Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Have you reached your 50s, disappointed in the career choices you have made? Well it’s never too late to change. But be sure your expectations should you make that change are realistic.
As many of us are choosing (or having to) work for longer, we can plan second, third , or even fourth careers – but make any changes based on informed decisions:
Ask yourself some key questions before you change career:
What are your transferrable skills?
What are your financial needs and expectations?
What additional skills/knowledge do you need?
What are your timescales?
How much happier will you be if you make the change?
Does the role fit into an industry sector that is growing or declining?
Can you start working in this field while continuing in your current role?
How will any change affect your relationships?
Do you have the right connections within your own network to help make the transition?
Meet people in your chosen field – what are the challenges they face and what do they like and dislike ….you may find you are looking at your proposed change through rose tinted glasses. Make you are fully aware of the downsides of the career path you are looking to take – as well the positives. There are mentoring programmes available where in some instances you can pay to shadow somebody – just to be sure that your chosen role is what you thought it would be.
Will you be moving into this new area on a self employed basis or as an employee? Research companies in this field. Check job boards – how many job opportunities are there – could you fulfil the requirements, what are the advertised salaries?
Do the opportunities exist?
I once sat down with somebody whose belief was that her failure to find employment in a new field, having spent 2 years attending a college course, was due to age discrimination. In reality, nobody, of any age who had graduated from this course with her had actually found employment n this field. Roles were few and far between, competition was high, and salaries were far lower than this individual had realised . She had not done her homework before taking the plunge, had taken two years out of paid employment and spent most of her savings on tuition fees and living expenses.
There are countless people who successfully transition into new careers, but they do their research beforehand, they look at all the angles and they are passionate about making the change.
If you want to gain inspiration , then check out some of the women who have reinvented their careers in their 50s and beyond in our ‘Fab Women’ section of the site.
I am known as the founder of Fab after Fifty, but I have had an extremely successful career as a headhunter,spanning 3 decades, placing people in jobs all over the world. I am passionate about people working in roles they love – at every age!