Should you consider a career change after 50? Is it too late?
It may seem like everyone else is happy and settled into their career, but you might be surprised to find out that you are not alone in wanting to change careers.
There are three main reasons people usually look to make a career change
1.To reduce stress: There comes a time where the amount of stress that comes with the job is not worth the benefits. Even if that means stepping down from a position and staying within the same company simply to reduce hours, responsibility and of course stress.
2.To follow their passion: Sometimes earlier in life people give up following their passion to ensure they have a steady income and can set themselves up for their future. Or maybe they never knew what their passion was until later in life.
3.Try something new: When you’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years it might just mean it’s time to try something different.
If you already know what career you would like to change into then you’re one step ahead. However, there are a few questions you still need to ask before you throw your paperwork into the air and say, “I QUIT!”
1.What are my strongest skills and interests?
2.What industries or roles would they transfer into?
3.What new skills must I acquire to complete my career change?
Research the positions
Research the industry you’re interested in and determine how your current skill set could align with a future job. Make sure the industry you are wanting to move into is growing and won’t be devastated by the economy or technology. If you don’t know what industry you’d like to move into, seeking advice from a career advisor is a great step. They can assess your current skill set and personality and see what jobs would be a good fit for you.
It’s not about the money
Of course, you need an income to afford life’s necessities and luxuries but you also need to focus on developing your skills, personal satisfaction and staying up to date with the latest technology and society.
Reinvent yourself professionally
Change your LinkedIn profile to fit your future position so that you appeal to recruiters in that industry. It helps employers understand that you have already made a shift into that industry and aren’t just thinking about a change. Career advisors can work with you to build a professional and successful profile that will appeal to future employees.
Start attending networking events with people in the industry, look for information on social media pages such as Facebook or websites, attend conventions with workshops and seminars.
Don’t Resent them because they’re younger
Whatever industry you are moving into there will always be younger people, one of them might even be your boss. Young people have enthusiasm, drive, energy (and maybe even some impulsiveness) – that is part of being young - You were there once. They need your experience and you will also need their new way of seeing things. We all have to learn to work together.
Finalise your plan
Once you’ve decided where you would like to go after doing your own research and working with a career advisor put your plan into action. Have a list of contacts ready, have your resume, portfolio and materials for self-marketing ready, a calendar for job fairs, conventions and networking events. Start working on any new skills you need to learn and where to learn them.
Build your elevator speech
One of the biggest questions you will probably be asked is “Why are you switching careers?” or “What are you looking forward to in this industry?”
Having a short 30 second pitch ready will tell potential employers or possibly networks you know what you are doing and are ready for the move. A career advisor can help you craft your speech and practice with you to make sure you are fully prepared for any interview questions or networking events.
Most of all – Be flexible and keep going!
Be energetic and don’t give up. Even if your previous career wore you out you want to show that you still have plenty to give. Surround yourself with positivity, it is easy to fill your mind with doubt by asking if this was the right choice or other doubtful people bringing you down. Don’t listen to it, remember why you chose to do this and keep track of your progress to keep your mood high. Track what meetings you have attended, who you have met, what blogs and videos you have watched and read and learnt from.