It can happen at any time during your career. You know, you just don’t feel quite as satisfied as you once were with the work you do. It could be related to changes at the top end of the ladder. It could be changes within your immediate work environment. It could be changes in the tasks you perform or it is that you have changed and no longer feel that spark. It’s far more common than you think and it can happen to you in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. But to be sure that you aren’t just going through a rough patch, here is a list that may help you to narrow down whether or not you are due for a midlife career change.
1 - Your Current Career Now Wears You Down
We’re not talking that end-of-the-day out of energy from a hard day on the job feeling. We’re thinking more along the lines where your job emotionally, mentally, and physically wipes you out for all the wrong reasons. It’s gotten to the point where you count the hours to the weekend and you start dreading weekdays. You try to come up with creative ways to stay away from work, if possible. You are constantly bothered by the mere thought of another day at the office and can’t shake that feeling even if it is your day off. Work has become a burden that you can’t deal with anymore as it no longer excites you or fulfills your needs.
2 - You Can’t See Yourself Doing This Type Of Work For The Rest Of Your Life
This is a big red flag for most. Even if you have climbed to the pinnacle of the pecking order in your profession, your department, your office, your company, and it makes you physically ill to even joke about doing this type of work to your retirement, you need a change. If you can honestly look at what you do for a living and still call it your dream job, then you’ll survive. However, it is more likely than not that your dream job was probably one that you had back in your 20s and you took this one thinking it offered more stability and that you could tough it out. Well, now you see it differently and can’t stand what you do anymore.
3 - The Money No Longer Makes Up For (Fill In The Blank)
Even if the money is good, that often doesn’t help much if the job is turning into something you are beginning to hate. Nobody should feel obligated to stick it out in a job they no longer enjoy just because of the salary and benefits. There is no way that money should be the reason why you spend time doing something that makes you unhappy and causes you unmeasurable stress and pain. If your job is like torture, you shouldn’t be there. Even if it pays more than you’ve ever made in your entire life, there is never enough money in the world to properly compensate for that kind of suffering, regardless of the job.
4 - You Are Starting To Feel Like You’ve Made Poor Career Choices
This happens. You know you take specific courses in high school for a career path you hope to follow and add to those talents with your post-secondary school education. By the time you are ready to hit the working world, you have everything you need to carve out your niche. For someone in their 20s, that’s a big deal. But by the time you reach your 40s you start to think that maybe you made a few mistakes along the way with your career choice. Well, you can still use those skills but maybe in a slightly different direction which could lead to a new, more interesting career this time around. It’s never too late.
How To Make That Midlife Career Change
If the list above sounds familiar, then you are definitely in need of a new career. And it doesn’t matter at what age you are making this move. What matters is you recognize that you have to make the change. But how do you do it? Here are five simple tips to help guide you through this change.
Take stock of the skills you have and upgrade where needed. You can always benefit from adding new, related skills as well. The idea here is to make you more valuable in the workforce and to give you a competitive edge over the younger people who will be gunning for the same career options.
Think Like A Winner
If you have a mental picture of where you want to be or what you hope to accomplish with your new career, use that as your focal point. Think about it whenever possible and keep reminding yourself of that picture. If you have a photo that sums up your goal, post it where you will see it daily.
Do Your Homework
If you already have an idea of the new career path you intend to follow, do your research. Check out the job availability where you live. Don’t ignore remote job possibilities, either as working from home is becoming more popular. Use your research to help you decide what skills training you need.
Flex On The Money Part
Remember, when you start a new career, you probably aren’t going to start at a wage that will match what you were earning before you made the switch. That doesn’t mean you won’t be doing well. If you made the right midlife career change, you could end up making much more.
Check Our This eBook
For more advice on changing careers late in life, check out this eBook “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” It will help guide you through the difficult stages you will have to complete when you choose to change careers. However, they won’t be hard to navigate once you get started.
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.