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  • dtuke5

Too old for a career change?

Really? You want to continue in a job you don’t enjoy for the next ten, twenty or thirty years? I’m not suggesting you start penning your resignation letter right now, but if you are having doubts about your career, maybe it is time to start exploring what other options are out there?

There are many reasons for changing careers later in life including:

· No longer enjoying your current role

· Wanting to work fewer hours and be less stressed

· Fewer family responsibilities enabling you to change your working patterns

· Looking to learn something new or find a more intellectually challenging role

· Wanting to do something more purposeful

Life events can create moments to reflect and consider your career, what is important to you and what makes you happy. Pinch points such as becoming a parent, a child starting school, relocating for spouse’s job, caring for elderly relatives, or children leaving home are times when you could start to rethink your career values and goals.

I was 48 when I embarked on an MSc in Organisational and Business Psychology, submitting my dissertation a week before my 50th birthday. My oldest daughter was about to head to university and the youngest is only three years behind so this prompted me to properly think about what I wanted to do as my child caring responsibilities decreased. I reflected on what I enjoyed most in my previous career (HR), what was important to me now and what I needed to do to achieve my aspirations.

Planning a career change takes time. A survey by Indeed (2019) found that, on average, respondents were thinking about a career change 11 months before actually making a move. Taking the time to research, plan and prepare for a new career will help ensure a successful transition into something that you will find more satisfying and make you happier.

Here are some things you could start thinking about:

  • What do you want to gain from your new career?

  • What do you love doing? Could you make a career out of one of your hobbies/interests?

  • Is seniority important to you? How long could it take to get to that level of seniority in a new role?

  • What are your transferable skills and what are your skills gaps?

  • What are the financial implications?

Older employees can be attractive for many employers as you have lots of different skills and plenty of experience. You may want to rethink how you organise your CV to fully demonstrate this. A functional CV could be a better option than a traditional chronological CV.

Too old to be happier and have greater job satisfaction? Surely not! Is it difficult to change? Possibly, but going to work every day to do something you don’t find satisfying and don’t enjoy can be far more difficult. The decision to make a career change may not be easy either, and this is where seeking additional support from a career coach can help with that decision. A career coach can help you identify what is important to you, challenge your ideas and options for your future career and support you in planning what you need to do to make the change possible.

You’re not too old for a career change, and the sooner you take the first steps in planning for a change, the sooner you could make that move.

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