Before leaping into career and leadership coaching, job satisfaction was a foreign concept to me. But now, it’s my daily reality. Many women long to make a successful midlife career change but psyche themselves out time and time again, often because of the one factor they can’t control: their age.
But guess what? I made a successful midlife career change at 45, and with the right strategy, you can too. Let’s look at five baby steps to help you pivot into your destiny (and continue making a good living).
How to Make a Successful Midlife Career Change After 40
The fear of changing careers as a midlife professional is often two-fold.
On the one hand, you often feel like you need to move at a snail’s pace because you’re no longer a carefree twenty-something-year-old who can afford to make mistakes.
On the other hand, time feels short, so you feel pressured to get a move on! You can find a middle road with the following steps:
Step One: Identify Your Mental Roadblocks
To make a successful midlife career change, you’ve got to understand a couple of things.
First, your mindset is more material to your success than your skills or experience. You will never rise above it because you will inevitably gravitate toward what you believe you’re worth. And second, your mindset isn’t static; you can change it with intention.
Start by getting to know yourself and confronting your limiting beliefs. For instance:
- What are your values, and how do you live them out?
- What’s stopping you from making the changes you want to make?
- Do you like yourself? Why or why not?
- When was the last time you felt content or passionate?
- How do you handle yourself when things don’t go your way?
Everything else will flow naturally once you step back and build self-awareness.
Step Two: Explore Your Motivations
Once you know yourself better, you’ll feel more equipped to unpack your reasons for wanting to change careers in the first place and start identifying what will make you more fulfilled. For instance:
- Do you currently feel inexperienced or underqualified?
- Are you bored and no longer growing at your current position?
- Are you comparing yourself to people who have moved on to “bigger and better” opportunities?
It’s not enough to ditch your current job, find a new one, and hope for the best. Understanding the root of your discontent will help you intentionally move toward what you want instead of merely running away from what you don’t want.
Step Three: Test the Waters and Narrow Down Your Focus
Now that you know more about yourself and your motivations, it’s time to figure out exactly what to shoot for by exploring and narrowing down your options. You may have some idea of what you’d like to do for work, but the best way to solidify it is to test it out.
One risk-free way to do this is by having informational interviews with your network. Find other midlife professionals who have the job(s) you’re curious about and ask:
- What challenges or problems do they solve?
- What skills does their role require?
- Do you think you’d be a good fit?
Now, did any of this pique your interest? Congratulations; you may just have discovered a new potential career path.
Step Four: Build Your Career Change Plan
Next, it’s finally time to build an actionable plan to navigate your midlife career change successfully. This part includes:
- Evaluating your current skill levels (and bridging any gaps)
- Beefing up your resume with relevant experience
- Settling on a timeline for your job change
- Scouting job boards, and submitting applications
- Preparing for interviews
Note that making a career change doesn’t always involve leaving your company!
If your current job has potential, you may be one conversation away from reinventing it into a role that fulfills you.
Step Five: Reflect and Readjust
Finding career satisfaction isn’t a one-and-done thing; it’s a process that takes time. Once you’ve made your moves, emphasize regular self-reflection and job evaluation to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and what to change. Being intentional will help you maintain momentum rather than falling into a rut once the novelty wears off.
From Career to Calling
Is your job just a career, or is it your calling? Trust me; there’s a huge difference.
If you’re stuck and want to learn how to change careers successfully at a midlife stage, join me for a free, no-obligation career clarity consult. I’ll answer your questions and point you in the right direction!