Thinking about changing careers? You’re not alone!
TPP Career Hub Coordinator Maree Thomas
There are so many reasons to start thinking about a change in career and more people than ever are seizing the day, making the decision to re-train and launching into a new and different career path. For many of us, as we get older we look back and start wondering – what if? What if I’d taken a chance and followed my early career dreams? What if I’d done more training before I had kids? What if I’d given it a shot?
It’s normal to feel this way and it’s truly never too late to do something about it. Perhaps you’re feeling disengaged with your job, or you’re experiencing a natural sense of restlessness as you reach the middle of your life. Maybe you’ve starting thinking: if I don’t try something new now, I never will, or maybe you’ve reached a time when you can financially afford to take a step away from your job to retrain. You could have just been through a redundancy or restructuring which has forced the need for change.
People are living longer and are often active and so there may be a feeling that there is time to retrain and reinvest in yourself after raising family or finding you’re able to move away from work commitments. The motivation for freedom to pursue “what I’ve always wanted to do” can be stronger the thought of retirement.
There’s no doubt this can be an exciting moment, but it’s also pretty scary. You can experience feelings of doubt, fear or insecurity at the thought of having to learn new skills. Starting from scratch can be daunting and fears about money, being “too old”, or learning fast changing technology are normal feelings to have when thinking of change.
If you find yourself wanting to take the leap, there are a few things you can do to get started:
- If possible, take some time to think about what you would like to be doing and create some clarity. You have a lot to offer the work force, don’t underestimate your skills and contribution you can make.
- Don’t necessarily think: “what do I want to be or do?”. There’s a transition time between one door closing and something new opening – it’s not always an easy time but the space can help you really think about where you would like to head.
- Think about what you need to do to bridge the gap between gaining more skills or trying some different things before moving into something more permanent. Things we never thought we would do or experience – or even like – can turn out to be wonderful opportunities.
The sorts of skills that are highly valuable to employers – communication, self-management, team work, willingness to learn, and a positive attitude – are very often well-developed in mature workers and place you at an immediate advantage. If you’re considering training or study, there’s plenty of help for those who’ve been away from the classroom for a long time and need a bit of a refresh.
There are options out there and support is available for people thinking about changing roles or careers later in life. TPP’s Career Hub can help with having those conversations around “where to next” or coming up with ideas and options. There’s information about programmes you can enrol in and the sorts of employment opportunities available around town. There’s even support for preparing CVs, getting ready for job interviews, connecting with employers, community and enrolling on Coast Connect.
This is an exciting time and could lead to some hugely positive outcomes for you. Stay optimistic and embrace the adventure! And remember – we’re here to help if you need it.