Career Change

Career Change Choices

Making a Midlife Career Change

Assisting individuals to make a satisfying and smooth career change is a specialty of Career Clarity.

As the world of work has changed in the last twenty years, so too has the concept of changing careers.  It was considered a sign of instability but has become very accepted as something that most people will experience at some stage.  Statistics suggest that the majority of workers will have around 5-7 career changes in our working life.

The first secret of a successful career change is to know what you want to do, and what is going to give you genuine career fulfilment. In Western society during good economic times we talk about being able to be whatever we want to be or choose to do whatever we want to do for work.  In fact many believe we owe it to ourselves to do work that we love.  In bad economic times, many people just settle for what they can get, but beyond paying the bills that is not usually a wise long-term decision.

Where does that leave the person who knows they want a midlife career change or has had a change thrust on them through a change of circumstances, but doesn't have a clue what they want to do?

Many people have no clear career direction and so spend years working in jobs that don’t give them personal satisfaction, getting more miserable by the year.

Many of my private clients are changing careers, wanting to use the skills and experience they have but in a different context.  Most know clearly what they don’t want to do, but need to be guided as they explore the possibilities of what they can do.

It is amazing how few people initially recognise and value the skills and experience that they have.  The best examples of this are teachers and nurses who tend to start the conversation with “I’m just a teacher/ nurse….” without realising that in those occupations they have had to develop very strong transferable skills that will be valued in other contexts.  It is a wonderful thing when someone comes to an understanding of what their life’s purpose is and recognises that they can start working towards the career path that will give them joy

What are the steps you need to change career?

The first steps in making a successful career transition involve developing a deep knowledge of yourself, and an up to date knowledge of the labour market in the industries and areas that interest you.  The biggest mistake people make is to apply for jobs without first giving consideration to whether that position will move them towards their career goals and will satisfy their personal needs, such as team involvement or autonomy.

How do you work out what you want to do?

The key to a successful midlife career change is to consider what you really enjoy doing, what you are interested in, the sort of environment in which you thrive, and the transferable skills that you have.  It is in the combination of these responses that you will find indicators that could guide your decision making.  In this way you will have created a list of criteria that you are looking for in your new career. From there it is a matter of researching the sort of occupations that will meet the criteria you have created for yourself, and tailoring a resume to effectively market yourself to prospective employees.

Some people have quite strong interests, even passions, which makes it easier for them to determine their career direction.  However, most people could successfully work in many different occupations which would satisfy aspects of their personality and allow them to use different talents.  This makes career decision making more difficult and this is especially the case with school leavers who have to make decisions at an age when they still don’t know themselves very well.

Most of my clients changing careers midlife have not made a poor career decision to begin with, they have just successfully completed that part of their career and are ready to meet the needs of another aspect of their personality or talents by applying their experience in a completely different context.

Practical advice and places to go for help

Most countries have a career development association which will enable you to find a professional career development practitioner to help you make your career decisions.  It is important to understand that no-one can tell you what you should do, but a professional career development practitioner will guide you as you explore possibilities and consider options leading you towards a career decision and a plan of action.

But don’t waste your time and money!  Be very sure that the person you are paying to be the “expert” in fact has career development qualifications and career counselling or coaching experience.

However if you don’t want to visit a career counsellor /career coach, there are many things you can do to help yourself make a successful career change.  This site will work towards providing you with information to help you consider your career choices and move towards achieving the career of your dreams. 

My midlife career change

I became interested in career development because I was disenchanted with my own career.

I suppose in a sense I was my own first client and in doing so I have completely reinvented my career.  I had been a teacher for many years and really enjoyed that, but was fascinated by the career choices that people made.  I studied for a Masters degree in Career Development whilst still employed in a school, and it naturally evolved that I incorporated my new professional interests into my job.

I then left education to work full time in my business and have never been happier professionally.  My passion for career development is being fulfilled through contracts with business and education, as well as individual clients, whilst the transferable skills that I had developed through my teaching career have been invaluable.  Now I am evolving further with a deep interest in learning all I can about building business through the internet.

You can make a successful midlife career change too! 

Contact us today  or telephone 1300 851821.

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