Planning a career change? Changing careers later in your working life is no doubt a major decision and one that requires careful consideration. However, taking that risk is certainly worth the reward if you find a job that makes you happy. Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s or even 50s, it is possible to make a successful career change if you take all the right steps.
Identify Your Likes and Dislikes
Before you jump into a whole new career, you should have a good idea of what it is you like and dislike about your current job. You need to identify all the reasons why you are dissatisfied with your job in order to figure out what it is you are looking for in a new career. Think about what makes you happy and excited in the workplace, what you are good at, and the type of environment you are eager to work in.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused about what you want, it may be a good idea to first take a break. Book a holiday somewhere tropical and de-stress. You will return home with a clear head, feeling more inspired and motivated to work towards a career change.
Research New Career Ideas
Once you’ve figured out your true interests and passions, you can start brainstorming your different career options. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider speaking with a career counsellor. They will provide you with valuable career advice and help guide you in the right direction.
It’s important to do as much research as you can about your career field of interest. Networking will be key to your success. Talking to the professionals in the industry is the best way to get reliable information and advice about your chosen career field. Reach out to anyone you know who may have experience in the industry. They may be able to introduce you to other professionals who can give you job leads in the future. LinkedIn is also a great resource for expanding your network. This platform is one of the most effective ways to find new contacts in a specific career field.
Get the Appropriate Training
Even if you have no experience in your career field of interest, you are likely to have transferable skills that you have gathered over your accumulated years of working. These may include communication skills, teamwork skills, leadership skills or planning skills which can be applied to a wide variety of jobs. However, these types of skills may not be enough to make you a viable candidate for certain jobs. You will need to do whatever it takes to learn the necessary skills for your specific career, whether it be through college courses, weekend seminars or online courses. The extent of your training and education will obviously depend on the type of career you’re after.
Get Some Practical Experience
For someone switching careers in their 30s, 40s or 50s, lack of experience will obviously be a big disadvantage when applying for jobs. So if your chosen career field is brand new to you, you may need to start with something as simple as volunteer work to gain experience. Volunteering is a great way to not only get experience in your career field but to test whether you really want it as a job.
You can also gain valuable experience through temping opportunities, freelance roles and part-time work before you score a job in the field full time. Remember to have patience and take it slow. Making a career change will take time, and you must be willing to dedicate yourself to it in order to make it happen.