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 that 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 if you’re in your 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 a third career. 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.
It can be very easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut when you’re bored in a job that you’ve done for several decades. By now, you might have 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 are no longer challenging yourself and as humans we tend to draw a lot of confidence from pushing ourselves to try new things.
Everytime 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 confidence boost.
2. 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, whilst 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.
3. 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?”
Perhaps the kids have left home and you no longer need to earn the same income (we can dream!), but if it’s possible for you to turn one of your passions or hobbies into a career, then why not? 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. 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 you’ll enjoy.
4. Meeting 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 you make new friends, you often learn new things and get introduced to new experiences, which can open up your world and make life more interesting. The thought that there could be plenty of friends out there that you haven’t even met yet is quite exciting!
5. Gaining a new 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.
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 page helpful? Are you considering a career change? Email us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!