If you’re already thinking about changing careers, then maybe you’re excited by the idea of trying something new, are looking for a renewed sense of purpose, or simply want to take on a less demanding role. Whatever your reason for considering a switch, it’s likely there’s something about your current job that isn’t quite hitting the mark anymore.
Acknowledging this can be scary because once we do, we begin to feel compelled to do something about it – and making a leap into something completely new (although exciting) can be nerve-wracking.
Many people also worry that it’s too late to retrain or to be given a chance in a different field. But once we’re in our 50s or 60s, on average, we can look forward to another ten to twenty active working years ahead of us. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly common for people over 50 to start thinking about a second, or even third career. So, if this is you, then why not make that second career something you look forward to getting out of bed for?
It’s important to remember that some of the best things in life happen when you’re prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and explore new opportunities. With this said, we’ve come up with five reasons why changing careers could add value to your life.
1. Changing careers could give you a confidence boost
It can be easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut when you’re bored in a job that you’ve done for several decades – especially if you’ve stopped learning new skills, and your work might have become so routine that you no longer have to put much thought into it.
This might mean that you’re no longer challenging yourself and as humans, we tend to draw a lot of confidence from pushing ourselves to try new things. Every time you learn a new skill or achieve something you weren’t sure you could, you’ll usually feel a huge sense of achievement, which is a great feeling.
If you’re unhappy with the current circumstances surrounding your career, then choosing to do something entirely different – which requires you to start learning and growing again – could give you a huge mental and physical lift. For some ideas and inspiration, why not check out the job ideas and learning sections of our site?
Or, if you’re looking for a confidence boost, but don’t think a career change is the right way to go about it, then why not check out our article 16 ways to improve your confidence and self-esteem?
2. Changing careers could give you a better work-life balance
Maybe you were once happy in your current career working all the hours under the sun. But if you’ve reached a point in your life where you’d love more time to do other things, then you might want to consider taking on a more flexible role.
Whatever it is that you want to do – spend more time with the kids or grandkids, take up a new hobby, or just have more time to rest and relax – there are plenty of jobs out there that can give you the time to do this. Some people decide to take on a part-time role, while others work full-time in a role with more relaxed hours. Some even become self-employed and choose their own hours completely.
A work-life balance can be important for your overall health and wellbeing. If you feel a lack of balance in your life is making you miserable, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about a change. For alternative ways to create a better work-life balance, check out our articles; Top part-time jobs for the over 50s and How can I achieve a healthy work-life balance?
3. Changing careers could give you a chance to explore an old passion
Choosing a new career can be an exciting time. If you’ve always put others first or you’ve become used to others relying on you, then it might be a while since you stopped and truly asked yourself, “What is it that I really want to do?”
Too often we take on jobs that we don’t particularly want to do due to necessity and practicality, but maybe now is the time to focus less on what you should do for work and more on what you want to do for work. Perhaps the kids have left home and you no longer need to earn the same income to help support them, or you’ve recently paid off your mortgage. Whatever, your circumstances, this could be your time to rediscover who you are and what makes you tick.
Work forms a large part of our lives and it’s responsible for a great deal of our happiness (or unhappiness), so it helps if you can find a role that you’re passionate about will enjoy. If possible, why not consider turning a hobby, passion, or interest into a career?
For some help with this, you might want to check out our articles; 20 self-employment ideas and Popular activities that you can turn into a career.
4. Changing careers could help you meet new people
Being in the same career for many years means you’ll probably have met plenty of people, some of whom you may have formed strong bonds with. This is great, but it doesn’t take away the human urge to meet new people with different perspectives on life.
When we make new friends, we often learn new things and get introduced to new experiences, which can open up our world and make life more interesting. The thought that there could be plenty of friends out there that we haven’t even met yet is quite exciting!
Making new connections is rarely a bad idea. So if you’re looking to meet new people, but don’t want to change careers in order to do so, then consider taking a look at our article 7 different ways to meet new people. And if you’re looking for some inspiration for how to do this through your work, then you might want to check out our article on social jobs working with people.
5. Changing careers can give you a fresh sense of purpose
We all tend to crave a sense of purpose – it’s what helps to get us out of bed every morning and what drives us through life generally. If you’re no longer enjoying your work, then your sense of purpose may be affected, which can have a negative effect on your day-to-day happiness and even the happiness of those around you.
Purpose is strongly linked to passion and enjoyment – when you see great benefits in the work you’re doing or you’re very passionate about it, your days will usually be more fulfilled and feel more worthwhile. If you think that your sense of purpose is no longer there, or it’s beginning to falter, then it could be time for a change.
If you’re looking to find purpose through your work, then you might want to check out our article Rewarding jobs where you can really make a difference. And for alternative ways to find purpose in your life, then why not take a look at our article 5 ways to find meaning and purpose in your life?
A final thought…
Whether you decide to change careers or not is entirely up to you – only you will know what you can manage and what choices are right for you under your current circumstances. Tempting as it may be, many of us won’t have the financial freedom to be able to simply quit our current job.
However, if you’ve already decided that you’d like to change careers but are unsure where to start, then we hope our career change guides can be a helpful starting point and provide a little inspiration on your journey.
Did you find this article helpful? Are you considering a career change? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation over on the Rest Less community forum or leave a comment below.