Let’s say you’re over 30. Or 40. Even 50 or 60. And you’ve come to the realization that the career you’ve chosen isn’t the right career for you. Or you’ve decided “I only live once, and it’s time to follow my dream.”
But you feel old. You’ve been in this career for 10 or more years – perhaps even three decades – and you fear it’s too late, that the proverbial ship has sailed.
Or you may be very successful in your current career and you Just. Don’t. Want. To. Start. At. The. Bottom.
All are legitimate concerns: it won’t be easy to change careers. If older than 45 (or even – gulp! — 35), people probably will look at you as “too old.” If switching to a career that’s completely different from your current one, you more than likely will have to start at a level – and salary – below what you’re working at now.
But don’t let that stop you: at least explore the idea of a career change. After all, if the people showcased below can change careers mid-stream, you can, too.
From Senior HR Professional to Professor – in His 50s
Phillipe Gaud worked in HR for 25 years, eventually reaching senior level roles in “high profile companies.” He left that career, he says, even though there was no “real reason to abandon a career that was developing very well. No real reason, that its, except one, crucial one: I wanted something different.”
He realized at the time that he could be making a huge mistake, but he now works as an affiliate professor at HEC Paris. It appears he took a huge risk, turning his first career’s knowledge into a teaching career. Doing so – making a career out of teaching all of your accumulated expertise – can make the career change easier.
Left a $500K Salary to Follow a Passion
That’s right: Susie Moore left a very lucrative position to become a life coach. She didn’t do it cold turkey, however: she started feeling restless as she approached 30 and so went for training as a life coach and started her coaching enterprise as a side hustle. Now that she’s coaching full time, she also helps other people start side hustles, even if they never want to transition the 2nd income stream into a full-time one.
Moore mentions she has helped an accountant build a side business as a Christian life coach and someone else who works as a social media director start a matchmaking service.
Starting a side business or even working part-time in your chosen next career is a wise move: you won’t have to worry about finances as you build the business and/or you lessen the risk of moving to the second career and then finding you don’t enjoy it!
Fulfilling the dream of Fighting Fires, at Age 56!
Firefighters tend to be in the 20s and 30s: after all, it takes a lot of physical strength and stamina to work a fire line. Firefighters still in the game in their 40s and 50s tend to become captains and, well, they lead those who fight fires; they may not actively battle them as much as they used to.
Plus, if you’re a woman, it’s all that harder to become a firefighter, even when young!
But Robin Nesdale went through the grueling training to become a volunteer firefighter at age 56.
Now you may be thinking, “Well, that’s not a really a career change. After all, she works as a volunteer; she doesn’t get paid.”
So while it may not be a true career change, take note: if you can’t make your dream into a career, it’s never too late to turn it into a great hobby. Dreams don’t need paychecks attached in order to be fulfilling
If you’re thinking it’s time for a change in jobs or careers, Helpmates can help! Take a look at some of our current openings and contact us if one or more appeals to you.