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What’s It Really Like To Change Careers Halfway Through Adult Life?


So you’ve realized that the career choice you choose back when you first started out is no longer the right one for you. Sure, at first you loved it, in fact for many years you loved it, but now you just don’t feel like your career is giving you what you want and need from it. Deciding to change careers halfway through your adult life is a scary decision, especially when you’re in a good position, earning a good income.

However, if you are no longer happy in the position that you’re in, for one reason or another, then you need to take a leap of faith and make some changes. Sure, it might be scary, and it may mean making some changes to your lifestyle, but if you are unhappy in your career, it makes sense to do something about it. For a lot of people, the worst part about changing careers halfway through adult life is not knowing what to expect. There’s nothing more daunting than the unknown, now is there?

To make the process of changing careers as an adult who already has a career easier below is a guide to what it’s actually like taking the leap, as well as some tips and pieces of advice for a smoother transition. Read on for everything that you need to know.

What’s It Really Like To Change Careers Halfway Through Adult Life?

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It’s daunting

The first thing that you should know about deciding to take a leap of faith and quit the career you’ve had for years is that it’s incredibly daunting. It’s also exciting and interesting, but there’s no doubt about it, it’s incredibly scary. After all, you are leaving behind all certainty and don’t know what the future will hold, that’s always going to be daunting, isn’t it? At times you may question your decision to leave your current career and begin to wonder whether you’re mad for doing so. You might not enjoy what you’re doing, but you may wonder whether leaving a steady job that you’re doing well in is wise, even if it does make you miserable.

It’s crucial to determine why you’re unhappy

Now, it’s crucial to determine why you are unhappy in the role that you are in, as that way it will be easier to find a new career choice that’s a good fit for you. So start by looking at the job you currently do and think about what’s wrong with it – write a list of all the things that you come up with. For example, perhaps you are working too many long hours and aren’t reaping the rewards of the hard work that you are putting in? Or, maybe the job itself just isn’t enjoyable anymore? Could it be that the role has changed far too much in the time that you’ve been doing it, and you no longer like what it is that you do? Whatever the reason that you are unhappy, try to get to the bottom of it, as this will make finding a career that’s a better fit, a little easier.

Ask yourself what your priorities are for your new role

To be able to find a new role that is a perfect fit for you, it’s crucial to think about what your priorities are for your new position. This means taking the time to consider what was wrong with your old role and using those issues to help you determine what your priorities would be for your new role. So say, for instance, your old role had become boring and lacked challenge, if you were to retrain you would want it to be in an industry that offers you a challenge and new opportunities. Or, say you are no longer keen on your job because of the long hours, you would want to find a role (and industry) that wouldn’t mean doing such long hours and would give you more free time for your hobbies, friends, or family. Perhaps the reason you dislike your current role is because you have to travel a lot if so, you would probably want to find a role that required less travel. If you are going to be happy in your new career, you need to take the time to ensure that it allows you to put your priorities first, like not working weekends, for instance.

What’s It Really Like To Change Careers Halfway Through Adult Life?

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Is there something that you’re passionate about?

The next thing to think about is whether you know what you want to do or whether you are unsure about your future career. Hopefully, there’s something that you have a passion for that you can use to kickstart your new career. Maybe you’ve always loved kids and helping people and have wanted to work in the human services sector as a childminder, a support worker, or a social worker? Perhaps you’ve always had a passion for food, if so maybe you could choose to retrain as a chef or work as a food journalist or critic? Maybe you’ve recently discovered a love of writing and want to work in the media sector? It doesn’t matter what area you opt to work in, just as long as you are passionate about it. The fact is, if you are passionate about your career, then you are more likely to enjoy going to work each day, and won’t feel like the time you’ve spent working has been wasted.

Consider whether you’re willing to retrain

Now, when it comes to changing careers, it’s important to consider whether you are willing to retrain. This is important as this will impact the type of role that you are able to get. You see, there are some roles that specialist training isn’t required for, while there are others that specialist training is needed for. Let’s say, for example; you’ve always wanted to work in human services as a social worker, then you would need to undertake a training course, like the one discussed at Whereas, if you wanted to become a teaching assistant, you could most probably just do on the job training, instead of having to do a specialist course. Before choosing a new career path to go down, look into the type of training that’s required and decide whether it’s something that you want to do, if not, then it could be worth selecting another career.

Don’t fail to think about your finances

An important factor to consider when changing careers is your finances. The last thing that you want to do is get in a mess financially, so it’s important to consider what the impact will be on your finances. The impact that occurs will depend on how you choose to go about changing career. If you opt to quit your job and then begin retraining, this could cause financial problems. However, if you opt to continue working at your current job while you retrain, taking on an online or evening course, then you shouldn’t have to worry about your finances, making the process of changing jobs a little easier. If you do plan on being between jobs, make sure to put some money aside to ensure that you have enough to get by on. As the last thing you want is to end up struggling financially.

Put a career plan in place

Obviously, if you choose to change careers halfway through your adult life, it is going to mean that it will take longer to progress. So it could be worth talking to a careers advisor and putting a career plan in place so that you know what steps you need to take to move your new career forward and get to where you want to be. You can create a career chart that shows you each step that you need to take to get to your goal, helping to make the process of moving up in your career easier to understand. Often, seeing the steps that you need to take laid out in front of you, can help to make the process of making those steps a reality, a little easier for you.

There you have it, a guide to what it’s really like to change careers halfway through adult life. Admittedly, it can be daunting at times, especially when you think about the stability that you are giving up. However, if you are unhappy in your current role, then it makes sense to give up what you are doing now and try to find a position that’s not only a better fit for your needs but also makes you feel happier and more content. After all, you deserve to do a job that you love, as you spend the majority of your adult life at work, so it’s important that you aren’t wasting your time doing something that you hate. This is something that far too many people do, but it’s silly, especially as there are so many career options out there to choose from, it’s just a case of being willing to take a leap of faith.

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