You start your career so that you can support your family and live a comfortable and secure life with the job that you feel you would excel in and in an industry that gives you the best opportunity to showcase and implement your skills.
However, there comes the point where what excited you in the initial phases of your career no longer excites you now. Or you feel that you have given it all that you could and would like to do something new.
However, after working for fifteen years or so, you have also become used to a lifestyle that your pay allows you to afford. Hence, if you think of a career change in midlife, it should be both emotionally fulfilling and financially rewarding so that you can keep doing the things you do for your family.
In fact, if anything, it should pay you more and reduce your stress as you slowly progress towards a more advanced age. After a particular point in your life, especially once you hit your forties, your priorities and needs can change, and by now, you have earned the right to live life on your terms.
Hence, changing a job at this point doesn’t mean that you would have to settle for an entry-level package. A high-paying job at this point would mean any job that pays you at least 25% more than what you were drawing, making it above the average salary that your juniors might draw.
How to Know Whether a Job is Good Enough For a Midlife Career Change?
Here is how you can determine whether a job is good enough for you for a midlife career change.
The new career that you choose should be in demand. You do not want to leave the security of your old job to try something new, only to find out that the job is not in demand. If you do not have takers for what you have to offer, you will soon get frustrated, and it will not pay you well.
2. No Additional Preparation
Your new career should be a natural progression from what you are currently doing. It would be best if you didn’t have to spend months or years preparing for it by going back to college to get a new degree. Yes, you may have to upgrade some of your skills, but it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. You should be able to put your education and work experience to use.
3. Should Incorporate Multiple Backgrounds
No matter which field you are from, your new career should accommodate people from all backgrounds. You should be able to transfer your skills, and there should be a certain degree of flexibility. It would be best if you did not have to start as a trainee or intern when you join.
Why is Midlife the Best Time to Make a Career Change?
If you think of making a career change, then midlife is the best time to do so. By now, you have learned enough from your current field. You are in a secure position in your life, yet you still have quite a few years before you to reinvent yourself. Here is why this is the best time.
1. Security and Peace
While all this time you were predominantly working for job security, now you will be able to work for what makes you truly happy without compromising on your job security. That way, you can prevent burnout and be both physically and mentally healthy. At this point, security and peace would go hand in hand, something you would not have believed possible in the initial days of starting your career.
2. Flexible Hours
One of the reasons people choose midlife career changes is to have more flexibility, be it in terms of work days or work hours. There is no need to turn up at 9:00 am sharp in the evening, nor do you have to be available on calls through the weekend. You can take things more slowly, which reduces your stress.
3. Better Work-Life Balance
You might have missed staying away from your family for far too long. Your earlier job might have required you to travel a lot so that you couldn’t spend more time with your kids at home.
You might have missed out on a lot of special occasions, and a midlife career change could bring you closer to your family as well as work as you please, resulting in a better work-life balance.
Some Midlife Career Changes That Pay Well
Here are some options you can consider if you think about making a midlife career change. These are highly reputed, in-demand, and high-paying jobs you can excel.
Being an actuary should be easy if you have a flair for numbers and have already been associated in a field like accounts or financial analysis. A background in commerce, economics, statistics, mathematics, and a bachelor’s degree is enough to land you the job.
You can help clients understand the statistical risks of financial decisions, and this field is predicted to be very promising in the near future. And you would do very well if you have a natural inclination towards communication. The same goes if you want to switch careers as a financial planner.
2. Administrative Assistant
If you are looking for a career change and the job has lots of flexibility, then being an administrative assistant is a great choice. Many companies are now hiring a virtual assistant that gives you a great deal of flexibility and allows you to put your knowledge and experience to good use, no matter which field you are related to.
It is a low-stress job, pays well, and you can work according to your desired schedule. You will be interacting with people from various departments and fields that could also open new doors of opportunities for you.
3. Consulting Jobs
You could be working in any field, but after you have gained a decade’s worth of experience, you could easily switch to consulting roles. Healthcare, IT, and finance, among other industries, have a tremendous demand for consultants.
You could put all your knowledge and experience to good use and help individuals or businesses overcome problems. You can help them organize tasks better, cut costs and tell them about new strategies to increase profits. You can work independently or as a part of a company, whichever you choose.
4. Event Management
If you love interacting with people and have excellent organizational skills, event management is perfect. Planning an event is never easy, and there is an incredible demand for planners. Clients do not want to look into the nitty-gritty of planning an event and want someone who would devote time and attention to the minutest aspects of an event.
As a planner, you would have to manage and coordinate between vendors, venues, caterers, decorators, travel agents, entertainers, and more. You would have to hold business meetings with clients as well. However, the sky is the limit in this field, and you can go on to plan bigger and better events as time goes by.
If you are passionate about working with charities and nonprofits, becoming a fundraiser might be right up your alley. There are many schools, hospitals, old-age homes, orphanages, and public research organizations which need funds to survive. However, they do not have the means or the platforms to raise money themselves, which is where a fundraiser comes in.
You can create programs and raise awareness about particular causes and bring in donors to donate to these institutions. What you need are good communication skills and social media outreach to spread the word. People from any background can join, especially those from marketing and sales.
Teaching is not bound to classrooms anymore, which gives you an excellent opportunity to change careers as a teacher. The great thing about it is that no matter what your field is, you can become a teacher in that field itself! You can be from arts and humanities, social sciences, science, finance, engineering, or management background, and you could start teaching in that field.
You would have to get a teaching certification if you want to teach at a public institution, and the requirements vary from state to state. Still, if you are passionate about passing on your knowledge, this is an excellent option for your second career.
7. Project Coordination
Project managers and coordinators are needed in almost all industries. If you already have some experience at a managerial level, then this would be an excellent choice for you. You will have to work with a lot of people and ensure that projects are completed by deadlines.
The IT industry has a huge demand for project managers, and the pay packages are perfect. You can also make a great deal of difference in smaller companies and help them perform better, which will gain you more experience. You will need exceptional communication and organizational skills, and you should be able to adapt to dynamic scenarios and overcome challenges.
While making a midlife career change, timing is everything. You need to know when is the right time to start the next phase of your career. There should be no insecurities about leaving your previous job. Whichever new career you choose, you should be able to do so on your terms.
It doesn’t mean you have to work less, but it will be a more enjoyable experience that will reduce the monotony you might have felt till now. It is never too late to make a change- all you have to do is know that it is the step in the right direction at the right time.