Gone are the days when people only had one career. These days it is perfectly acceptable to have several careers in your lifetime. What turned you on careerwise in your 20s may not be as effective in your 40s. I have changed careers three times. From Model to TV chef and now I am on my path to my third career as an Organisational Psychologist. Here are seven things to know about changing careers in midlife.
1. It's okay not to know what the hell you want to do yet.
Don't get stuck in overthinking yourself into inaction, however. You can only tell if something is right when you give it a go. Test the waters if you can; try things out. You will rarely find a solution by just googling and not putting anything into action.
2. Everybody will be telling you that changing careers is a bad idea.
Ignore them. People like to keep you in boxes; it makes thinking easier for them. Thank them for their feedback and carry on anyway. People can be funny folk.
3. Work on your self-belief.
It's essential to believe that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Put reminders on your phone and post-it notes around your mirror. You'll need these when you begin to doubt yourself.
4. There is no right way or right path of doing things.
There are many lists (like this one) and people on social media spouting out about how to do things the 'right' way. There is no tried and tested path for changing careers. People can look like they had it all planned out, but for most of us, we just winged it.
5. If it feels right, do it.
If it's something that has always interested you, try it. You don't have to give up the day job right today. But start making small moves in the direction you want to go in. Your future self will thank you.
6. Figuring out your 'Why' for doing something can be helpful.
However, having a 'Why the hell not' can be equally as powerful and less time-consuming to figure out. I spent six months trying to come up with my 'Why'. I read books and listened to Simon Sinek on repeat. Once I finally found my 'Why', I didn't know what to do with it. So, Simon, I challenge your 'Why' theory with 'Why the hell not?'
7. Contrary to popular Instagram quotes, failure is indeed an option.
Failure is an integral part of success. You may meet failure on the way to career change success. If it comes, embrace it and acknowledge it. See it as part of the process- then dust yourself off and adjust your path if need be. Live your life with no regrets.