Redefining your career path, especially when you’re “of a certain age”, can be very exciting – but it can also be extremely intimidating. The mere thought of it is enough to send your anxiety levels through the roof – not to mention giving you even more grey hairs that you don’t need.
The thing about careers is that they are only fulfilling if you’re doing what you love or doing something that you’re particularly good at doing. These two things aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive – but they usually are.
Redefining your career doesn’t have to be a huge job change – unless you specifically want it to be that. It can be smaller changes within the same industry; the positive effect will still be beneficial for your overall mindset and attitude.
If you’ve been feeling as though you are stuck in a monotonous rut and living every day as though you’re trapped inside the less-romantic version of Groundhog Day – redefining your career path could be just what you need to shake things up.
Below are some of the aspects that you must consider before making this decision – not everything needs to be mulled over for ages but, these will require some pros and cons lists.
Timing is everything, ask anyone who has never quite managed to “read the room”, and they’ll gladly tell you. The trick to good timing is to realize that it won’t be perfect. In life, there is rarely a “perfect time” for anything. There is a time for making decisions, and a time to either revel in those decisions – or learn from them. That’s it – that is all that you’re practically guaranteed.
Career changes aren’t easy, and they’re certainly not a decision that should be made after a few too many glasses of wine after a bad day at the office. Your timing doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be right for you. When the timing is right, you will know. It’s almost as if you’ll develop a sixth sense – just minus Bruce Willis and the twist at the end.
Comfort Zone Exit Strategy
Comfort zones are the best and the worst things. Once you’ve been working at a job in the industry for around four to six years, the strangest things will start to happen. A first, it starts great – you’ll feel so confident in your actions and decisions. You’ll know instantly when something is right or wrong. That’s the only upside to a comfort zone.
The biggest downside to a comfort zone is that it is almost as if there is an invisible layer of concrete drying around your feet. Every six months or so, another layer is added, and then another – until you’re stuck. You usually don’t even notice that it’s happening until it feels like it’s too late. It’s never too late. Sure, things will be a little trickier, and you’ll have a harder time planning your escape route – but better late than never.
Picking Your New Job
Sometimes, all you need to redefine a stagnant career is a new job within the same industry. Maybe you’re better at sales than you are at risk management, but you love manufacturing. These things happen from time to time. These are often the best jobs to pivot to or from; most companies have internal promotions for this very reason.
Compile a list of everything you’re good at, and I mean like really good at. That is the best place to start because it will effectively help you to narrow down your options. We all love to sing in the shower, but not all of us should – if you catch my drift.
Revamping Your Resume
Most of us, especially the older folks, probably haven’t looked at our resumes since we last applied for a job. For many of us that can mean years, if not decades! If your resume is still a bullet point Microsoft Word document then you, my sad friend, are part of the problem.
You must immediately contact resume writers in Australia, they are the only ones who can get you out of that sorry little hole. Also, as a side note, shoulder pads went out of fashion twenty years ago but luckily for you they have somehow crawled their way back in. Microsoft Word resumes, however, have not.
Chat To Friends and Family
Your friends and family know you and, hopefully, they love you and want only the best for you. These are the people who have watched you go through thick and thin, and would do anything to see you happy.
Go to them for advice and guidance, share your plans with them, and ask them for their opinions. This kind of valuable feedback is nothing short of priceless, and you’ll need it if you’re going to flip your career world on its head.
Don’t stray away from the honest ones either; you need all the honesty that you can get in a time like this. Aunty Joan may not always know the right thing to say during a funeral, but she’ll tell you that quitting your well-paying job to become a juggler in a circus is the worst idea you’ve ever had.
Once you’ve gone through all of the potential pros and cons of making your move, your decision should be a whole lot easier. By this stage in your life, whatever stage that might be, you need to take ownership of your feelings.
If you hate your job, and I mean burning desire levels of hatred – you should leave it. Or, at the very least, start making a plan to leave it. Whatever it is that you decide to do, the only thing you need to focus on is your commitment to your plan.
That is, of course, unless your plan entails burning down your office block – don’t do that. If you’re worried that you don’t have the strength to commit, remember that you’ve outlived one of the worst pandemics of modern times – redefining your career should be a walk in the park compared to that.