Top 7 Steps for a Midlife Career Change
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Whether you want your dream job, achieve a better work-life
balance or simply need the challenge, this 7 step career decision
making advice will help you think through your midlife career
1. What skills and experience do you
List exactly your skills and experience, focusing on what you
CAN do not on what you cant. These are commonly called transferable
skills as no matter what line of work youre in, you can use them.
Youve probably got unique talents or knowledge go ahead and list
that too. These may end up differentiating you from the rest, and
land your dream job.
Okay, so there may be some gaps between you and your dream job,
but if you could do it all already, why bother changing career? Its
highly likely you can close those gaps without going back to school
full-time. Sounds unlikely? Well, have you heard of secondments,
job shadowing, or learning on the job? And what about taking a
sabbatical to work in the voluntary sector to test things out? All
of these allow a mid life career change without going back to
2. What field would you like to work in?
So now we know what you can do. Maybe you want to stay doing
what you do, but in a different field? My uncle moved from a high
flying banking job to become a financial director of a large
theatre, fulfilling his love of the arts whilst still getting his
fix of numbers.
Science, medicine, government, working from home, military.
There are so many choices it can be overwhelming. Luckily the next
step will help narrow it down.
3. What lifestyle do you want?
Your lifestyle aspirations change as your circumstances change.
What suits as a foot loose fancy free twenty something may no
longer hold water as a thirty something with 2.4 children, dog and
pet rabbit. What is your ideal day? Who do you see? What kind of
people are around you?
4. Where do you want to live?
Choosing to live in a remote community may be tough going if you
have super niche skills. Maybe you can market those skills online
just check out if you can get broadband before you move :>)
Travelling is another consideration, be it the daily commute or
international globe-trotting. Does this figure in your dream job?
If so, you need to consider the dull reality of trains, planes and
5. What salary fits your lifestyle?
Lets talk money. How much money do you need to live your life,
now and when you retire? Its a sorry truth that most of us have to
work to get bread on the table. Dont let dollar signs cloud your
dream job though. My sister-in-law took a massive pay cut to move
from corporate life to the public sector (and give back her Mini
Cooper, ouch) but one year later is earning more than her corporate
6. What career progression is there?
Are you painting yourself into a corner career-wise? Does your
dream job have a finite life span or are there opportunities to
grow and develop? Lack of career progression may be why you are
looking to change careers now! I certainly moved from one job as
the glass ceiling was firmly fixed above my head.
7. How will you progress this?
Right, heres the really difficult bit. I never said it was going
to be easy :>) In fact, Ill spill the beans now. Making a
midlife career change is slow, hard work, and requires you to do
some tough thinking. But consider the alternative wasting your life
in a dead end job, unfulfilled and embarrassed about how your
obituary will read.
How will you progress this?
Yep, you heard me. How are you going to land that dream job? Who
do you need to speak to? What research needs done? Who can help?
Just like fishing, you can only catch a fish when you have a line
in the water. Your dream job is out there waiting to be caught.
Its never too late to make a midlife career change. Vincent Van
Gogh was an art dealer, schoolmaster, student priest, and
missionary before he taught himself how to paint. Indeed, he was
well into his thirties before his artistic talents were recognised.
Not bad for a midlife career change!
Midlife career change advice is easy - its up to you to make it
happen. Pull together an action plan and do it, no excuses.
About the AuthorLyndsay Swinton is an experienced team leader, people manager
and business coach. Her website is www.mftrou.com - 'Management for the
rest of us'. Subscribe to her free no-nonsense Management
Tips newsletter at mftrou.com today.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-06 21:12:17 in Personal Articles