Before I started this job I didn't really have a clear understanding of what a career coach did. And now that I do, guest author Betsy Shepard Reed...
Age – don’t let it curb your career change
With over half of us unhappy in our jobs, it’s somewhat unsurprising if you find yourself pondering a different career.
With over half of Australians unhappy with their job, it’s somewhat unsurprising if you find yourself pondering a different career. However, as people get older, the prospect of changing careers seems an increasingly daunting one. In fact, for the over 50s, keeping hold of a job might instead become the priority, with studies revealing that people aged 55 and over were the most discouraged from finding a new role. As a result, confidence (or rather, a dwindling amount of it) can be a real barrier to more senior people taking the leap down a new career path.
This is especially true of senior women – particularly mothers who have had a long period away from the workplace whilst focusing on raising their children. Finding yourself up against much younger candidates can be a demoralising experience. The constant advances in technology can also make seniors feel out of their depth. Gaining the confidence to take the plunge is thus often the first step to increasing self-esteem. Methods such as hypnotherapy have proved effective in helping people overcome career concerns, while also enabling people to view themselves in a more positive light. Life coaching is another way of motivating women of all ages to achieve their career goals.
There are plenty of options when it comes to trying something new career-wise. Some involve working towards a qualification, which can either mean studying for 1 – 3 years or training on the job as part of a work placement. Another option is to start your own business. Other people opt for a more flexible working life, telecommuting or freelancing from home.
Whatever path you take, switching careers is hard work. However, with enough self-belief and lots of careful planning, it can be achieved with great success.
Here are some tips for a successful career change:
1. Research the field you are interested in working in. Make the most of contacts you know who work in your field of interest. Ask them for advice and whether they know of any relevant opportunities. Professional social media services such as LinkedIn are invaluable in this regard. You might also consider volunteering in the industry to see if it’s really something you can see yourself doing in the long-term.
2. Consider what sacrifices you are willing to make. Is salary a priority? Can you be flexible with hours? How about the commute and time with family?
3. List the skills you have already. Note how these are applicable to your chosen field and tailor your CV accordingly.
4. Get into shape. Starting a new career later on in life takes a great deal of energy. Keeping fit will help give you the stamina, motivation and confidence needed to keep focused on your goals.
Changing career later on in life is by no means straightforward. It can be daunting and requires lots of planning and perseverance. However, with life expectancy rising and retirement age rising with it, there are still plenty of years for you to enjoy a new career in your 40s and beyond. Many have done it and continue to do it. What’s more, 88% of Australians who changed careers say it was the right thing to do. How’s that for an incentive?-->
FlexCareers are leading experts in diversity, flexibility and future of work solutions across the entire employee lifecycle. Our careers platform features Australia and New Zealand's largest marketplace of flexible job opportunities, and connects talented individuals with progressive employers offering flexible work. Our employer services include strategy consulting, coaching, branding and training services as well as our proprietary Return to Work Program. Job seekers can also access career support from our expert coaches.