Successful Midlife Career Change
Five Realities of Making a Midlife Career Change
Are you considering a career change in midlife? Or are you currently in the career change process? It might helpful to remind yourself of the following realities of midlife career change to help you maintain perspective.
1. Career change is not a linear process. What this means is that it is not a series of step by step actions you can take that will lead you towards your goal. This is different than what you may have experienced with your first career: 1) go to college, 2) get internship or other experience, 3) start entry level job. Rather, you respond to opportunities, take one step forward, two steps back.
2. Career change takes longer than you expect. Making a successful midlife career change is a long process. Depending on the nature of your career change, it can take months and years. This is where a career counselor can be helpful, to navigate this process more strategically to maximize your time. The more knowledge you have about yourself and what is available, the smoother your transition, but not necessarily the quicker. However, in the big picture, your life is much longer and spending your days doing something more fulfilling is definitely worth the wait!
3. Ask many questions along the way. For each option you consider, be sure and ask multiple people very pointed questions about what to expect. It can be uncomfortable to not know what to do and once you do, you can find yourself jumping into something too quickly. You’re going through a major transition making a career change in midlife, so it’s important to get as much information as you can. Here’s what to do: ask five-six people who are similar to you very pointed questions about the job, career path, educational program, company, business, etc. You want to get multiple points of input. A career counselor can help you identify the relevant questions to ask.
4. Know who to ask for help. Watch out for getting advice from friends and family members. Rather, focus on finding resources who are particularly knowledgable about the areas you’re interested in and again, get multiple perspectives. Choose your mentors carefully and remember, you get what you pay for.
5. Keep your power so you don’t feel like you’re losing control. You’re giving up your power when you’re looking for:
- an expert to tell you what to do
- a proven formula to follow
This doesn’t mean not seeking assistance in your career change, but remembering that you are in control. This is your career and you know you best. A career counselor can offer you an objective perspective and help you organize the information you have about yourself, experiences and available options. Ultimately you choose what is best for you. Your intuition will help guide you here.
Keeping your power also means that you move towards the career and life you really want not away from the life you don’t want. Don’t forget to create a back-up plan.
Need more help with changing midlife career?
Making a career change in midlife is not an easy process, but can be a very liberating one. Click here to learn more to our career coaching program. Our career counseling in Houston are always ready to help. Book an appointment with a career counselor who is available to meet with you via phone, Skype or in person to discuss any career related question you might have.
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