10 Simple Steps to Midlife Career Change Success

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Transferable Skills

When you change jobs you are typically making a lateral move. A career change is usually not even on the same scale and often requires different or additional skills. When you are deciding on a move, take a moment to think about it. Are you making a lateral move? Or are you making a move into a job that challenges you more and asks more of you than your current job?

Once you have taken a good look at your new career, determine what transferable skills you have that you can bring to the table. Transferable skills are those skills that you can bring from one job position to another. When you are pursuing a new career, it is important that you can identify your own transferable skills. This can be very useful in when and how you make your move.

Additional Education

Once you find the career that matches your overall background check out the gap between the required qualifications and your competencies. Does the field require a specific training and education? If so, it can range from self-study, specific certification courses, additional formal education, volunteer work, part-time job and everything in between.

Depending on the career move that you are making, it may be necessary for you to get some training. With the boom of online schools that allow professionals to take courses online, on their own time, getting a college or graduate degree to boost your career change is now easier than ever.

If the online route isn’t your thing, though, you can also take classes at your local university or community college. There are also technical schools that offer courses in many different careers. Also, note that non traditional students — students who are older than 24 years old — are a rapidly growing population on college campuses throughout the United States.

Career Networking

Begin networking with people in your new industry. As a start, you can find a person who will help you through the industry association in your local area. As he or she will refer you to prospective employers make sure you build a positive rapport with the person. By demonstrating unique personality and potentials you will promote yourself to your target employers long before you want the job.

Talk to some professionals who are already in the career of your choice. They can be great sources to give you career change advice. Ask if you can shadow them for a few hours or a few days so that you can get a feel for what the career entails. Ask questions and learn about the education and skills that they needed to get to the place that they are.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find a mentor or life coach who can help you take a good look at yourself and your life, your profession and your goals. They can help to guide you and make your transition from your current career to a new career much smoother.

You can find a life coach or if you know someone who is already in the field that you want to enter you can ask them for help. If you are attending school, you can talk to a career counselor there. The point is, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Financial Preparation

When you are starting out in a new industry, you are worth less than you probably were at the job you had become a seasoned professional in. You have to take a look at the market and see what the demands are like for the career that you are considering changing to.

At the same time, it is your responsibility to make sure that you explore all of your options as far as education and see just what the implications would be as far as time and money are concerned. The more savings you have the more ready you are for a career transition.

Do you have more than twelve months of salary in your savings account? This reserve is what you need to cover your monthly expenses during career transition. Make sure your savings are also sufficient for financing your training and courses. Once you budget all of your expenses, take an action to accumulate more money so that you’re financially ready for a career move.

New Career

Many employees will start their new career while they are still working at former employers. To become an entrepreneur, for example, you definitely have to work hard, but you’ll find that by starting your business this way, you’ll be able to see it off to a good start. You can start making investments and putting money aside for larger investments to come while you are still working steadily and bringing in a stable paycheck.

You’ll also notice that you might be able to play with your existing work schedule a little bit. You can cut back on hours, or you can rearrange them to have more time to do what it is you want. Take some time to see what can be done to maximize the amount of time you have.

Do your reading and your research, not only on your own industry but on what other people in your position have done since. You’ll find that there are many different roads to get to the success you want and that a midlife career change is just the first step!

Burning Bridges

When you think of changing careers, be aware that this does not necessarily involve burning bridges. You can part ways very amicably with your company, and ideally, they would be happy to have you back should you ever be in a position where you want to think about working for them again.

To further encourage good relations, make sure that you never spread bad or slanderous material about your past employer, and make sure that your leave-taking is done with plenty of notice. Leave on good terms, and you will find yourself in an easier position than ever before.

Many people are a little concerned that the thing that is keeping them from making a dramatic job change is the benefits that they receive. For instance, if you go from working for a company with insurance to being self-employed, you will find that this can be a bit of a burden on you and your family.

Take some time to really think about what you need, and to see what independent medical insurance has to offer. Before you leave, visit the doctor for a full checkup, get any dental work done that you need, and fill up on any prescriptions that need to have.

Measuring Results

How to tell if you are heading to your perfect career? The bottom line is what counts. Are your part time jobs generating more satisfaction or rewards?

Do your part-time employers like you? Or, if you are starting a business, what is the response of your target market? It may take a while for employers or customers to fully accept your services but you can use your precious time to build your personal brand value.

Just use your book or your computer to track your progress and to determine whether you are on the right track. But be flexible to make some adjustment if your situation requires you to do so. And if you want to keep up with how to manage your career change consider visiting this midlife career change resource.
With all of the preparation you’ll know when the best time to confidently jump into the new career is. It might be a year or two or may be even more but it won’t bother you because you enjoy the process of acquiring the perfect career.

Best of luck with your midlife career change journey.
Click for additional career news and articles.

Paul Sarwanawadya
Midlife Career Change Advisor

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