While a late career change may be uncommon, embracing the next chapter of your career life is not as easy as it sounds. Switching up roles, organizations, and even industries can bring a unique basket of challenges even for a seasoned professional.
It is crucial to consider the potential financial impact and changes in the quality of life before making that leap of faith in your career. If you are moving into another industry, chances are that you may have to take a lower salary or even position at the beginning. This is not always the case.
So, if you are feeling a little restless about that late career change, here are 4 things to keep in mind as consider the jump:
1. Get educated for your next big step
Before you set out on a new career path, give yourself a chance to thrive in your new role by getting properly knowledgeable about the other side. Even to the established professionals, adult learning can still be quite intimidating. Testing out your knowledge and experience in a new and unfamiliar environment can be challenging.
However, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves if you want to have a smooth late career change. Look for learning opportunities that fit within your lifestyle or normal schedules. You could enroll in media workshops, online courses, or simply join relevant social groups to gain insights from those already in the industry. Brush up your skills set with the current trends and step up your networking as well.
2. Is a gradual change better than one big leap?
Beginning with a smaller shake up may be the better option in your case. Change does not necessarily have to be an all or nothing affair. Reinventing your career requires a great deal of commitment and investment. For some seasoned professionals, one big move may work out quite well. But for others, it may be more realistic to institute change at a pace that reflects their current situation.
However, if you’d rather do a big jump off, then get ready for a near-complete overhaul of your career. You will most likely have to give up some of the things you were used to. After all, it is all about compromise and balance, which will minimize the negative disruption to your personal life.
3. What’s really wrong?
Many people hardly wake up one day and decide that they have to ditch their current careers and look elsewhere. A bad week and a bad job are completely different situations, and you will have to determine which is which.
Take some steps back and write down the real source of your frustration and anxiety. Is it a personal problem or a professional issue? Is it something wrong with your organization or the entire industry? There’s often a clear pattern and one that will give you a roadmap for instituting the necessary changes as well as how to go about them. You can only find the right solution if you accurately identify the problem.
4. It can really happen
Shake off the common misconceptions that career changes should be few and far apart. The pressure on professionals to pick up a single career for the rest of their lives has no basis whatsoever. Many professionals make these changes all the time and actually attribute them to their eventual success.
The idea that you must work at a single dream job for all of your professional life is not only unfounded but also limiting in terms of career growth.
Are you contemplating a late career change? Sound off in the comments section.