Growth 3 min read

Changing Careers in Your 40’s and Beyond

It's simpler than you might think.

Not too long ago, it was common practice to stay on one career path until you retired.

While there are those who found jobs they loved, others have felt stuck in a job that no longer satisfies them. Often we have multiple skills and talents that need to be expressed, and it can be difficult to pull together disparate interests into one job.

But finding an outlet for these varied skills is part of developing our career identity. And as we evolve, our career goals change, and we gain a clearer sense of those jobs that satisfy our deeper sense of purpose.

1. Change Perspective

Most of us cannot just pick up and leave our jobs on a whim especially when we have a family to support. But just because you can’t leave your job now doesn’t mean you will never be able to leave your job. It’s important to have a renewed perspective to turn your current work situation from an obstacle into a jumping off point for a new career.

If you only see your current job as a hindrance, chances are you will not have the energy or focus to plan for a new one. Remember, finding your vocation is a journey with many stops along the way, and your current job may be just one of those stops. Think about what you do at your current job that you love and find ways to do more of it. You may not want to be there, but discovering what you enjoy at your current job may lead you to a more desirable one.

2. Broaden Your Skill Set and Resources

Most people apply to jobs that most closely match their skill set in the hopes of increasing their chances of getting hired. While this seems logical, it does little to get you the job you really want. One way to break out of this career rut is to apply to jobs you do not qualify for. A little counter-intuitive? Yes, but aligning your actions with your desires is a powerful way to alter your career path.

Rework your resume to match the job qualifications as closely as possible, and figure out a plan of action for attaining those skills you do not have. Maybe you need to get a degree, take a class, or simply practice a skill. You may or may not get the job interview, but at the very least you will be more attuned to the skills you need to acquire for the job you want.

3. Set a Plan in Motion

You have a new perspective and new skills but you still aren’t financially stable enough to fully transition into a new career. During this time, it can be easy to fall back into familiar patterns of negative self-talk and defeatist attitudes. But keep in mind that you are closer to your goal than when you first started. Vocational development is a process that takes time. While it may be difficult to break old work habits, you can form new ones with consistency. You may not want to take that class after work, but if you push through, you will reap the reward.

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