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Tips for a Successful Career Change at Any Age

15 October 2021

People often get stuck in careers they don’t like or don’t make them happy anymore for fear of being judged as a failure; often fearing that they might just fail another career path, yet again. 

But contrary to how alone one might feel, career changes happen a lot and the same people jump from one career to another within their lifetime. The Bureau of Labor Statistics can’t even put an estimated number to how many times a person shifts to a new career. Whether it be as small as an occupational change to something bigger as in a change of industry, it happens very often. 

There are many reasons as to why aside from the two mentioned above. People change their careers because they want to reduce stress in their lives; they yearn for flexibility; they are looking for opportunities with an appraisal or to advance in the corporate ladder. They also just really feel the need for appreciation and fulfillment that they don’t get from their lives and careers at the moment. 

Don’t get us wrong. It’s not easy to change careers and a very big leap of faith at that. Most even feel insecure because of their age but anyone can do it. Whether you’re 28 or 35, 40 or 59, as long as you set your mind and heart to what you are about to do, you can do it. Just think of this, Grandma Moses did not start painting until she was 80 years old. So if she can do something new at a very late age in her life, so can you. 

It doesn’t mean however that changing into a new career won’t require tedious research and preparation. Because if you want to do it smartly, it will. Even though you’ve waited for so long to shift into another career, jumping right away without tools to back you up is not a smart move. You’re probably already planning now because you landed on this article so let us tell you how you can make a successful career change. 

Keep a journal.

1. Keep a journal. Assess your current job by writing down your thoughts and feelings on recurring events within your position. Write down the specific thing that makes you not like your job anymore. Analyze what you’ve written to somehow have a picture of what about a job will satisfy you. Aside from the negative, also keep track of your personal skills and interests that you’d probably be looking for in your next job. Think about all your successful moments in life and what skills helped you achieve success in them. 

2. Define what career change you’ll be taking. A job change within the same industry is different when you are seeking a job in a completely new field of interest. Take into account what you wrote in your journal so you have an idea of what career will suit you best on how you perceive job satisfaction and how your current skills are at par.

List down the possible careers

3. List down the possible careers, specifically the job titles and industries, you deem will be best suited for you. This is not an easy task as you might think it is so if you want to be more at peace with your list, call a friend. Ask your colleagues about possible careers and they might even have an insight on what will be good for you based on your work performance that they personally witnessed. A career counselor can also help you understand your personality better and what career will best fit it.

4. Research the jobs on your list. Once you’re done narrowing your job matches down, it’s time to do the actual research. It’s most likely that you already know someone from these fields so don’t hesitate to talk to them and ask about their experience on the job. You may also look through your yearbook or alumni groups and check what careers your schoolmates are in right now. Of course, do your desktop research first so that you won’t waste anyone’s time on a question that Google could have answered for you. A good rule of thumb is to focus your questioning on their personal experience rather than a big picture of the industry that might just be based on their personal biases. 

Make a plan based on the findings of your research

5. Make a plan based on the findings of your research. After careful evaluation of career paths you want to take, it’s now time to sit down and strategize. You have to consider whether or not you need further education or training, honing of skills, and growing your network. Write down a schedule when you need to complete each of your goals. Besides each goal, lay out the steps you would need to do to reach your ultimate goal of shifting and thriving in a new career. 

6. Focus on the skills that you can apply to the job that you are vying for. Your whole resume must speak of why you are the best candidate for the position even though you come from a different career. You have to make a clear personal brand of what addition you can give to a new company or industry, given your past background and experiences. Update business cards and personal websites to make a clear stand of who you are now and what your current goal is in life. 

Track your progress

7. Track your progress. It’s easy to get discouraged especially when the going gets tough but for you to stay strong, you have to enjoy the process. Focus on your progress and growth rather than looking at your overwhelming goals. Take it one step at a time and keep a record of the steps you’ve taken towards that new dream of yours. 

The Right FlexiSpot Products for Planning

Flexispot Lockways Cork Board Bulletin Board

For your motivation to be at its best, do a vision or a mood board in the Flexispot Lockways Cork Board Bulletin Board. It’s 36 x 24 inches in size and spacious enough for your magazine cutouts or printables that will represent the career you want to get into. it will give you a picture of the life you’ve always been dreaming of. You may also use this corkboard as an affirmation board where you can pin daily or monthly post-its of quotes that inspire you to continue moving towards that dream of yours. It can also be post-its of the goals you’ve achieved in your process of shifting to another career. This will help you appreciate the journey better instead of getting discouraged or derailed. 

Another product is the Lockways Magnetic Dry Erase Board that you can use to jot down your Daily To-Do list. Ticking off boxes every time you finish a task is motivating and would help you stay productive. 

FlexiSpot File Cabinet 001

To help you be organized with work requirements and your personal research findings, invest in the FlexiSpot File Cabinet 001. This durable file cabinet has two levels of drawers where you can store your letter-size documents securely. It also can function as a table for vases, plants, diffusers, and another room decor up to 55 pounds of files and small pieces for home display.