The fear of failure and the negative opinions from others can deter you from making your breakthrough career moves – particularly when you’re in your 40’s. While it may appear too much a significant risk, Samuel L. Jackson, Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton, and Ray Kroc are typical examples of people who made their defining career switches past 40. If making a successful career change at 40 appears an impossible mission, you may adopt these steps to change your perspective and follow your chosen career path.
One – Build your network
Regardless of your age, career change isn’t an easy decision to make, but it isn’t impossible either. One significant advantage for being further in your career is that individuals you associate with advance their careers. It doesn’t matter if your immediate associates are not in your target industry since you may never know the individual needs of the people they likewise associate with. It is helpful to let people know you are considering a new career path. This way, you will be the first on their mind should anything related to your new field arise.
Two – Be ready to leave your comfort zone
You will have to put yourself out there if you want to make a successful career change at 40. This is because your comfort zone is built around the choices and experiences you have lived so far. Whether you feel unproductive or stagnant in your present career, it remains your comfort zone. This is why many individuals are reluctant to pursue new careers. However, a career change means living out of that zone. You’ll have to get used to attending seminars and industry functions if you want to improve your new career prospects.
For example, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a local or international conference; attending should always be a top priority. In addition, you will gain more insight on professional development components like certification, skill sets, and education sought by people at these events.
Three – Identify prospects
It is okay not to have a new career fixed on your mind yet, and you shouldn’t bother. Taking to that trajectory now could take you completely off the mark. It is rather practical to create a plan, explore and investigate. Recognize small, pint-sized explorations depending on what you discovered. Then, you can proceed to create as many ideas as possible to choose your new career path.
For instance, if you are passionate about molecular biology, get some books and attend a lecture. Want to know what it takes to work with people experiencing some common ailments? Check out these accredited online MSN programs. You can also talk to business owners about innovations if you are interested in renewable energy.
Four – Dip your toes first
You can try out your new career through volunteering or part-time. For example, if you are interested in becoming a school teacher, you can volunteer at a nonprofit institution for afterschool homework assistance. For a salesperson looking to switch to marketing, you can volunteer to assist with your alumni association’s marketing and publicity tasks.
You may likewise be able to take some jobs you can complete at night or during the weekends, depending on your new career. But, again, the idea is to walk before the run to make sure your chosen career will be a good fit before completely diving in. Besides, this adds some relevant work experience to your resume.
Five – Believe it’s possible
Like the famous Napoleon Hill quote – Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve. Your actions usually reflect your beliefs. For instance, if you want to desire the life that a new career path brings, you should believe it’s possible. You may also want to avoid talking to people stuck in the same career for years, as it is a significant mistake people commit when trying something new. What do you intend to achieve if you only talk to your friends who are stuck in their careers for the last two decades or more? They’ll most likely preach stability and why it’s vital for their lives.
To overcome self-doubt and fear of failure or anything associated with making a career at that age, you’ll need to talk to individuals who have managed to accomplish that. Such individuals won’t only offer you realistic viewpoints about the challenges ahead but also support your belief that the change is achievable.
Six – Value time over money
It’s okay if you receive a paycheck or two every month, which is replenishing your earnings. Money is one thing you can always get more of, yet it isn’t the same with time. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. This is why there’s nothing like a perfect time to make your career switch. Of course, there will always be that one project or something you’ll want to complete before leaving. However, valuing your time above money will help you maximize your potential to succeed and avoid stagnation.
It is common to feel disconnected from work, with statistics suggesting that only 38% of US employees feel actively engaged with their work. If you feel underutilized, or getting eaten up by promotion politics, or want to take on a new adventure, there is no better time to make your move than now.
Seven – Create your support system
There are enough difficulties ahead without additionally managing the aftermath of blindsiding your support network. Discuss your longing for a career change with everybody who may be affected. This isn’t limited to the financial impact but in every life aspect. Your support network may include your partner, kids, parents, and possibly every person you may depend on during the transition. This is crucial for keeping everyone on the same page and warmed up for the challenge ahead.
Humans are hardwired for stability and safety.
Therefore, starting a new project, particularly at an age where you feel settled and familiar in your career field, may seem a considerable risk. However, a lack of fulfillment or burnout can become a daily career burden, so taking that risk may be worth your efforts.