What to Do During a “Mid-Career Change”: A Guide to Career Transitions
Introduction to a Mid-Career Change
Embarking on a career is like setting sail on a vast ocean of possibilities. Yet, even the most carefully charted course may encounter unexpected storms, leaving you feeling lost in the fog of a mid-career change. Whether you're an experienced professional or a recent graduate realizing that your chosen path isn't the right one, there is always time to alter your course and set sail toward a new destination. This blog post will explore resources and tips to help you navigate this challenging but rewarding journey.
Recognizing the Signs You Need a Mid-Career Change
The first step in overcoming the realization that you need a mid-career change is acknowledging what's happening. Signs may vary from feeling unfulfilled and uninspired at work to a nagging sense that there's more out there for you. It's crucial to understand that age is not a limiting factor when it comes to making a career change; it's about finding what truly aligns with your passions and values.
Self-Reflection and Assessment
Before making any hasty decisions, take the time for self-reflection. What are your strengths, skills, and passions? What activities make you lose track of time? Consider your values and the work environment that brings out the best in you. Free tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Enneagram Test, or Color Code can provide valuable insights into your personality and strengths. Another important exercise is to reflect on your salary requirements and desired growth opportunities. Search Indeed's salary database to see if the jobs you're interested in are a good financial fit for you.
Mid-Career Exploration and Inspiration
Once you better understand your core values and strengths, start exploring potential career paths and seek inspiration. Begin following new industries on LinkedIn, and utilize System One recruiters to learn about available jobs that align with your skillsets.
You may be surprised by the number of people who have drastically changed the course of their careers for the better. Think age is not on your side? Think again and read these 19 success stories of career pivots after age 30.
Repurposing & Building Skills
If you identify gaps in your skill set for your desired career, don't be afraid to invest time and effort in acquiring them. Online learning platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare offer a plethora of courses spanning various subjects.
Tip: Don't underestimate the amount of free, high-quality education available on YouTube. The search bar is your oyster! Upskilling not only makes you more competitive in the job market but also boosts your confidence in your ability to transition successfully.
However, a pivot does not always require reeducation or training – many of your existing skills may transfer to other roles and industries. Check out our last blog that covers how to identify and leverage transferable skills when switching careers!
Merging Personal and Professional Interests During a Mid-Career Change
Many great careers begin as a hobby, side hustle, or passion project. For those with an entrepreneurial itch, your next employer might be yourself. For inspiration, check out these ten entrepreneurs who turned their hobbies into full-time careers. However, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and there are plenty of other ways to merge personal and professional interests. Think about the activities and hobbies you enjoy after work and the professional paths that exist within them. It's a simple exercise that may lead down paths worth exploring.
Small Steps Toward a Mid-Career Change
Transitioning to a new career doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing leap. Consider taking small steps, such as freelancing or volunteering in your desired field, to gain practical experience and test the waters. This gradual approach allows you to build a portfolio, make industry connections, and validate your interest in the new career before fully committing.
Don't Go At a Mid-Career Change Alone
Navigating a mid-career change can be overwhelming without the guidance of an experienced coach or mentor to provide objective feedback and insights. System One recruiters understand the complexities of career transitions and the importance of finding the right fit for your skills and aspirations. Our experienced recruiters are dedicated to helping individuals like you plan accordingly and avoid common pitfalls in the job market. Follow us on LinkedIn to connect with a recruiter today!
Embarking on a career change can be both exhilarating and daunting, but with the right resources, guidance, and intentionality, you can navigate a mid-career change successfully. Remember that there is always time to pursue a path that aligns with your passions and values. You deserve a career that utilizes your talents and excites you!
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