It’s Never Too Late to Change Career Goals

Well, you’re here. And that means something about this topic sparks interest. Whether you’re thinking about a career now or just wondering what your options are, stay tuned. It used to be that careers were meant to be linear, with 20+ years of loyal commitment that would result in a healthy retirement with benefits and stipends. That may have been your plan when you got started in your current profession. But you know darned good and well that today’s economy, market demands, company trajectories, and management don’t plan to follow those paths anymore.

So, you can wait around and hope you get the longevity you originally planned. You can cross your fingers and hope layoffs and buyouts don’t derail your path. Or you can just job hop laterally to another company, hoping to avoid a sinking ship.

But are any of those options realistically any good?

More importantly, is it plausible that you could change career directions altogether at this point in the game? What if you could? Would you?

The truth is – it’s never too late to change your career goals. And here’s how you go about unraveling your options, setting goals that make sense, and convincing yourself it’s absolutely ok to bail and plant your flag elsewhere.

Reasons to Consider a Career ChangePhoto by Andrea Piacquadio: career

The great aspect about making the decision to change careers is you don’t owe anyone a reason or explanation. Don’t feel obligated to justify your “why.” And for many professionals, a career change is necessary for a number of reasons that might also resonate with your situation.

You’re Looking for Burnout Relief

Employee burnout can happen at any career level and over any period of time. You might have loved your path at one point and felt connected to the company and the job in a meaningful way. But a lot (like a LOT) has changed over the last few years in workloads, company culture, and corporate decision-making. Mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion is a real phenomenon. And if you’re struggling to maintain your work pace, burnout, and frustration are eminent. More importantly, you have every right to consider a change if your physical or mental health is at risk.

You Crave Flexibility in Your Life

The pandemic shutdowns, shutters, and work-from-home dynamics changed peoples’ perspectives about flexibility. And you might be considering a profession change because you now want to prioritize that flexibility in a work-life balance experience. Maybe you want to be around more for little league games or just dinnertime. Others want the flexibility to travel more or spend time with hobbies and loved ones. The rigid restrictions of a traditional workweek, requesting time off, waiting for approvals, etc., are no longer the norm. More employees are embracing hybrid work, remote work, and more flexible schedules. There are thousands of companies adopting these more flexible work requirements, too, meaning if you decide to change careers – you’re likely to find a new role with the flexibility you need.

Work-Life Balance Matters

Burning both ends of the “career” candle might have been doable or expected at one point in your career. But overdoing and over-committing to the job is not always a sustainable path. Work-life balance and company culture carry more weight among workers today than ever before. And if you value your free time just as much as you value your career success, there are other employers out there ready to deliver.

You Need Something More Fulfilling

For many of today’s career professionals, job fulfillment is an emerging priority. You may want to feel more connected to your job, with purpose and resolution. And if you’re losing that fire or passion that you once had, no longer recognizing a valuable contribution in your work, it can be deflating. No one really wants to shuffle papers for 20 years. They’ll want to know that paper shuffling has a purpose, directly connects with a value proposition, or contributes to the big-picture, greater good in some way. You should seriously consider a career change if you feel your current role and responsibilities don’t represent the meaning they once did.

Later-in-Life Career Changes Can Ignite for a Number of Reasons

If you’re like me, career changes become imminent because of circumstances or company situations that are out of your control. You might still love your job and appreciate the company, but other factors come into play that almost force your hand in considering a career change.

Job Satisfaction Is in the Tank

The company you work for may face structural changes, the need for rebranding, or new management. And the job you once loved now becomes a source of stress and anxiety. Job satisfaction can go from fab to drab in a hurry, changing everything you know about your role, responsibilities, or place in the company.

Layoffs or Terminations Are Eminent

If you recognize that your company ship is about to go down, you absolutely have the right and responsibility to make personal career changes. Layoffs and mass terminations are more common as major employers look to cut costs and streamline structures. Company buyouts bring mass changes, as well, which is what I faced when my department was eliminated suddenly. If you suspect similar changes are coming for you, start looking for a better path with a growing company or emerging industry that promises growth.

Dissolution of Opportunities

After investing years with a company and climbing your way to the top, you might eventually arrive at a plateau. The job is no longer challenging. There are no additional opportunities that appeal to you. And you see a dead end instead of growth and learning. It’s time for a career change so you can chart a new path with a brand or company that offers a host of new opportunities. Or you can take and apply what you’ve learned and start your own company as an entrepreneur.

Start Taking Steps to Change Career Gears

If any of the aforementioned reasons are inspiring you to consider a career shift, these are the steps and insights to start taking action. It can be scary, especially if you’re venturing into something entirely new. But methodical and deliberate decisions now can make it easier for you to spot the best-fit new opportunities.

