Presuming you’re over 40 (well, you’re reading NDY), are you thinking of a career change? Is your heart set on doing something different, but you feel your optimism, enthusiasm and confidence waning at the idea of changing careers at this age?
Individuals over the age of 40 who’ve been successful in changing careers do something very different from those who haven’t. They focus on what they want, not on what they don’t want and most certainly don’t listen to society’s naysayers.
Societal norms are generally not designed to encourage people to take risks. They can also contribute greatly to how we think and the decisions we make. We might ask ourselves: Is what I’m doing normal or will my actions meet with approval from others?
Ignoring what the world might have been thinking, I did a complete about turn and changed career when I was 44 and I haven’t looked back. I am determined not to have any regrets in life - or if I do, they will be nominal.
A move from the known to the unknown at any age can cause varying degrees of emotions from excitement to fear, along with a degree of uncertainly, but if your desire or drive is strong enough you can work your way through these and hopefully make the right decision for yourself.
Do it or Ditch it?
We become what we think about most, which is what plays out in our actions.
As with anything, if you are already convinced that what you want to do is not going to work, you already have your foot in the door to not succeeding.
What’s it going to be for you?
Tips for a career change or for doing something different:
Research what it is you want to do but don’t be put off when your findings are not what you want to see. Navigate your way to engaging a new perceptive on how you can make things work for you.
Think about retraining so that you have a good knowledge and understanding of what it is you want to get into, don’t just go by your ‘I already know it all’ attitude.
Think about a phased approach to your new career, perhaps starting with part-time or evening work. You could even try a sabbatical from your current occupation which will give you time out to think. Think of all the reasons why you CAN instead of why you can’t.
“There is no such thing as impossible. The word itself spells out I’m possible”.
If you come across naysayers who are determined to convince you that you’re having a ‘midlife crisis’, remember they don’t know what you know, they don’t know your story and they are only privy to what they see. Consider that they might also be hiding behind their own life regrets. Thank them kindly for their opinion and move on, staying focused on what’s important to YOU.
Ditch some friends
This might seem a little harsh, but you may need to ditch some friends, either temporarily or permanently. If they’re not championing and supporting you to find a way that works for you to embark on a new career, you might just have to let them go.
You can easily find others who have successfully achieved what you want to do. Turn to these individuals for new perspectives and more options to make your change work.
Use the people you know to help you. Your network is extremely valuable to find opportunities or gain access to hidden options.
Coaching & Mentoring
Engage the services of a coach or mentor. The most amazing coaches are out there who will support you with practical ways to achieve what you want. They will elevate your confidence, guide you on your journey, be your accountability partner and, most importantly, support your mindset to believe in yourself more, so you can find a way to change your career. Along the way they will also take into consideration all the simple or complex cogs in your life.
Doing something new at any age can be challenging but please don’t let your years detract from your desire for change and taking action.
Rosemarie is an experienced Change Agent, Coach and Mentor. After 20 years in the corporate world within finance and technology, she set up Pragmatica Coaching to bring to life her natural ability and desire to work with others to help and support them on life's rich journey. One of her missions is to work with and support women in business and technology.
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