Most people reach the point where they start to consider a career change, whether they're influenced by job satisfaction, salary and benefits, time away from family or a lack of advancement opportunities. Here are 8 tips for planning a mid-life career change.
1. Decide on Possible Careers
What careers interest you more than your current one? What types of careers are you passionate about? What careers are consistently lucrative, even in a bad economy? Brainstorm and come up with a list of possible careers that you'd be interested in.
2. Consider Your Talents and Skills
Do you have the necessary tools to succeed in any of the careers on your list? Just because you're excited about a new career idea, doesn't mean you're ready for it. If you don't have the requisite talents or skills for any of the careers on your list, cross them off.
3. Weigh the Pros and Cons
Looking at the potential careers that are still on your list, start a new list. Under each career, list the pros and cons. If the cons outweigh the pros for any of them, cross them off.
4. Research and Conduct Interviews
With the careers that are left on your list, do some more research. Read blogs that are written by people in that career to gauge how much they like the job. Pick up the phone and call some people in the industry you're considering. Let them know why you're calling, and offer to take them out for coffee so you can pick their brain. If that's not possible, take the time to draft a short list of questions to send them by email and ask them to respond.
5. Take a Good Look Over the Fence
There's an old saying that, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." What if that's not true? If you know you want to switch careers, make sure it's really the right change for you. If you do enough research, you might find that your current career isn't so bad after all.
6. Prepare Your Friends and Family
Sit down with your loved ones and let them know your decision. They may be resistant, or they may have a lot of support and ideas to help you out. Either way, they need to know, and you don't want to put off telling them until the last minute.
7. Training and Education
Once you finally decide on a career you'd like to pursue, it may require additional training and education. Get started! Find out what you need to learn, and take night classes or correspondence courses to learn the skills that you need. Don't quit your day job until you have all the training, licenses or certifications which your new job requires.
8. Prepare a Financial Cushion
If you're going to take the plunge, you need to make sure your basic needs are met for the first few months. Plan out your budget and save up enough living expenses for at least three months. Include groceries, housing, insurance payments and more. If you start a new career and quickly find yourself broke, you'll definitely regret the decision, and you may find yourself running back to your old job.
Many people make the mistake of making a career change without putting enough thought into it, and they end up regretting the decision. Take the time to do your research, plann, save up and train before you take the plunge, to make your career change that much more successful.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.