Is It Time to Start a New Career? How to Make the Big Switch?
By John Teng
Your career is one of the ways you identify yourself. It is a part of you that tells others how you make a living and provide for your family. However, in a 2009 market survey statistics showed that nearly 65% of middle aged men were looking for new jobs in their field or were switching careers all together. Why is that? By middle age you should be settled, making money, and preparing for your upcoming retirement. Unfortunately, that is not always how it works. Many men between the ages of 40 and 60 go through a mid-life crisis. They go out and spend money, shop for the newest model of woman, and just feel unsatisfied with their lives. Part of this comes from the need for a career change. Fortunately for you, it is never too late to switch careers, even in your middle age.
It is one thing to change your job but it is a whole other ballpark when you talk about changing careers. Many men make the crucial mistake of only changing the job they are doing; not the career they are in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics between the ages of 18 and 64, men will switch jobs at least 10 times; but less than half of that will change their career as a whole. Workers in their middle age make up about 40% of the workforce and these seasoned professionals have no shortage of jobs. If you are a mad going through a mid-life crisis you know that you do not just want a job switch, you want to shift your life. Changing your career is going to have its obstacles, but with planning and foresight you will be able to make a smooth transition.
If you wake up one day and quit your job to open your own business or immediately start working toward a new career, you are only going to hurt yourself. Do not do anything rash, plan ahead and look at everything. Evaluate the work you are doing now. Why is it unfulfilling? Why do you not like it? What do you want to change? Answer these questions using the new career you have in mind. Once you have determined that switching is truly what you want to do then begin to plan for how to make the switch smoothly and without hurting yourself or your family.
Set Yourself Up For Financial Success
The last thing you want to do in middle age is lose all the money you have worked to save up. Be honest with yourself, your retirement is not that far away. You have time to start a new career but not to start you life completely over. Spend some time completing a new budget using the average salary that your new career will give you. See if this is actually doable for you and your family.
Make Yourself Wanted
As a middle aged man you wan tot use your experience in your previous field to your advantage. You know how to work hard and you know how to stay dedicated to a job. When in interviews make sure you play up these characteristics. No, you have not worked in this field before, but you do know about the work environment. This is not your first time around the block. Do not sell yourself short just because this career is not what you have been doing your whole life.
Check Your Attitude
Go into your new environment happy and eager to learn. It is a distinct possibility you could be taking orders form men or women half your age. Remember, they have worked for their position and they are more than qualified. Even with previous work experience this is still your new career. Keep your ego in check and listen to those in charge even if you think they should not be in charge.
Stay On Top of Technology
In today’s society many jobs will want you to be comfortable with the ever advancing technology. Take time to learn about what is trendy and new. Trade in your flip phone for a touch screen and bring in a tablet instead of a laptop. Keeping up with technology is a way to show that you are on top of up and coming trends and understand the types of technologies you will have to work with.
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