Considering a midlife career change but overwhelmed with the fear of it going wrong? Or perhaps starting again in a new industry scares you? Although considering a career change in your late 30s, 40s or even 50s can be frightening, it’s also exciting and exhilarating.
Leaving an industry that you‘ve spent the whole of your professional life investing your time in can be daunting, but you're never too old to follow something you desire. While you consider your next career move, we can give you some pointers to help you along the way.
Change is difficult for everyone, no matter what your age is. You've probably asked yourself a million questions:
- What if I change careers and I'm not good at it?
- What if I can't support my family?
- Am I too far into my career to change?
- Am I going to start at the bottom of the hierarchy again?
Whether you've spent years thinking about a career change, or it was more of a spontaneous thought, asking these questions to yourself means you’ll be more prepared for your career move. Research is key to making sure you're making the right decision, so use this time to find out as much as possible about your new industry. The more of an understanding you have, the better the transition will be.
Find Out from Someone Who Knows
While we’re on the subject of questions - the best answers can often be given from people who’ve already experienced it. Try and connect with people who are already in the profession. They may discover details you haven't found yourself; the routes into the industry, the day-to-day role, and sometimes they may even know someone who can help you to get into that field too.
Additionally, speaking to someone who had a career change later in their working life might help you understand the process and eliminate any fears you have. Read Sandra's story, and find out how she followed her dreams despite her initial fears.
Take Your Time
It's easy to think that as you're getting older a career move needs to be a quick decision - this isn’t the case. In fact, the more time you take to make the decision, the more informed your choice.
It's wise at this point to consider aspects of your existing job you dislike and work out what it is that you want your new job to offer you. It might be you want more flexibility, or you want to work independently rather than in a team. Focus on what you want and assess whether the area you’re thinking of going into will give you this.
Every job is going to have pros and cons, but if the cons outweigh the pros then it's likely this occupation isn't for you. That’s why it’s important to give yourself the time to carefully consider a potential career move.
Identifying Your Skills
Since you're thinking of changing your career now, all be it in your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond, it's likely you've picked up some beneficial transferrable skills that you'll be able to use in your new career along the way. So, grab a cup of tea, a pen and some paper, and start making a list of these skills. This will help with writing your CV, applying for your new job, and preparing for interviews too.
Any job you decide you want to chase, there’s probably some kind of entry requirements. Perhaps you need extra qualifications? If so, don't be put off! This can help you prepare for a brand new chapter in your life, and often there is flexibility offered with studying to. This is where your research is going to be helpful. It's best to identify courses that can help you achieve your new career and give you that helping hand along the way. We don't want any obvious hurdles getting in the way.
As you get older, it becomes increasingly harder to accept change. Jumping into a new industry with potential for unpredictability is a brave move. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and you’ll adapt to the change of your new career in time. Don't rob yourself of a chance that you’ve spent so much time thinking and dreaming about.
By embracing a career change - even at an older age - you'll open doors and welcome personal growth. It may be possible that you're now more certain of what you want than when you were younger, and that in itself is a good thing.
If studying a course can help you reach your end career goal, we have a wide range of courses in many different categories that can help boost your career prospects. Haven't written a CV for a while? Let us help with that too. Let us assist you with your interview skills so you’re fully prepared for your career move when the time comes.
We wish you luck with your midlife career change! Need help? Call our learning advisers on 0121 630 3000.