It’s Never Too Late For A Career Change
It can come from necessity or desire, but change is inevitable.
When it comes to your career, there are many reasons why you would need to hang up your tool belt for one of a different colour. Your employer may be retiring without a succession plan, you may feel underappreciated and underpaid, or you may simply be unable to deal with the difficulties brought on by an aging body.
Changing careers later in life can be daunting. We’ve spent years establishing ourselves and our habits. Whether those habits are physical or financial, when they come under threat, we can experience a significant level of stress.
Step back for a second though because your journey isn’t over. You still have a lot to offer and changing careers can offer something back.
Pro Tip: Being mindful of our habits can address one of the largest stumbling blocks to change.
Here are 10 reasons why it’s never too late to change careers.
1. You have more skills
You’ve had a lot of years to accumulate skills. They may have been learned from your volunteering, playing cards every Friday night with your family, or directly linked to the work you perform every day. When it comes to a new career, your skills can transfer from the old to the new so you aren’t starting out empty-handed.
2. You have confidence
Changing careers too often when you’re younger gives the impression that you’re travelling listlessly through life, bouncing from one job to the next without apparent reason. A change in career later in life; however, won’t be seen that way. You already know what you want in life and your career will either help get you there or it won’t. If you need to change to achieve your goals, then it’s part of your plan, not outside of it.
3. You’ll Gain More Knowledge
We gain knowledge and experience from everything we do. You may find yourself looking for more knowledge that your current job cannot offer. Changing careers can offer you that boost.
4. You can Increase Your Earning Power
You may have come to a crossroads in your life and realized you need more financial support. Established now, you can’t just ask your parents for help to buy the cottage you want. A new career can increase your paycheque so you can afford what you want.
5. Expand your horizon
Sometimes, it isn’t about earning more or learning more, but having new experiences. You could be stagnating at a job and just need a change. The challenge of a new job can keep you mentally engaged.
6. Fulfill your other needs
Maslow posited in his paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation”, that there are five levels of needs and we typically work on the lower levels before the higher ones. From lowest to highest, they are:
- Belonging and love
As we age, we begin to work on the higher levels of personal growth. Changing our career may be necessary to achieve greater success in that personal growth towards self-actualization.
7. No More Toxic Stress
Sometimes we head towards something and sometimes we leave something. Your current employment may be complicated by stress or toxic people. They could have been there for a long time or be new hires. Eventually, we realize the struggle isn’t worth the cost and we can achieve our goals elsewhere.
8. Growth Opportunities
Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side. You may come across an opportunity that offers something your current employment cannot.
9. Take Control
Life can sometimes have a way of seeming out of control. Our careers can add to that chaos and finding new employment can be the first step to taking control of our own lives.
10. You need to slow down
Though we may love our jobs, sometimes they don’t allow us the flexibility we need. We may need to slow down or reduce the physical work that some careers require. A new job may achieve that so you can aportion your time differently.
How to capitalize on your age
Understanding the reasons behind a change in career isn’t the same as capitalizing on it; however, so when you do make the decision to replace your current employer, be mindful of the following:
Your passion can be infectious
Anyone starting a new job will be filled with excitement. Having the experiences that you possess will temper that excitement and give it strength. You don’t just have a general excitement. You’re beyond that kind of emotional rollercoaster. You have a passion and that passion for your work or the company’s mission is worth embracing. Other’s, especially junior officers who haven’t been tested, will look to you as a role model worth emulating.
Your experience is powerful
Never let someone look at you and only see your age. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a decade older than your closest co-worker or a day. Every day you’ve worked more than someone else is a day you’ve gained experience. That experience may be in a field they are a part of or one that’s far different. The experience you bring to a company is unparalleled. You’ve seen the worst and best in people. You’ve experienced the hard times and the good. When something comes up that needs a decision, you can step forward with confidence knowing there’s nothing new you can’t handle.
Your Age doesn’t matter
There are other ways to lead than having a manager’s name tag on your sleeve. When you come to a new company you may not be in management. In fact, the management may be younger than you are. Getting used to looking beyond their age will be important to your personal growth and your ability to fit into the team.
Don’t lose your seniority
Some companies may recognize your years of experience with other companies as though you’d worked for them. That means when you negotiate your salary or benefits, you may have an opportunity to earn more than a standard starting package. Though many companies have vacation structures and pay bands they must adhere to, it can’t hurt to ask for similar holidays to your last position. Your new company may not have the same benefits, but they may have some wiggle room.
The first change is the hardest
The transition to a new company may not be easy. You’ll have new rules and lots to learn. The whole process is a primer; however, if you realize it isn’t right for you. Once you’ve established that you’re willing and able to take the plunge, you can do it again if it isn’t right. You’ve already beaten the games that your mind will play on you; the self-doubt, fear, and anger, etc, brought on by the change.