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Five Tips to Help You Handle a Midlife Career Change

Five Tips to Help You Handle a Midlife Career ChangeWhen you were younger, it was probably easier for you to handle major life and career changes. Youth comes with a number of advantages, and one of them is an enhanced ability to bounce back from adversity with energy and enthusiasm. As we get older, we tend to settle into comfortable patterns, and we don't always have the gusto to make big changes in our lives. Thanks to the current state of the economy as well as a host of other factors, though, you may need to break out of your comfort zone in order to find a new career. A midlife career change can be daunting, especially if you feel settled in your life. However, you might be surprised at your ability to adjust and thrive when presented with new challenges.

To help you handle a midlife career change with enthusiasm and grace, I've put together five pieces of advice that should inspire and energize you as you move forward. These tips won't guarantee a hassle-free path to your new career – nothing will. Instead, these tips will help you to adjust your perspective and look to the future with optimism and a sense that the best days of your career are, in fact, ahead of you.

  1. You Don't Need to Trade Job “A” for Job “B”

    The corporate world is not what it used to be. Years ago, you could count on a certain level of commitment from your employer. These days, you're lucky if your employer knows your name. Companies simply don't display the loyalty that was once common in business, which means that you need to look out for yourself above all else. That's why I can't recommend finding a direct replacement for a job that you've lost. Unless you want to be tethered to a treadmill of corporate drudgery and an ever-present fear of getting that pink slip, I would recommend that you think about going to work for yourself. You've built tremendous knowledge capital and experience, which is why you shouldn't let it go to waste in the corporate world.

  2. Don't Shortchange Your Assets

    Do you ever feel like you have no skills in the modern world? Sometimes it can seem like you need to know multiple computer programming languages and possess a vast array of tech-based skills just to keep up with the younger generation of workers. If you see things this way, it's time for you to change your perspective. Your experience is worth more than any certification, and your knowledge is incredibly valuable. You've been able to make things happen during your career, and your ability to drive results will make you incredibly attractive to organizations that need someone to come in and make meaningful improvements. These assets cannot be offered by members of younger generations, so don't be afraid to let the world know about the tools in your toolbox.

  3. Envision the Benefits of Working From Home

    Meetings, time-draining interruptions, pointless water-cooler conversations and an inbox teeming with documents and tasks that have nothing to do with your job or the goals you are trying to accomplish – does this sound familiar? Imagine a work environment in which you have complete control over your surroundings and your time management. Consulting is an excellent career choice if you find yourself ready for a change at midlife, and it allows you to work from almost any location. If you're ready to make a real difference and have complete control over how your time is spent, nothing beats working from home as an independent consultant.

  4. Find Others Like You

    One of the toughest aspects of handling a midlife career change is the feeling that you have to do it all by yourself. Changing careers takes guts, and doing it alone can be exhausting. Fortunately, there are numerous other professionals who find themselves in the same boat. By reaching out to your peers, you can find opportunities more quickly and easily, plus you can nurture connections that will help you build your new career once it's off the ground. The Ex3 Community is perfect for this purpose, and it has helped numerous new consultants build their careers with a sense of camaraderie and support that can't be found elsewhere. There are many great reasons to join Ex3, but the community of consultants might be the most valuable to those who are attempting to handle a midlife career change.

  5. Experience the Excitement

    If you're like a lot of professionals, you've spent time doing work that just doesn't seem like it's your true calling in life. If you're in a position where you need to make a career change, embrace the excitement that comes from forging a new path. You possess amazing talents and skills, and you're finally in a position where you can do the type of work that takes advantage of your abilities. The possibilities are limitless and the excitement should be palpable. You are at a point where you alone control your future. Stay positive, and get ready for the most fulfilling time in your professional life.

Are you in the midst of a midlife career change? Learn more about what you can do to move forward confidently as a consultant by downloading your free copy of my eBook, “Experience Matters.” I also encourage you to take some time to read our free Ex3 Matters consulting guides, which you can download here.