Almost everyone, at one time or another considers a career change. As we get over 50 the possibilities of a career change increases.
Changing careers can be a stressful experience so here is a list of career change mistakes that by avoiding them will make the transition to a new career less painless and as successful as possible:
Not Having a Career Plan: Most people put more planning into their vacation than their career plan. Details in the career plan are important: plan B, financial strategies, career research, long term career goals, flexibility and frequent updates are all keys to a successful after 50 career plan.
Neglecting Careful Self-Assessment: Not assessing your likes, dislikes, interests, type of organizations you do and do not want to work for, values and overall skills and self-reflection could put you in a new career that is no better that the career you just left. Knowing and understanding what you enjoy and what you do not like will assist you in making the right career change decision.
Focus On the Wrong Reason Changing Careers: If you dislike or hate your job does not mean you need to find a new career. Do you have a problem with your boss, is the company a bad place to work, is there a negative trend in the business-are all pressures that may incorrectly push you to concluding the career or job are to blame.
Get your financial and career plans in order before you quit your current job. In the best situation, find the new career and then put in your notice to resign.
More Income Will Solve Your Career Problems: Maybe it’s not more income but less more focused spending and less debt. Making a career change for the sole purpose of making more money many times you’ll find you are not happier in your new higher paying job or career than you were previously.
Forgetting to Network: Get required career information from a variety of sources. Talk to friends, co-workers, individuals working in the planned career, members of appropriate industry associations so you can get answers to your questions, find necessary education and self-study and possible job openings. Failure to use and develop this valuable resource can keep you from making a variety of mistakes and may prolong your search for the right career.
Not Developing all Your Career Options: We’ve talked about the importance of networking. This is only one avenue to explore in developing all your career options. Use the internet, study trends in the planned career, and find others working in the planned career and plan on short informational interviews with them to learn more.
As in any important decision the more options you have the better the decision.
Attempting a Career Change Without Necessary Qualifications: If there is a gap in your career research and you do not have the necessary qualifications and experience you may be trying to change careers with little chance of success.
While across many careers there are transferable skills there are other requirements that have to be met. Education (can be satisfied with self-study, internet learning and part-time formal education), relevant experience (can be satisfied with part-time, and volunteer experience), certifications (can be learned by self-study and formal education), all may add to your qualifications.
This takes us up back to the beginning; career planning after 50, will overcome all of these mistakes, add to your personal confidence and help you find the right job in the right career.