Have you ever sat at your work desk and wondered what your life would be like if you made a change? I’m not talking about those typical daydreams we have on those cold, snowy days that make us wish we won the lottery and were spending six months of the year on a tropical beach soaking up the sun. I’m asking about your job. Do you feel that it is the right fit for you or have you outgrown it? This is a fair question and something that many of us wrestle with well into our career paths. It’s scary to consider making a change and for those of us over 45, it’s even more frightening - but, still very doable. In this blog post, I am going to go over four reasons why you should think about a midlife career change.
Reason #1 - Shake Up Your Retirement Options
Many of us grew up with the 9 to 5 workweek as the career template that we expected to follow until we turned 65. At that point, there would be a retirement party, possibly a gold watch, and a pension that we would collect monthly as we tried to stay busy in our post-career lives. Well, I’m sure I don’t have to explain that the office of today is very different. I know several people in my age group and younger who work shifts, have work-from-home jobs or are working part-time somewhere just to stay connected with their community. It is because of these options, you don’t have to stay in the same job well into your 40s or 50s or beyond. I have a work-from-home job that I started several years before we saw the shift to this kind of work due to COVID-19 restrictions. For me, I can work this type of job for as long as I wish and that includes using it to generate extra income well into my retirement years. I never saw myself as a 9 to 5 type in the first place having always been a shift worker. Working from home is easier.
Reason #2 - Use Your Skill Set In A Different Way
Looking at my situation, I went from my first career in Broadcasting to my second career in Print Media. They were very much alike in several ways, but the change gave me a way to utilize the skills I have acquired from Broadcasting but did not use as much to being able to make better use of those skills. As an example of what I mean, one of my tasks in Broadcasting was advertising sales. I was able to take that skill and apply it to advertising sales in Print Media. The difference came from the product I was selling. Instead of writing and producing radio ads, I found myself creating print ads. That became a new skill that was supported by an old skill. I was also a news reporter who wrote and read the news at the radio station I worked at. When I switch to Print Media, I was still able to be a news reporter, but now the stories I covered I could tell in photos and written words in the newspaper. When you make a midlife career change, it allows you to use different skills or use existing skills in a new and different way. This makes the transition interesting and keeps you learning which keeps you engaged in what you are doing.
Reason #3 - It Gives You Midlife Flexibility
If you were like me, you probably thought you would work hard through your 20s to get established in your career and maybe save some money on the side. By the time you hit your 30s, you were married, started a family, and were looking to buy a home and settle down. When your 40s rolled around, your responsibilities and priorities changed again. The same with your 50s and 60s. My life followed a different pattern than that, but the same basic goals were in place. The point I’m making is that by the time you get into your 50s, your needs have changed considerably to what they were when you first started your career. It also means that possibly you no longer need the pressures that come from the job you’ve had all of these years. Even if your goal is to keep working well into your retirement years, changing careers for something less stressful or complicated might not be such a bad idea. By making this sort of shift, you give yourself a lot more flexibility than you may have had available in your first career. One thing is for sure, you won’t be chasing after the same dreams you had back then as your life should have settled to where you can enjoy what you do.
Reason #4 - You Can Be Happy
Probably the biggest benefit I have experienced since I made my midlife career change and got out of the Print Media business to start my own work-from-home freelance writing business is that I am much happier about where I am in my life and happy with what I do. I have a great deal of control in that I work mostly half days and take time off when I want to. I take on select jobs, have a couple of contracts in place, and work at a leisurely pace. It has been proven time and time again that when you enjoy what you do, it does not feel like work. That is why you see some employers setting up gyms, and offering all kinds of on-site perks to employees to make them enjoy the time spent in the office. Happy employees are more productive and tend to stick around longer which reduces turnover - a costly factor any employer has to deal with. So, it just makes sense that if you make a midlife career change into doing something you like, you will want to stick with it and it satisfies you. I find a great deal of pleasure out of being a freelancer and it does not feel like a job. I also don’t have to go to an office, nor do I have to meet clients. I truly love what I do.
There are many reasons to consider making a midlife career change. Not all of them are related specifically to age and ability. There are practical reasons that may not be obvious right away. That is why I have highlighted four of the reasons that have been important in my decision to change careers later in life. To find out more about what a midlife career change is all about and how you can do it painlessly, why not order a copy of my eBook on the subject? The link to it on Amazon is HERE.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.