Career Change at 40 – Should You Do It?
Society requires you to have a stable job by the time you’re 40. Not having a career at this age will score you smirks and some snide remarks from people you don’t even know. But guess what? Many individuals at the age of 40 still dream of quitting their current job and starting over again.
It is a risk, and some people fail. But you don’t have to be one of these people. You can do it if you just do it right. Don’t let fear overcome you from doing something that you want. Live your life to the fullest; follow your dreams.
Why You Should Make the Leap
The answer to this question is quite simple – you’re unhappy. Many people do not push through with changing their careers at the age of 45 because of fear. But if you let it stop you, you will never get what you want. In fact, you will never know what you’re missing in life until you take the risk. Yes, it’s scary. You have a decent job that pays the bills, and it seems illogical to try something that’s unsure. But do you feel emotionally and psychologically fulfilled?
Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, said that the first step to changing your career is to determine if you are ‘promotion-focused’ or ‘prevention-focused.’ Determining what motivates you to change your career will help you focus and succeed. ‘By the time people make the leap and change jobs, they are often hungry for something completely different. But it’s important to choose a second career that still plays to your strengths.’, Johnson added.
In other words, determine your ‘career superpower.’ These are the characteristics and skills that you do naturally and get complimented for. Make sure that you can use them in your new career. Of course, you want to try out something new, that’s why you’re ‘making the leap’ in the first place. But don’t forget to take advantage of your distinctive expertise on when you do it.
What You Need to Prepare
We’ve already established that changing career paths at 45 is a risk, so you need to be prepared before you do it. Aside from preparing yourself emotionally and psychologically, you should also save for the coming rainy days. Save at least one year, preferably two, worth of living expenses. You’re not yet sure where your new career will take you; you better be ready than sorry.
‘Without this safety net, you’re going to start panicking and making bad strategic decisions. I learned from personal experience that I needed to adjust spending and saving habits, and it was harder than I thought it would be.’, says Johnson.
If you still can’t decide on this matter, talk to an expert! Career advisers can help you determine what you can’t do on your own. But if you do decide to change careers, Johnson recommends that you get the assistance of a financial advisor. This person is knowledgeable and experienced with the possible financial impacts and ramifications of career change; he or she can help you survive the leap!