What Are Tips for a Mid-Life Career Change?

Mid-life career changes can be stressful, but if properly planned and executed, they can be rewarding and enriching. This article provides some tips for people thinking about making a career change.

Planning a Mid-Life Career Change

If you're considering a mid-life career change, you may want to seriously consider your options before taking action. It's vital to take financial considerations and factors affecting job satisfaction into account. The following steps may help you make this crucial transition successfully:

  • Find a career you enjoy
  • Utilize your skill set
  • Be prepared for possible salary reductions

Important Facts for Mid-Life Career Changes

Required Education Evaluate the required education needed to enter your new field and determine whether you may need to pursue an advanced accelerated program.
Professional Certification Professional certification courses may assist you in developmental needs to further strengthen your new career objectives
Licensure Check to see if there are licensing requirements for the field you want to enter. Some fields, like nursing or teaching, expect you to have a license before being hired, since there are legal repercussions for those who are not properly authorized to do their jobs.
Work Environment Research the work environment. Understand if the career you are pursuing requires office work or field work and ensure it meets your desire prior to making the career move.

Find an Enjoyable Career

While statistics are not available, anecdotal evidence from websites like EscapeFromCorporate.com and PassionSaving.com suggests that people's dissatisfaction with current careers prompts many mid-life career changes. However, dissatisfaction with your employment is not considered to be a good catalyst for entering a new field. Researchers have actually suggested that this would only lead to more dissatisfaction down the line. Rather, it's recommended that you set short-term goals that lead to doing something you've wanted to do for a long time.

Use Your Skill Set

When planning a mid-life career change, look for a new career that matches your skill set. It isn't advisable to attempt to enter a career for which you don't have the proper skills, unless you want to invest time into getting additional education and training. Remember that it could take a year or two to earn even a certificate in a new field.

Prepare for Reductions in Salary

You may have to start at a lower position and work your way up in a new career, so you may start off making less than you did in your old career. PassionSaving.com advises people preparing for career changes to establish a clear financial plan that addresses the risks associated with such career changes. A financial plan is essential for the career change process to be smooth and to avoid future job dissatisfaction after the change has been made.

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