It’s never too late in life to make a change. Many young people find themselves falling into careers and spending their entire lives doing a job they hate. Perhaps you took the first job you could find after college and never left, or maybe you felt pressured into following in the footsteps of your parents.
Once you’re in a secure, well-paying job, it can be very hard to leave. You get comfortable and don’t want to risk not being able to afford your rent and car payments. Before long, you end up getting married, buying a house, having kids, and paying for their education. It’s no longer sensible or practical to keep thinking about quitting your job and becoming an astronaut, movie star, artist, designer or professional football player. You start to forget the dreams of your youth, and the older you get, the more unobtainable and far-fetched they seem.
You might see all these things as obstacles to making a career change later in life, but the main barrier is your own mind. No matter how old you are or how far you have progressed in your current profession, there is always the option to make a change. Getting older is no longer a restriction to achieving your dreams. The average retirement age is constantly increasing, and when you’re 50 years old, you may have a good thirty years of working left in you. That’s more than enough time to start a new career from scratch and work your way up to the top of the ladder.
If you are considering making a career change and working towards your dream job, you may be nervous about taking such a huge leap. You’re straying off a clear career path and stepping into the unknown. To help you make the decision and make the most of your new life, here are five pieces of advice.
Do your research
It’s not a good idea to hand in your resignation without a plan. It may take longer than expected to get a leg up in your dream career, and you could end up stuck without an income. It’s a good idea to do your research well in advance to identify everything you’ll need to get started. Whatever your dream job is, do some investigating into the job requirements and responsibilities. Find plenty of companies you could apply to, and consider talking to other people in the industry to get a sense of what the work will be like. When the time comes to finally quit your job, you will have a clear plan of action to follow, and you won’t risk being lost and unsure of yourself.
Get some education
You will have a much better chance of landing your dream job if you have relevant qualifications and training. It would be a good idea to sign up for an evening class or an online certification to give your resume a boost. There are so many training courses and qualifications available for any chosen career, such as accountancy exams, online law degrees, and the ABC Heart of America electrician program.
Grow your network
To get ahead in any industry, it helps to know a lot of people. Make an effort to grow your network of contacts across your chosen industry. Attend business events and introduce yourself to new people. Reach out to people on LinkedIn and even ask your friends and coworkers to connect you to their own network. The more people you know, the more likely you will be to find new job opportunities and sources of advice.
Make it your life
If you are truly committed to making your dream career change, it should become your life. You should devote a large chunk of your time to learning about it, reading up on industry news and developments, and practising your responsibilities. For example, if your dream is to get ahead in marketing, you should be au fait with the latest practices and trends, and even consider starting a blog to put your knowledge into practice.
Now that you have done your research, built up your resume, and established a business network, it’s time to take the plunge and apply for your dream job. Your research will have identified several companies for whom you could work, so look for opportunities within them that match your skills. Interviewing for a new job can be nerve-wracking, but as long as you can demonstrate that you have the skills and passion for the job, you have a good chance of succeeding.