Want to know the best tip for someone thinking about a mid-career change?
You must fully understand why you're considering a career change.
As a seasoned employee, your advantage is your ability to determine what you loved about your old job, and what you hated.
So what should you do with that knowledge? Let's talk about it.
What's a mid-career change mean for you?
If you are thinking about changing careers, create a list of pros and cons for your current position.
Once you have done that, it is going to be a lot easier to determine what direction you should take this mid-career change.
Take a few minutes to create your "Mid-Career Change Pros vs. Cons" list.
It might look something like this:
Career change pros
- Opportunities to advance that present vocation does not offer
- A chance for greater growth; feeling stagnant in my current job
- I can find a vocation I feel more passionate about
Career change cons
- Unknown job market; hiring might not be immediate
- Financial uncertainty during the interim period
- Learning curve might be steep at this point in my career
Your list of pros and cons for a career change will be specific to your vocation, but you will likely find it helpful to compose a brief list.
It will help you better understand what a mid-career change will mean for you.
Now, if you have determined that a mid-career change in jobs is the right decision, the next step is to consider what you are looking for in a new job.
You might jot down a list like this:
Expectations for your new career
- I want to work with peers my own age
- I hope to make a positive difference that I can personally experience
- Working morning hours is important to me
- I want to use my current skills rather than learn new ones
- I am not willing to move for a new job
Finally, now that you know exactly what you're looking for, it is time to research careers you are interested in.
Where to research your new career
If you already know exactly what type of job you want with your mid-career change, skip this section and go on to the next.
If you are unsure, however, read on for a couple of effective ways to determine a direction for your mid-career job change.
Online career quiz
There are about a zillion different online career tests/quizzes that can help you determine where your skills could be useful.
Most of these career quizzes are 100% free, so don’t stop at one.
After all, if you aim for this to be your last mid-career change, you'll want to reassure yourself that the results were accurate.
Do an online search
Now, you might think you're a great fit for a ton of positions (maybe you are).
The only way you can know for sure is to research these positions.
Say for example you are interested in becoming a mechanical engineer.
Do a quick search by typing in “mechanical engineering jobs near me.”
You will likely find some major job boards or staffing agencies that show a listing for these jobs.
Click on a few of them and read the job descriptions.
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
- How does this position compare against my mid-career change list?
- Does this sound like something I am going to enjoy?
- Do I have any relevant skills to be successful in a position like this?
- Will the pay match or exceed my current income?
If yes, awesome! The next step is to apply for these jobs.
If no, then try this method again with some other job titles.
You want to get this mid-career change right the first time.
Bouncing from job to job can waste precious time and money, as well as reflect negatively on your loyalty.
Five mid-career change mistakes to avoid
Once you change your career, you likely plan to stick with your new job, right?
So, avoid these common mistakes or you will quickly find yourself changing careers again.
1. Following mindlessly
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing a job because you have a friend or family member who's “in the industry” and “doing well financially.”
2. Wasting time and money
Do not spend a fortune going back to school on a career you may not even enjoy.
3. Failing to crunch numbers
Think about your bills. Don't switch from a career paying you six figures to a job offering minimum wage when you have a mortgage.
4. Rushing into things
Take it slowly. Make sure that this mid-career change is a great fit for you!
If you haven’t created your pros and cons list, do it now.
You will probably regret moving ahead without it.
5. Taking the "Lone Ranger" approach
Don’t be a lone ranger. There are so many resources out there to help you make this mid-career change.
Take advantage of them!
(For tips on how to apply for jobs online, check out this article on How To Apply For Jobs Online.)
Get career help from a professional
Perhaps the main drawback for you attempting a career change is simply the time needed to do so. You are already busy with your current vocation and can't afford to stop and search for a new career.
After all, finding a job can be a full-time job in itself.
Why not hire someone to do all the work for you?
Here at Find My Profession, we would love to help you land the perfect career.
Simply tell us about your previous experience and we will do the research on where your skills could be best applied.
Get in touch today and let us help you navigate your mid-career change.