I consider myself very lucky. I love my work. But, it wasn’t always that way. For more than ten years I worked in a career I didn’t enjoy. I felt trapped, unfulfilled, anxious, de-motivated ….and ashamed of feeling all these things when I was earning a good wage and had what others considered ‘a great job’. Keeping my feelings tightly under wraps caused me to sink into bouts of depression, and eventually my health was affected in other ways. You may identify with some of these experiences and if you do, I’m happy to tell you there is hope.
Making the decision to face the cause of my depression and other health challenges was the best thing I could have done. Identifying a new career when I was approaching 40 felt particularly tough, and being a mid-life career changer does have its own unique challenges. That’s why I decided to focus my coaching practice on this specific audience. Now I feel privileged to have helped hundreds of career changers find a career they love.
Here are six of my top tips:-
1) Think about your work values and create a list of your top ten. This is essential if you are to understand for yourself what will make you happy, and give you lasting satisfaction and fulfilment.
2) Know your skills and talents. Get clear about what you’re good at and decide which of these you’d like to spend more of your time using. You might be great at organising other people, but you may get frustrated or stressed by it. Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean its good for you!
3) Design a life plan. Thinking about how you want the rest of your life to pan out is essential. If you and your family dream about living by the sea and you choose a career that limits you to the City, you’ll spend your life making compromises. Choose the life you want to lead first and foremost, and decide on a career than fits in with your ideal life.
4) Explore possibility. Firstly you need to be open to the idea that the perfect opportunity might be waiting for you, even if you can’t imagine how, or even what it might be yet. Its essential that you don’t cut down your options before you’ve even begun the search. Do anything it takes to be open to possibility. Read my case studies for examples of how some of my clients changed careers. Talk to friends and find out their stories. Read books. Have a free consultation with me, and get inspired!
5) Identify resources that will help you. You have a huge amount of resources already available to you – you just need to become aware of what, or who they are, and develop the conversations and supporting action plan to be able to tap into them.
6) Create a plan. Once you’ve tackled some of the ideas above, you’ll have a better idea of what a new career might look like. Create your plan starting with these questions. In order to identify my ideal career, and make in-roads towards achieving it, what might I need to start doing? What might I need to stop doing? What might I do differently? And finally, what can I change?
If you’d like some support in the form of non-judgmental guidance, then I’d be very happy to offer you a free 20 minute consultation. If you prefer, please download a copy of my free e-workbook, Exploring Possibility – a mid-lifers first steps to a more meaningful & fulfilling career. Many of my clients found it really beneficial and a safe place to start.