There could be many reasons that you are reading this article but if you are I’m guessing that you are thinking of a career change but not sure which way to turn. You will find lots of blogs and websites sharing loads of different alternatives with you. It could even be that one of them is the dream job that you never knew even existed.
The thing is we are all unique. We have different backgrounds and experiences, likes and dislikes, abilities and of course needs. Because the truth is there are so many reasons that you may be considering a midlife career change. Maybe you have been forced in to redundancy or had your hours reduced. Conversely you could be burnt out and want to work less hours, or maybe you figure it’s just finally the time to try something new.
Whatever the reason changing careers in midlife can be daunting but also exciting. I have been through it myself and luckily it has worked out well for me. I have quite a few friends that have also completely changed direction midlife, some from necessity and others through choice.
So today is about asking questions and sharing some of the best midlife career changes ideas that I have learnt along the way. I hope that they help you decide what your next step is and encourage you to take it.
An Open Mind And A Positive Mind-Set
Before I start I just want to touch on the power of positivity. Don’t worry I’m not going to go come over all spiritual and tell you to start chanting mantras. Similarly, if you have just lost your job and are struggling to make ends meet you don’t want a random blogger telling you to be positive and I understand that. But I must tell you that if you are able to have a positive mindset it will help immensely.
I used to be a pretty negative, glass half empty type person and I have manged to change my outlook completely. I now help mentor people make changes and move forward with their lives. The first thing we work on is the simple understanding that we can’t change the past only the future and that future starts today.
So, understand that making a mid-life career change might seem hard because you just don’t know what to do next. It might appear difficult because you have become accustomed to having a certain regular income. In addition, it can often feel impossible to change direction after many years of working on the same job.
But I can assure you that is not the case and facing a midlife career change with an open mind and a positive mindset is the first step.
Find Your Passion
I’m sure you’ve heard this before. The old cliché of follow your dreams, find your passion, do what you love. Of course, this is much easier said than done. For starters, how many of us have a clearly defined answer of what this is. After all, I love singing, but I’m so bad at it that even my dogs run and hide. In my experience, most of us have various things that we enjoy doing or are passionate about.
It may well be that there is no single job or career into which they immediately fall to so be prepared to adapt. For me the goal was to get out of bed in the morning and for work not to feel like work. So when do you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction? Is there a career that would make you look forward to getting out of bed in the morning? My tip is start out by writing a list of things that fulfil you.
Look at what skills you have and what work opportunities there are. Ask yourself if you would need further training and is it something you are willing to undertake. And determine exactly how much time and effort you want/need to put in to your career.
If you are struggling psychometric testing like the Myers-Briggs test can help you get a better understanding of your preferences, although it’s worth being aware that no online test is going to give you all the answers.
What Are Your Strengths And Motivations?
We all have strengths and weaknesses but we are not always aware of what they are. As I said finding something you love to do is great but if you are no good at it you will struggle to earn a living and it will pretty quickly become a chore. I love singing but can’t sing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other career opportunities within the sector that I might be good at and would enjoy equally.
Research shows that people who focus on using their strengths at work are happier and more productive than those who try to address and improve their weaknesses just to fulfill a role. Having a good understanding of your strengths really is one of the key elements when considering a midlife career change. And then of course is understanding your motivation for change.
For some it might be a necessity having lost a job and being forced to change due to lack of opportunity and financial pressure. We see this more and more as certain sectors start to diminish and die off due to the increase in automation. For others it could be a lifestyle choice. As we age, the quality and meaningfulness of our work becomes more important.
If you feel trapped in a job you dislike it can affect you mentally, emotionally and even physically. Knowing the answers to these two important questions will help you make the right choice moving forward.
What Do I Need From My Job?
This might seem like a simple question but actually it can be much more difficult to answer than it seems. Whilst a certain level of income tends to be close to the top of the list, particularly for those with mortgage, rent and family commitments, it is far from the only factor.
As we assess what we value and our quality of life, factors like flexible hours, working from home, avoiding a commute and spending more time with family all come in to play. And of course as we go through life our needs change. I left a very well paid job in London some time ago. The long hours, pressure of the job and horrendous commute meant that I spent much of my spare time just recovering.
As someone who now works from a laptop mainly from home I get to choose when and how I work and I would never go back. I am lucky enough to have found that balance but identifying your priorities will enable you to understand what exactly you need from your job.
And although we haven’t looked specifically at jobs, if working from a laptop from home interests you then there are numerous blogs on my site that you might want to read. The most recent was 10 way to make money for stay at home moms and believe it or not a many of those jobs are transferable regardless of age or background!
Changing Careers Midlife – Go For It!
It probably seems that I have thrown lots of questions at you and I’m sure that might seem a little daunting. However let’s stick with the positivity. Because even though I have asked lots of questions I have done so in the hope of helping you make an informed change.
You see I think that mid-life is an excellent time to take the plunge into a new career. You still have lots of energy but are able to combine that with the wisdom and experience you’ve gained. You have the emotional maturity that will help you get through any ups and downs that might come with a new challenge.
So I encourage you to ask yourself the questions I have posed. Answer them honestly and thoroughly and then go ahead and make the change, because life is just too short not to.
What I Do For A Living – Is It For You?
As you may have gathered from the name of this site a laptop and a mug of coffee is all I need to be able to work. I am officially a “digital nomad” in my middle age, although I have to say with 3 dogs to look after I am not traveling a great deal at the moment. If you want to know more about me and see where I live then you can pop over to my about me page.
But what do I do for a living? Well I have various websites and I blog about various topics. All well and good I hear you say but how do you make money? Well the process is called affiliate marketing. Let me explain.
THE PROCESS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
I write informative and helpful articles about a subject that I am interested in. Occasionally on that site I will be talking about products and if I think that product is good I might recommend it. If I do and I put a link on my site to the product the supplier pays me a commission and that is how affiliate marketing works.
For example on one of my sites I wrote about books on a plant based diet and being vegan. Now if you click on a book you are taken to Amazon and if someone buys I get paid a percentage. The great thing is they don’t only have to buy the book. I recently had somebody buy a book via this link and they also spent over $800 on camera equipment but because they had come via my link Amazon paid me a commission.
The thing I love is you get to work for yourself, decide the hours you work and write about things that interest you. I feel very lucky to be able to do this full time as a living and if it is something you think might interest you then I suggest you read my Wealthy Affiliate Overview to get a better understanding of the process.
Midlife Career Change Ideas – Let’s Sum Them Up
I really hope that this article has a least given you food for thought. If you are being forced to look for a new career or have just decided that it’s time for a change try to do so with a positive outlook and an open mind. Ask yourself what you are passionate about, what motivates you and what your good at.
Make sure you understand what you need from a job and then don’t be frightened to make the change. I have done it and so have many others I know. Changing you career in middle age may seem daunting but it might just be the best thing you ever do.
Have you changed career in middle age? If so please do share your experience, I would love to hear from you. And don’t forget if you have a question I will always get back to you.