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Mid-life career changes

Have you hit the mid-life slump? Well, then you’re not alone. Around middle age, many people question their place in the world. If you’re ready to make a change, why not start with your job? Read on for some ideas.

Frustrated woman at work

You’ve likely worked hard in your current career, but what if you’re not happy in that field anymore? Then what? Maybe it’s time to make a change and switch careers! We hear about it all the time — the lawyer who becomes a chef or the teacher who becomes a playwright, for instance. Switching careers can be an opportunity to rediscover yourself, make a positive impact on your future and help lead you down the path of self-fulfillment. If that’s something you have the desire to do, here are a few ideas to help you make it work.

Move at your own pace

Leaving a job to pursue another takes planning and time. You’re not a kid anymore and probably have responsibilities, such as a mortgage and children, so dropping the full-time salary isn’t always practical. Consider working the transition over months or years to help ensure its success.

Be realistic

Do you know what your next career move should be? If so, set up a realistic goal that is achievable, and put together a plan of action. Here are just some of the questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do you need to upgrade your education and return to school either part-time or full-time? How will that affect you and your family?
  • Do you have the financial resources needed to make a career switch? Switching careers may mean a reduction in salary, a period of unemployment or relying on investments or savings to pay for education or start-up costs.
  • How can you parlay your current education and experience into your future job move?
  • Do you have any networking contacts or opportunities that could help you?
  • Do you have practical work experience or knowledge in your newly chosen career? If not, how can you attain some?

Review your work history

Updating your resume is a given, but look deep inside and see what accomplishments and strengths are applicable to the new career path you want to pursue. Are you a master at sales, a whiz in IT or a strong leader, perhaps? What personal attributes will help you succeed in your new field, and what weaknesses might hinder your success? Why is this new career right for you?

Follow your heart

Many people who decide to change careers later in life do so because they realize their current job is not the right fit for them. They have other passions and dreams they want to pursue, and feel as though they will be happier and more fulfilled by following another path. For some that might be the truth. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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