With so much going on in the news today there are those out there seeking to get a job or make a career change.
Recent unemployment figures reflect again some concern for our economy. Some of you are considering a new career or a job move. And some of you may be considering simply taking time off until the market changes regarding your next career search.
It might not be such a bad time to survey where the jobs are and the skills employers are seeking in the present as well as future job market. Perhaps if you have a few bucks stashed away, volunteering could be a win-win and a way of getting yourself in the door. If nothing else you will have gained new skills and have had a chance to build a network for future opportunities.
So you have considered changing careers. You’re tired of doing the same old thing day after day, you’re interested in something new, at the end of the tunnel there’s very little growth or advancement, family structure has changed dramatically and you simply don’t need to earn as much, or you desire to start a business of your own.
You’ve spent the last fifteen years of your life working in a field that no longer holds any interest for you. You might have entered the field with ideology on your side, with hope and passion and vision, but all of that has trickled away into the tapestry of the past and now the only reason that you get up early in the morning to trudge on to work is for the paycheck. Maybe it’s a great paycheck, maybe it’s not. It doesn’t really matter once the fire has gone out of your heart.
Too many people spend the best years of their life working in a career that doesn’t interest them, and which they have no real passion for. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and elevated stress. Yet for some reason, the idea of shifting careers later in life isn’t a possibility for them.
Why not? Where in the rule book of life is it stated that once you start a career, you have to remain in that career forever? It isn’t stated anywhere because there are no rules in life. You are bound to nothing and to no one. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of your own company, if your life is not fulfilled and satisfied by your current career, then there’s nothing saying you can’t change it.
People have been shifting their careers later in life for a long time. Some are forced to make this adjustment when their employers cut their positions, lay them off, or tell them that their services are no longer needed. Millions of people currently are trying to change careers because there simply are no jobs available in the field they’ve known for ten or twenty years.
Whether you want to make a career change because of choice or because you have no other choice, it doesn’t matter how old you are when you begin to make that change. You could be thirty, forty, fifty, or even seventy, and it’s not too late.
There may be a few sacrifices that you’ll need to make, a few changes in your life’s routine, but they tend to be minor issues. For example, you may have to live on a diminished wage while you take the steps to change your career. You may have to commute more, or change your working hours. Then again, you may have to consider your physical health and stamina, asking yourself these questions:
1 What will I be giving up in terms of benefits, especially health?
2 What new stressors will I have to face?
3 What or how will this impact my family and social life?
4 Should I stay or should I go…what research will I perform?
5 Will I and am I passionate about having to relocate and begin anew, if necessary?
6 Most importantly, what support systems do I have in place for the next 6 to 12 months?
By shifting your career later in life, some of the habits and rituals that you’ve grown accustomed to will alter as well. But you will likely know what you truly want to do with your life. You may be required to go back to college and get a different degree.
The one aspect, however, that is often lost among people who think about shifting their career later in life, is that they will have to start all over. This is such a fallacy. You bring so much from your past career and life experiences. Your past skills are invaluable along with your new skillset.
Get out there and have a wonderful life. It’s never too late even if you’re changing careers. Keep in mind that you don’t need to go and quit your job while changing careers. Focus on your uniqueness and attributes at all times. Establish a plan. Career change doesn’t happen overnight. Never give up and don’t forget to network even in an uncertain but growing economy. I look forward to working with you in the event that you want to have that authentic conversation regarding your next move!
Curt Canada is a Board Certified Coach at Adapting2change in Washington, DC. Adapting2change is a DC Chamber of Commerce Member.