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Changing Careers Later in Life

Ever gotten to a point in your career where you wanted a change? Sometimes that itch comes early on, and sometimes it’s later in your career life that the desire to make a switch rears its head. It might be situational. It might be driven by a particular interest. Whatever the case, it’s important to evaluate the move.

It can be intimidating to take the plunge the further you get into your career, but if it’s truly time, evaluate the benefits and check in with yourself to make sure you’re really ready.

  1. You Truly Know Yourself – With experience comes more knowledge of who you are, which environment breeds success for you, and what it is you really want out of your career. Knowing yourself and what makes you happy helps to drive career decisions.
  2. You Are Comfortable Asking for Help – Easier said than done for most, but if you understand the thought process behind asking for help, you can gain so much from the insight of others. Looking for a career change? Connect with a recruiter experienced in pairing someone looking for the same type of position or career you are.
  3. You Come With Receipts – Think about the last time you gave a good, long look at your resume. A good habit to get the hang of is updating your resume every 6 months. As an older job candidate in the market, you don’t want to look antiquated or dated. Plus, when you’re looking at applying for jobs, personalizing your resume to reflect positions or industries will make you stand out.
  4. You Call on Your Network – Along with experience, one of the benefits of being deep into your career is having a more substantial network. Reach out to current and previous colleagues, friends, family members, and even casual acquaintances you’ve acquired over your professional life to see what they think about your decision and how they can assist.
  5. You Are Open to Being Flexible – Are you someone who is set in their ways? Snap out of it and be open to other ways of doing things. Choose the hills you are going to die on carefully and consider exploring your passion projects and making a difference with your career at a later stage. Use your time where it’s spent best, both professionally and personally.
  6. You Aren’t Phased by Age – The spunky, go-getter mentality you had in the infancy of your career might not be the same as you age, but age really is just a number. If you work with someone who is much younger than you but offers great value, utilize them. They can help you develop your skills as you venture into other positions, and in turn, you can be of help to them with the experience you offer.
  7. You are Comfortable Considering all Options – Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a specific type of job or situation. A traditional full-time job might not be the best option for you at a particular stage in your career. Other options to consider are contracting opportunities, temp work, and even part-time positions. A mixture of these could add up to more of what you’re looking for, especially on the financial end of things.

It’s not always easy making a career change later in your professional life, but it can be a breath of fresh air and provide you a sense of accomplishment at a point where you felt the ship might’ve sailed already.

Have you made a career change late in your professional life or have some advice on how to do this seamlessly? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Should You Quit Your Job Without a New One?