In short, No. You are not too old or too late for a career change. I often see articles in magazines and online with people asking if they are too old to change career. Normally it states ‘from so-and-so, aged 30.‘ Seriously! (I say with a diva eyeroll).
In this article I offer advice on how you can approach a career change at any age.
It is pretty old fashioned to start on one career path and then end up staying on that road until the day of retirement. On average we have about 5 careers across our life-span.
“More of us must be doing just that. In the UK, official data show we are increasingly likely to resign voluntarily. A survey by Investec found more than half of Brits were planning to change career in the next five years. In the US, according to a study by LinkedIn, young workers now switch jobs, though not necessarily careers, four times in their first 10 years after graduation.” – Plan for 5 careers in a lifetime by FT
Where to start:
Grab yourself a pen & paper and answer the following:
- What are you transferrable skills. E.g. communication, IT skills, organisational skills.
- What are you interests? No, really what are you into?
- How much of a salary drop can you face?
- Do you need any new skills? Qualifications?
- Who can help you?
- Do you have timeframe in mind?
- What would get you out of bed in the morning?
- Who currently is in this role? Could they help you?
- What does a dream job look like to you?
Did any of the answers surprise you?
Career change 101
“Lockdown has given many people the time they might not ordinarily have had to take stock and think about where they are in their lives and whether their careers are making them happy.
The prospect of a career change, particularly in an economy riddled with uncertainty, can be daunting, and switching jobs is never a decision that should be taken lightly. However, despite the temporary disruption and nerve-wracking first few weeks, in the long-term, it could be the most rewarding thing you do.
Before you make such a big decision, you must weigh up the pros and cons, think realistically about the careers you have the skills and experience to do and consider when the right time to make the move might be.” – How to change your career by The Guardian
That’s right, living in a movie-style pandemic world has given many people opportunities to take stock of their current situations. For example, many don’t want to do the long-haul commute every day, ever again. Or found a higher purpose whilst living in adversity.
There is no one-size fits all. And like the picture above states, some things take time. Especially if you don’t really know where you are going next, you just know you need a change.
How do I know?
Do you answer yes to any of the following?
- My current job impacts my mental wellbeing.
- I suffer from Sunday blues.
- I am overworked.
- Oh, so bored.
- Exhausted by culture bs.
- No amount of money could make you go for a promotion or even stay in the same industry.
Maybe there are a few you would add. Or it could be just something in your gut that is screaming ‘it is time to get OUT!’
It’s not going to be all rosy.
The truth is, for many this will not be a walk in the park. There are things you need to consider: Finances. Time. Energy. Qualifications. Rejections. CV re-writes. Website building (if you are going freelance). Stress. Failure. Two steps forward, four steps back. Support. Planning…
What can you do to build some boundaries around the above? My advice, be prepared. Know that tomorrow morning you are not going to wake up and be walking on the dream career path. How will you remain resilient? Don’t rush such an important decision. Allow time to be creative, energised and informed. This isn’t a race.
Embrace the journey.
It takes one person to see your potential to give you a chance. Like all journey in life there will be twists and turns. And that’s ok.
On your career change journey, it is often worth investing in a careers coach. I have worked with a number clients who have been pretty stuck where they are. Moreover, by working collaboratively and creatively we have shaped career destinations as well as created a 90 day plan for success when entering into a new role.
I would like to invite you to think about your Authentic Vocation, this means you need to take key ingredients of you: Purpose + Motivators + Values + Interests + Experience + Knowledge = YOU. In addition, business reality = Authentic Vocation.
As you go through your transition, think about keeping a journal of ideas. Some great questions to reflect upon are:
- What are you learning about yourself?
- Experience can you leverage?
- Cultures do you like?
- Personality type?
Good luck career changer. You’ve got this.
Alongside my corporate career, I lead a Professional Development Coaching Practice, focused on Career & Mental-wellbeing for Ambitious Females. I established my business in 2018, after following my own journey with career challenges as a middle-manager as well as overcoming health issues. I help clients to cultivate and implement their personal brand. Build personal & career confidence. Overcome limited beliefs and amplify an individual’s voice. Moreover, I also work with clients to shift a fixed mindset into a growth mindset.
In November 2020, I launched the Speak Female Podcast with the mission of empowering women around the world to become more confident and to listen to real subjects they can relate to.
Fancy a virtual coffee?