Friday, May 6, 2011

Is it too late for a career change?

Nowadays, mid-life (and later) career changes are more common than ever. In fact, workers will likely make several career changes over the span of their lifetimes. People change careers for many reasons. Perhaps a current career no longer aligns with your priorities. Maybe your career has become dull and void of growth opportunities. Or it might be that a career choice you made early on met outdated expectations or targeted financial aspirations that no longer seem relevant to you.

Most workers reach their peak earning potential and the highest rung on their career ladders by the time they reach middle age. Therefore, making a mid-life career change may mean less money and prestige. This is an important consideration when you realize that mid-life can also coincide with greater financial responsibilities—a larger mortgage, the desire to assist older children with college expenses, and/or saving for impending retirement.

Despite the challenges, many workers are taking the risks associated with finding fulfilling careers later in life. Before you decide whether a career change is right for you, there’s a lot to consider. You may want to start with the following:

· Review and evaluate your interests, values, and skills

· Identify growth careers and industries of interest

· Interview people currently working in a profession that appeals to you

· Seek tips and inspiration from those who have successfully changed careers

· Identify transferable skills and strengthen core skills

· Assess your ability to manage change

· Evaluate whether you have the qualities required to help you achieve your new career goals—for example, resilience and perseverance

Regardless of timing, any successful career change requires a solid plan. But once implemented, this plan may lead you to a rewarding career you’d previously only dreamed of.

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