Changing your career can be unnerving at any stage of life but certainly can feel more and terrifying the older you are given that you’ve already had a career and learnt experiences in one sector and built up some financial security and knowledge in your current line of work. Finding the courage to make the leap to leave the comfort of what you currently know can be scary.
A successful career change is however possible at any age. Here are some of my thoughts on making a career change;
Believe it is possible.
People change careers all the time and it is doable. People ask me this more and more and it is possible to do. You should be open minded and be brave. Nothing in life is easy and changing the direction of your career is like all other challenges. You have to be patient, determined and be prepared to work incredibly hard.
I always say you shouldn’t leave a role until you have found a new one and this is certainly the case when moving careers. Do some training and research your new career in great depth. Take time to meet and network with people in your new industry and make sure you have given yourself as much time to assess things as you can.
Plan and challenge yourself.
It is important that you feel comfortable that three years from now you are not going to regret this decision and instead it’s going to be the best decision that you ever made. As difficult as it is, think about where you want to be and what you want to be doing in 3-5 years time. Why do you want to make this change, is it financially based, is it to make a difference, is it to have the opportunity to travel, is it to be stimulated more, is it for a work life balance?
When Actuaries ask me about a career change, one of the things I point out is that no one can take their FIA qualification away from them. You can always go back to your old career (not necessarily the same firm, but same industry) if things do not work out. Ask yourself is that possible?
Ask people for advice. It never ceases to amaze me how generous people are with their time, and how willing they are to help those who reach out to them. Catherine Barton has just offered to be one of my new mentors and it is brilliant being challenged and given advice from someone in another industry. Be brave and ask people in the industry for their help, you will be amazed at how willing people are to help you.
If it is something you really want to do, then be brave and back yourself! What’s the worst that can happen…. 😉