People change their careers many times throughout their lives, and it’s not just for young people! It’s never too late to change your career. Here are some tips, and inspiration, to keep in mind if you’re considering a late life career change!
1. You know yourself and your skills
One of the great advantages of starting a career later in life is that you have a better sense of what you want and don’t want. One of the bigger stumbling blocks when you’re starting something as a younger person is that you really don’t know what you want—you get stuck at choosing your path. However, once you’re older and have more experience with things that you do and don’t like, it can be easier to narrow down what you’d like to do next. Plus, you’ve built skills over the years, and if you spend some time self-reflecting, you can decide how those skills will best benefit you moving into a new career.
2. What are your values?
When you’re older, you also have a clearer sense of what is really important to you. Your values are more clearly defined, and you’ll probably have a better vision of how you would like to act on them within your career. This can also help you narrow down your choice of a new career path, and it will also make you more confident and happy knowing that you’re making your values a priority.
3. What are your motivations?
Along the same lines, when you’re older, you can know better what drives you to make a change, rather than just frantically seeking any job when you were younger and a fresh graduate. When you’re older, you’re likely seeking a new career to be happier, more fulfilling, and to better suit your values—whatever those may be.
4. Where is there a need?
Whenever you’re switching your career, you need to determine where there is a need. It’s not enough to just want to make a change for yourself, there has to be a purpose for your new job. When you’re starting a new career later in life, you may find that it is easier to recognize where you’re needed. Over the years, you may have noticed a lack in certain areas while you were working, or thought to yourself that things can be improved in different ways. This is what you should focus on.
5. Stay educated
It’s important to be proactive about your education. School and learning aren’t just for the young. Your education is a life-long process, and you need to take responsibility for your continued learning. This means staying up to date on news, both industry specific and broader, reading and writing to practice critical thinking, and even joining classes to learn new skills.
6. Use your network and expand it through a new lens
When you’re older, you’ll naturally have a wider network than you did when you were first starting out. You’ve had a lot more time to meet different people. When you’re starting something new, you have to let your network know! Announce to your friends, family, and other professional contacts that your goal is to change careers. When they know you’re shifting your path, they can sift through their own contacts to hopefully provide you with a beneficial lead, or at least some advice.
7. It’s not too hard—look at all you’ve gone through!
Don’t be discouraged! Yes, starting something new is always a bit intimidating, but it’s also thrilling! You should be excited about your new start. It will change your life, and you’ll likely be glad for it. Reflect on your past accomplishments. You’ve done a lot to be proud of throughout your life, and this new journey is one more thing you’ll be able to add to your list of achievements. If you’re looking for a new start, chances are you probably felt stagnate at your previous, or current, position. So even if starting something new is scary, you’ll be reinvigorated with a new sense of purpose, which can help you overcome your fear, give you a boost of confidence, and even propel you forward.
8. Be open to new experiences or unexpected results
By now, you’ve been working for a long time. You’ve learned to do a lot and you’ve learned to do it in specific ways. When you’re starting something new, you’ll also have to learn new things. Not only that, but you may have to learn something that you think you already know, but in a different way. When beginning something new, it’s important to keep an open mind. You’ll have to be flexible! As always in life, you can never know what will happen, so you have to be prepared for unexpected results.
So you see, it is never too late to start! Have you changed careers later in life? Do you have any additional advice to offer? Share your advice about the different careers you’ve had throughout your life by filling out UltiCareer’s survey, and feel good knowing that you’re helping others find the right career for them!
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