At a certain age, we come to realize that financial freedom is not just defined by salary. Good financial habits can open up the door for a career change, while creating a cushion to support a shift in lifestyle. Here's how you can begin to take steps toward the transition with confidence.
Tip 1: Understand that for each day you stay in the job that you no longer love because the money is great, the further behind you are from your long-term goal of financial freedom.
Making a career change when you are young is done with ease; you have far more to lose when you have spent years working your way up the ladder of success in your current career. There are millions of people around the country that have remained in their careers because they “don’t know anything else” and the job is “good enough.”
But this is potentially a big mistake to make. When employees are evaluating whether their current job is “good enough,” they will often focus on two things: the benefits and the pay.
The pay is only a small part of your total package. The most important is the skills you develop. If you choose to spend an extra five years in a role that is “good enough” (right pay and benefits), you are losing five years’ worth of learning.
Don’t stay in a role any longer than you have to if it does not excite you or have ample learning opportunities. Create a great career-change resume today and change your future!
Tip 2: Do not take the saying, “follow your dream and the money will not be far behind,” too seriously.
It is largely true that the most financially satisfying jobs go to those people that work hard because they are extremely passionate about their jobs. They have the energy to work their very best because they simply love their jobs.
Unfortunately, when you are planning a midlife career change, the question that sticks out is “When will the money follow?” As you get older, your commitments increase and a reliable income stream is necessary to get through life. You may not be able to stick at a career change if the financial benefits of your passion do not follow you quickly.
Before embarking on any career change, develop a plan (not just a career plan). Have a financial plan to reduce any financial risk. In addition to this, update your resume. Create a great career-change resume that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Tip 3: Focus on work and not money concerns.
Before you are in a position to create a career and financial plan for your midlife career change, you will need to consider a number of issues. Take several tests to identify where your skill gaps lie. Create a great career-change resume that will get you noticed. If possible, talk to people who are currently working in your chosen career to gauge whether the job is as interesting as it looks on the outside and to show them your resume. It may help if you get some work experience, which will help further identify whether the job is for you.
It should be noted, though, that it does not matter how much you plan; you cannot truly anticipate every scenario until you have jumped onto the road.
Tip 4: Understand that the real reason you are not happy with your current career lies within.
In the majority of cases, it is not a bad boss that is causing you to feel bored/tired of your current career. It is not the culture or the economy. It is YOU.
There are plenty of companies that have bad bosses. And equally, there are plenty of bad companies. Yes, these play a role in causing you to feel dissatisfied, but they are outside forces that are usually not the primary reason for your frustration.
Once you have identified what the primary factor is, you will be in a position to make the transition to a new career.
There is nothing wrong with feeling “bad” about your current role. It is a completely natural human reaction to become dissatisfied after a number of years doing the same thing day in, day out. Over time, we experience growth and a desire for learning. It is this desire that is causing you to become unhappy with your current career as it no longer challenges you. It would be very surprising if you never felt this desire for change.
Tip 5: Be wary of short-term solutions.
Lots of people are often too eager to change careers when they are unhappy with their current one, and many make the same mistake twice. Yes, a career change will be exciting in the beginning as new challenges and environments arise, but over time the tired feeling and boredom will come back with a vengeance.
The best piece of advice is to take a step back before any career change.
Tip 6: Career planning alone will not work. You need a combination of financial and career planning.
As previously mentioned, a career plan alone is not the answer. Building a nest egg will give you the control to manage your future career decisions. Financial freedom will open the doors to endless opportunities. Those people who do gain financial independence will enjoy life.
You are not alone in pursuing a midlife career change. At some point, many people will seriously question whether they want to continue with the same role for the next ten years. We hope that these tips have given you the confidence to take the next step in your journey.