Midlife Career Change
By Waller Jamison
Career change is never easy and midlife career change, whilst popular, needs a lot of thought. This is 6 step
plan is designed to help you make a career change over the age of 40.
Step #1 Make an Assessment of Your Present Situation
When you were first starting out in the world of work, that is when you were in your teens or twenties, you
probably felt you could do just about anything and had big dreams when you thought about what you could
But now you are a bit older, and althought you have plenty of new experiences regarding work, as well as skills
and general life experiences, you are likely to be more cautious than the younger you. So the first step to take
before embarking on a midlife career change, is to make an honest and accurate assessment of your current
Step #2 Choose Your Ideal Work Location
You'd also need to consider where you want to work.To begin with, think in general terms of location and refine
this further once you have finished step 3. Would you prefer to work in an urban setting or in the country, do you
want to be indoors or outdoors, and in your home country or abroad? Or do you want a job which includes travel?
What would this mean to you, ideally? Regular trips abroad to different locations or travelling within your own
When making a midlife career change, you may find you are in a position to move around more easily than before,
for example, if your children have grown up.
Step #3 Decide What You Want To Do for Your Midlife Career Change
Considering all your work and other experiences so far, write down a detailed description of your perfect
job.Don't forget to include aspects of your current and past jobs which you enjoy. And remember to write down all
the new skills you want to learn and develop.
Step #4 Research
The next step is to research the jobs which match your skills, dreams and aspirations. Let's take an example,
say you are a teacher and you are looking for a new career with travel and languages, you could start by searching
for a general term such as "other jobs for teachers". Create a list of possibilities which appeal to you, and then
start looking to see how you can get into you ideal career.
Be as creative as possible when choosing search terms, combine several different skills in one search and who
knows what interesting jobs you might find!
Career websites and work-related sites set up by the goverment are a good place to search. You can start with
broad areas like education, technology or healthcare and then check out the wide range of opportunities, as well as
being able to read job descriptions and information about areas like training, pay and promotion prospects. Many
will have a specific section for midlife career change.
Step #5 Midlife Career Change - Putting It All Together
Now you need to lool at what you want, compare it with the careers you have discovered and go through the
results to find a match. There will be jobs which you just aren't interested in and others which would be difficult
for practical reasons. But if you have done your research in detail you are more than likely to have found several
Once you have narrowed your choices down to ta couple of alternatives, it's time for more in-depth research.
Websites relating directly to these careers will help you learn more. So look for sites belonging to relevant
companies as well as sites with careers information and get as much detail as you can. If you can, talk to folk who
are working in these careers. This will really help you understand what the job is actually about.
Another option is to book a session with a careers advisor or go to a careers library and find books designed to
help people entering the profession.
Step #6 Create Your Midlife Career Change Action Plan and Make Sure You Take Action
Get out a pen and paper and map out a plan with the steps you need to follow to reach your goal. don't forget to
think about how you will pay for any training and how the changes will fit into your lifestyle. You may need to
discuss this with some members of your family, especially partners and children who stilll live at home, since this
might involve significant changes which affect them too.
Midlife career change can be a challenging and rewarding experience, as long as you take the time to plan it
properly and to discuss it with your family