• Nayana Sen

Mid-Life Career Change with Confidence

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

Are you the only one that wants to make mid-life career change? Probably not. There comes a time when you just KNOW you don't want to be stuck doing what you're doing anymore. Your mid-life career change has been brewing like a fresh pot of coffee for some time, but you haven't poured yourself a cup yet. Maybe it's too hot or maybe you can't find a cup. Here are 4-steps in making a career change with confidence including self-evaluation; trial and error; preparation and planning; and finally making the leap.

Stock image of someone drawing contemplating a career change

Sometimes you want a change because you've outgrown your role and sometimes you want more money. The reason for wanting to change isn't as important as whether you have the ability to make that change. Let's talk about how to change careers with confidence.

There are 4-steps in making a career change with confidence including self-evaluation; trial and error; preparation and planning; and finally making the leap. Let's talk a little more about these steps.

Step 1: Self-evaluation is the first step in making that career change.

What is it that you want to do? The advice you get regarding a career change at 20-something should be a little different than the advice when you have been working for some time. You have the experience, contacts, resources, and knowledge now that you didn't have in your 20s. Some 20-something year olds actually do have all those things, but let's not worry about them. Let's start here, right where you are in life to confidently plan your next career.

Many people want to work for themselves in some capacity when they want to change careers. It kind of goes along with the whole mid-life awakening thing. Other people want to pursue something a little more creative. The first step in planning a career change is to figure out what interests you now. It's possible you have always dreamed of becoming a professional dancer, but never had lessons. It is still entirely possible to become a dancer, but is that what you want at this point in your life? Could you do it as a hobby and be satisfied? Your time is limited, so you have to determine if you really want to start at point zero or build on what you have established. Just don't use the phrase I've always wanted to do this as the basis of a career-change. Use the phrase I am looking to grow and this is what interests me. Less pressure and more clarity this way. Give yourself anywhere from 3-6 months before you decide.

Step 2: Trial and error to figure out what will work.

The next step in the career change process is trial and error. I don't suggest making financial mistakes at this age chasing the invisible. If you get down-sized or something that is something you don't have any control over, but trial and error really needs to be undertaken from a rational perspective. If you have identified at least the industry you want to be in, then start taking classes, volunteer, or networking to see how things start working. You will be drawn to the things that bring joy to your life naturally, so it should flow. If it doesn't work out or you just aren't feeling it after a while, trust that guidance. You will feel more confident after you have failed a few times because you didn't quit. Instead, you chose to approach your career-change with clarity and purpose. You no longer have to settle on a career out of desperation, but rather decision.

Step 3: Preparation and planning for that pending career-change.

The third step is preparation and planning. You've been dabbling in what you want to do, but if you're serious about this career change you have to plan accordingly. This goes without saying, but all your financial and family obligations must be met. If you are lucky enough to have a partner or an existing source of income/healthcare this decision is a lot easier. If you are a single mom that is the primary parent or sole provider, maybe you can't leave a job with healthcare. You may have to do whatever it is you want concurrently or take up a side-hustle. Just make sure you have the time needed right now to take on one more thing. You can't confidently start something new when you have not planned for the worst case scenario. If it's not the right time or you simply can't take a risk on makimg a career-change, then you may consider a job-change. You may also consider making no change at the time, but continue to learn about the industry or career you want. In this case you have to be okay with someday.

Step 4: Making the leap to your new career with full confidence.

When the day finally comes, and it will come, then you can confidently leap into the next phase of your life. It sounds amazing doesn't it? Your day is coming. The last step is to believe that you have done everything you can to prepare and will be successful. This is important because you have to believe in yourself enough to actually make this leap. Will there be days that you wish you never started something new? Most likely. Will it be worth it when you look back on your life and you know you didn't settle for something else? Absolutely.

You are the best judge of your life and the circumstances surrounding your decisions. Be confident that you have made this career change based on good decisions and not emotions alone. Things will work out, but you really have to trust yourself.

Cheers to your growth and mine!

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