Whether you are 30 or 50 working in a career that has become unfulfilling or one that is making you unhappy makes no sense. As you have an eye on retirement being unhappy at work with several years to go has a negative impact on other aspects of your life.
That said, the prospect of switching career effectively starting over can be a little daunting and indeed scary.
With this in mind let’s weigh up the pros and cons of changing career at 50.
Do you have a fulfilling career?
If you have a fulfilling career, jumping ship is probably not for you. You could end up in a far worse position where retirement in a few decades time is the only thing you have to look forward to.
However, if your career feels like it has stagnated with each day becoming a drag, then a change could be the best way forward. You may find that you have an unfulfilled an ambition and this is scratching at you.
In many respects, whether you should switch career depends how happy you are at the moment.
Will a career change affect other aspects of your Life?
Right now your routine is established. You know that you start at one time and finish at another. You know how long your commute is and the best shortcuts to take to get to and from work. A change in career could see this routine go out of the window. This could be a better change depending on your perspective, but conversely, it could disrupt the pattern of family life negatively.
When considering the best move to make, the impact on your life outside of work should come into consideration. It is best to discuss this with your partner so there are no surprises that may not sit well in the family home.
Is it fear that is stopping you switch career?
As you get older you may become more fearful of change. This is understandable and many people in your age group experience the same feelings. Some employers, depending on the career you had in mind may be hesitant to employ an ‘older’ person with many others seeing profound benefits to employing an older, wiser head.
Others fears could be financial in nature. You could be getting ready to help your children with university fees or still be paying a mortgage. Security is important to all of us.
The other factor that may make you hesitant about switching career is qualifications. The prospect of equipping yourself with the qualification that opens the door to something new could be a year or more down the road. The prospect of night classes may not be enthralling to you.
Of course, the new challenges may galvanise you to embrace the challenge. In many ways, the alternative of staying put may make you eager to start investigating what is out there for a new career.
The other factor that could be an option open to you is self employment. Consultancy is in demand and with your knowledge and experience you are in a good position to bring this to the table. It is also a business with low overheads as all you need is office space, a website, IT equipment, and a phone.
You should also have made a comprehensive network of contacts that could be leveraged into a potential income source.
Get your CV up to Speed
Whether you are in a position to switch career or not, getting your CV up to speed should be your first step. It doesn’t hurt to have a professional CV ready to make you competitive in the job market. Getting a professional involved is important especially if you want to restructure your CV to appeal to a different career.
Identifying transferable skills and achievements to sell your value proposition to future employers in the industry you want to work in is no easy task, and a good career consultant will be able to identify these and aspects you may not have thought of.