Back in the day, many school leavers had one main goal. To get into a “good company” and “be set for life.” Changing careers later in your life was almost unheard of. Recent years have seen a change to this norm, with many individuals making career changes, even later in life.
Making a career change might require job interview coaching or even re-training and it does carry risk. But even though it’s a challenge it’s definitely not impossible.
Why Change Careers?
Recent statistics show that an average of 1.3 million Australians changed jobs in 2021. There are several reasons why a person might decide to change careers later in life. Some of the most common include:
- Need for more flexibility: Many traditional job settings don’t offer much flexibility when it comes to balancing work and home life. People are moving away from stricter job environments that offer little or no flexibility. Employees often prefer remote work to maintain flexibility in schedules and maintain a better work-life balance.
- Stress: Job stress is nothing new and is often the cause of many mental or even physical health issues. Employees opt to eradicate or minimise their exposure to job stress by transitioning to another career.
- Boredom & redundancy: Performing the same job function for years on end can lead to people feeling bored and even redundant. This is especially the case in jobs that have the employee doing the same function every day.
- Change in financial dynamic: One of the top reasons to change to a different job at any age has to do with a person’s financial dynamics. Changing to a different career might offer financial benefits that weren’t available previously.
Guidelines to Make Career Transition Simpler
The ease with which you can transition from one career to another depends on various factors such as your age, experience and ability to acquire new skills. It’s also essential to consider a few simple guidelines to make the transition period easier.
1. Establish the “Why”
If you’re considering a career transition, chances are you didn’t start thinking about it just yesterday. In many instances, the thought has been at the back of your mind for months or even years.
Consider the consequences and benefits of a career change. Review factors such as finances, job function and implications on your current life dynamic. Will your life be better?
2. Have a Discussion With Your Family
It’s important to discuss your intentions with the people closest to you. This will avoid unnecessary tensions as you make the transition, especially from a financial perspective. Discussing the benefits of the potential move will make acceptance of the change easier.
3. Assess Your Finances
Unless you have another job lined up, one of the most stressful aspects of making a career change is whether or not you can afford to do it. Often a career change may require you to save up some money first or settle several accounts so you can survive without an income while you acquire new skills or start your own thing. Planning ahead will alleviate a considerable amount of stress.
4. Research Current Options
You might not have a new career in mind, but simply a higher position in your current company. Research current job positions and review how they align with your goals as well as your current skills.
In this instance, it might also be necessary to take some courses or be prepared for several sessions of on-the-job training. Research weekend or nighttime courses that could benefit your application for your next job.
5. Update Your Resume and Network System
If you’ve been working in the same job function for the last 20 years, you might be in for a surprise when it’s time to prepare your resume! Everything about the way we used to search for jobs has changed.
You will have to familiarise yourself with platforms such as LinkedIn. It’s also crucial to create a network system to find people in the industry you want to move to. It’s no secret that many jobs are found through referrals, so reaching out to your existing connections can be beneficial. Also make an effort to create new acquaintances.
6. Consider Speaking to a Life or Career Coach
Speaking to a life coach or career service might be one of the easiest ways to provide yourself with career transition assistance. A credible service will provide you with the clarity needed to easily move from one career to another.
A few services you’ll receive assistance on include:
- Assessments to determine your preferred working styles and occupational interests
- Coaching sessions to help you identify what you’re good at
- Networking advice, interview skills and resume preparation
Making a career change after many years in the same job doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow our guidelines to make the process even simpler. Speaking to the right people will provide you with the assistance that you need! And then—go for it!