The thought of a midlife career change can be scary for someone with a long work history at their current company. If you are one of the many middle-aged people who have settled for a career over the years that you really did not have your heart set on, you’re not alone. It’s easy to fall into this trap; you get a nice job offer, you figure what the heck, let me get my feet wet in this business, get my career underway, and start making a good living. The years pass and you suddenly wonder, “What happened?” This happens to so many folks and it can place you in a position where your self-esteem suffers.
You may find yourself thinking, “Is this all there is? I wanted to accomplish this or that and years ago, I certainly would never have pictured myself in the career that I am currently in right now.”
If you find yourself in this situation, perhaps you should consider making a midlife career change. Now, before you go telling your boss that you’ve had enough and you’re thinking about leaving the company, consider a few things including the reality of available careers out there that match your qualifications and age.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, by prematurely and casually letting family, friends, and other work mates know about their plans to leave. This can put you in a bad light and place unnecessary focus on yourself in the eyes of management and the company. It’s always wise to be deliberate and tactful when you want a career switch and there is no reason why you should inform anyone except perhaps a close friend you can confide in because it is inevitable that people will find out what your intentions are. Then, if it does not pan out as you expected, you end up looking like a fool!
If you are having some type of success at your current position, to make a midlife career change would mean potentially placing yourself at risk. The employment landscape doesn’t exactly look fruitful at the present time and we all know that oftentimes the grass is not greener on the other side!
However, if you have a strong passion for a certain career where you know that your qualifications meet or exceed what is expected, there is no reason why you should not proceed with considering your mid life career change.
Career Change Advice for Older Workers
A career change at 40 or 50 means you’re going to be competing with employees who are much younger than you. It is not uncommon for someone with plenty of experience in a particular field to switch careers and be working alongside a recent college graduate who shows much promise in the new field.
Most people in their 40s or 50s are going to have many more responsibilities than a younger worker due to their family life and this means you have to find a way to keep your enthusiasm and motivation up as well as keeping your health in check. Without a doubt, most younger workers have a clear advantage over older workers because if this difference in responsibilities.
The best midlife career change advice I have ever heard is this; look forward to challenges in your new career with a positive and cheerful mindset, understand you will have to take some bumps and bruises along the way in this new territory you are discovering, and consistently show passion and motivation in order to succeed.