In today’s world, working until your late 60s is becoming common practice. Does that fill you with dread? Could you really stick it out at your current career for that long? Those are great questions. Here’s one more. Should you consider a career change?
So, you are faced with working much longer than you had planned. However, you can do that successfully. To keep working into your late 60s you have 3 main options:
- firstly, do nothing and carry on your current path, ignoring the problem, or
- choose to thrive in your current line or work, or
- Do Something Different and make a career change
Is it time to do something different in your career?
By now, you’ve probably realised that you’ll be working until your mid to late 60s. We are living longer than ever before and our working lives are being stretched too, not just to support us financially, but also to keep us active. Already, having a “job for life” (or even one single career) isn’t always the case, nor is it ever likely to be again. So why not take the plunge and Do Something Different? If we’re going to spend so much of our lives working, I challenge you to do something you actually enjoy!
I assume that you’re already doing something today – for example, you have a job or run a business – and have thought about doing something different in your career. You may have a curiosity or burning desire inside you that you want to fulfil, or are approaching one of life’s crossroads. You may have no idea what you want to do, but you do know you want to do something different from what you’re doing today.
Initiating or experiencing change isn’t always easy to deal with. And it can become even harder, the older we get. Should you consider a career change or is it too late for that?
How to make a career change
Change can take many sizes and forms. It could be as relatively minor as taking on something incremental (e.g. a voluntary activity), or a new role within your existing organisation. Change could be something much bigger like quitting your existing occupation and starting up your own business. It could also include anything in between, or in multiple steps.
It’s important to realise that we’re all at different starting points and we can all tolerate different levels of change and challenge.
I’ll cover a few examples of change below:
Taking on a Different Role at Work
My assumption here is of a different role in your existing organisation. This could be related to what you do today e.g. from a standalone role to that of a people manager (or vice versa) or switching to a project role. Alternatively, this could involve a rotation to a completely different function or location. If you’re looking to make such a move it’s much easier to do this with your existing organisation, where you’ve built up experience, job knowledge and a reputation.
At my former employer, I knew people that made moves between Finance and HR, as well as between IT and Marketing. Moves which they would never have contemplated outside of the organisation.
A different role could also relate to a vertical move, either a promotion, or downwards, taking a role with fewer responsibilities as you plan to wind things down a little. This could be to enjoy life more or to give you time and scope for alternative activities, whether working at your dream or for leisure.
Should I Switch Employers in Mid-life?
While the “job for life” seems to be an outdated or unusual concept these days, there are still cases where people have worked in the same organisation, sometimes even in very similar roles, for a long time. For some, it could be the only place they’ve ever worked. This can make the prospect of changing companies an extremely significant and daunting challenge. But what if the company no longer serves you well or meets your needs? Or worse still, what if they no longer require you?
This could represent a mammoth upheaval.
While some might relish this opportunity for change, others would run a mile from it. And again, change can get harder the older and more entrenched we get, whether we’re in the driving seat or not.
Finding a New Career
Some people have been in a certain line of work for a number of years, but it maybe doesn’t serve them well any more. Alternatively, there could be changes within the function or industry, with differing or decreasing requirements. Maybe you’ve discovered something that you’d rather do instead, or a new skill?
There are probably many teachers that teach throughout their working lives, but I know quite a few that have started out teaching and moved into something else and others that start by doing something else and move into teaching.
I also know many coaches that have previously had very diverse careers including as social workers, hairdressers, accountants, teachers, lawyers and military officers!
Is Starting a Business Right for Me?
Many people dream of running their own business for the freedom and fulfilment that this implies. This could include something straightforward, such as running a café or a B&B, being a property landlord, or becoming an artist. Others have more targeted and specific business ideas and dreams.
You may already know of people that have actually escaped from the rat race to go and do these things, leaving behind their prior lives and following their dreams.
I’m not saying things always work out 100% as they’d planned, but many of them relish their newfound freedom and rarely regret their decision. After all, they could always go back into the world of employment and get another job, and are now armed with additional transferrable skills they’ve acquired.
Should You Consider a Career Change?
What if you did decide to act, to make a change, to follow your own dreams – and what if you were successful? Just imagine what possibilities (and opportunities) could open up for you…
Whether you’ve already made the decision to Do Something Different or are still indecisive, there are a couple of options that could help to propel you forward on any one of these veins (or more): coaching or Do Something Different.
How could career coaching help me?
Career coaching can assist in various different respects:
- Help you to decide where you want to go and what you want to do. This could include exploring why the change is important to you, where you are now, how to get started, and to discover what resources you have at your disposal.
- Enable you to put a realistic plan in place with tangible actions to help you to make positive and steady progress towards your goals.
- Give you the confidence and motivation to keep going when obstacles arise, and to push through these challenges.
- Provide the support you need along your journey and help you to stay accountable to yourself for keeping on track.
What’s Do Something Different and how could this help me?
In contrast to career coaching, which is bespoke to the needs of the client, Do Something Different is a much more structured programme focusing on career change.
By the end of the programme, you will have:
Benefits of Blue Diamond Coaching
Blue Diamond can help and empower you to take control of your working life. Should you consider a career change, we can give you the tools to make a good decision and thrive.
Should you remain stuck on your current path for the next decade, or more, through fear and dread? Or should you consider a career change? Make that choice and take the opportunity to Do Something Different, in the way that works best for you. Click here to talk to me today and don’t waste another moment, let alone another year!