Self-Assessment to Prepare for a Career Change

Start by getting honest with yourself in a self-assessment process. Sit down and think critically about your skills, knowledge, and potential. Create deal-breaker lists of must-have elements in your new career trajectory, along with dreamy, nice-to-haves. Don’t discount soft skills, transferable skills, and experience that might make you a perfect hire in a new position. And be mindful of any weaknesses or areas of improvement that might be a roadblock to overcome before starting a new career.

Choosing a New Path

With your self-assessment lists in mind, start doing some research online in various industries and niches. Check the job boards and see what different positions are offering and requiring. Visit company websites and read through industry blogs to familiarize yourself with emerging topics. Be keen to search for those areas that interest you specifically. Remember, you’re looking for a NEW path and not trading one terrible experience for another. See what’s out there and look to match up opportunities with your self-assessment list of skills and must-have career opportunities.

Sharpening New Skills for a Career Change

During your research online, you might start to notice requirements for jobs that sound appealing that you don’t necessarily have. The next contemplation step is to explore what you need to do to sharpen those skills and fill some of those requirement gaps. Maybe you need to renew a lapsed insurance license or explore online certifications, for example. Other skills you’ll want to sharpen include interviewing. Chances are, you haven’t interviewed in a while. And many of today’s recruiters and hiring managers follow a series of onboarding application and interview processes, including video interviews. Start practicing those potential conversations now, describing your experiences, asking great questions, and creating a vetting process for you to decide if the roles are good fits for your new career.

Creating a Full-Proof Safety Net

Part of what makes changing career gears so scary is the unknown and financial aspects. No one wants to jump ship and start something new without knowing for sure that the career change still allows you to pay your bills and meet your financial needs. So, at this stage in the process, create a safety net for yourself. Explore your financial situation now and identify what you need to make to maintain and keep your current lifestyle. Then create another list of benefits and job perks that you need to justify making the change. Assess your nest egg of savings and know how long you can wait to experience a boost in income, too. For some people changing gears, it may be necessary to explore side hustles or part-time work to sustain during unemployed stints. Be mindful of making ends meet in any timeline.

Be Forgiving and Flexible with Yourself

It’s important, as you explore your options for new jobs online, to keep an open mind. Be flexible where you can, especially when deciding whether to even apply to a company. And be forgiving with yourself to step into unknown territory and find out what isn’t a good fit opportunity. It can be challenging and overwhelming if you feel you can’t find the “perfect” role. It doesn’t mean a career change isn’t in order. It just means you might have to consider other options or negotiate on some of your preferences to get a foot in the door. And don’t be too proud to seek professional advice from a career coach, mentor, or recruiter. You can learn so much about the current workforce landscape from pros who have experience navigating it.

The Most Popular Fields for Those Looking for a Career Change

With the official to-do lists, self-assessments, and hard decisions behind you, you can get inspired and have some fun seeing all the different career paths out there. If you’re still not all that sure what kind of career change makes sense, consider some of these more popular fields. Those coming from a corporate, management, or sales position can often make easy transitions into entrepreneurial roles or with established brands that have openings for these roles.

Actuary – If you like numbers and people, becoming an actuary is a great option since so many various backgrounds and experiences can succeed in these roles. On average, these professionals earn $120k annually.

Consultancy – Take your extensive experience to a new consultancy role, either for another company or as an entrepreneur. Share your expertise with other individuals or businesses and earn upwards of $111k a year in the right field.

Event Planning – Explore the fun and flexibility that comes with being an event planner! Niche yourself into corporate events, weddings, bar mitzvahs, or whatever party plans you enjoy the most. Working with an established party planning company can still net an average of $50k to $70k per year, depending on your niche and market.

Sales – If you love people and have extensive knowledge in a particular field, you can almost always find a great sales role available. Look for strong company values, training, and compensation structures. And most sales roles present opportunities for unlimited earnings.

Real Estate – Consider getting your real estate license and breaking into the real estate market as an agent or broker. Enjoy a flexible schedule and get out of an office setting as an agent, earning an average of $51k to $75k annually.

Teacher – Take your career experience and certifications to the education sector and explore your options as a teacher or college professor. Depending on your chosen level of education and the district or institution you align with, you can earn $50k to $100k educating others.

Other popular professions that make great options for those transitioning their careers include recruiter roles, administrative or executive assistant positions, software development, creative services, and arts and crafts. If you’re stressed about your current job and think it’s time for a change, start exploring your options and get out there! Keep this tutorial handy and follow your passion to find something new. And whatever new venture you find yourself in, let Ghost Blog Writers be your ultimate guide and resource for creating content, thought leadership news, social media, newsletters, and more!

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