you to harness your current skills, or support your interests and beliefs? If the answer is no, you may want to consider changing careers.
Following a career path that supports your interests and beliefs is important when it comes to living a fulfilled life. Driving into a less-than exciting office everyday may help you pay the bills, but if all you’re feeling is miserable, looking into how to change careers can help you feel accomplished. If you’re unsure on any of these, ask your fellow employees, friends or family what they think you’re great at and where you’ve been the most successful at your current place of work.
Build On Your Skills
You may think that you should train in areas in which you may be unskilled, but the opposite turns out to be true: simply honing your skills or upskilling will actually make you happier and more motivated. Remember in our previous step, where we suggested you ask fellow employees to tell you where you succeed the most at work? This is where you can take their advice on-board and work to be great in an area in which you were previously very good. You may discover skills or talents that you didn’t know you had, which could be advantageous when you begin to apply for positions in a new career.
Upskilling is a great way to smooth a transition into a new career. Wherever you want to go, Foundation Education has a range of online courses available in dentistry, health, human resources, and more.
Brainstorm Career Ideas and Test the Waters
Here is where the transition begins. By brainstorming ideas for career alternatives, you can research career options and begin networking with contacts (remember the old saying: it’s not always what you know, but who you know). A career counsellor could also be brought in here to assist in coming up with ideas, or you could read blogs online that give you insight into different careers. By doing this, you’ll also likely find a sense of excitement that will drive you towards your new career.
If you can, setting up a job shadowing opportunity could be hugely insightful if you’re not sure on whether a potential career is truly for you. Similarly, you could try freelance of volunteer opportunities in the field of work you’re interested in.
Consider a New Role in the Same Industry
When people ask how to change careers, one of the easiest answers tends to be: look for new opportunities within the same industry. For example, if you are a great writer, you could move into a wide range of possibilities, from copywriting to editing or simply freelance opportunities doing a mix of both.
We hope this advice on career changes has been useful for you. For more information on upskilling or any of our nationally recognised courses, feel free to contact us and prepare for your future career today.
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