Why should you change careers later in life? - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

Why should you change careers later in life?

While changing careers as a youngster is commonplace (and almost expected), it’s often felt that doing the same thing over the age of 45 is foolish in terms of your income and career prospects.

But not anymore. As people are living longer, and working longer, the reality is that post 45, you may still have over 20 years left of your career. That’s more than enough time to find something that fulfils you, and earn a decent living from it too.

Here are some points to consider if you’re thinking of making a move, later in life:

1. Think about your goals

There are many reasons why people change careers. Is it to reduce your stress levels? Learn something new? Follow your passion? Or perhaps because you want to work part time? Once you narrow that down, you can make sure that your new chosen career path aligns with those needs, rather than competes with them.

2. Do the tests

We’re not talking about exams here. Have you done a variety of aptitude tests to determine where your skillset lies? It’s all very well having the dream of being a teacher but do you have the required skills to do the job? If you’re missing a few vital ones, perhaps think about doing a course part-time, in the evenings and on weekends, so you can acquire those abilities, before you take the plunge.

3. Consider your finances

While making your career dreams come true is a noble pursuit, it should not be at the detriment of your financial stability. If you don’t have one already, speak to a financial advisor about your plans, or consult a friend you know who keeps their personal finances in great shape. Look at your monthly expenses, plus what you’re saving for retirement, and make an accurate prediction of how this career change will affect your pocket. You’ve had time in your life to save, so you should be able to make this work.

4. Use your experience to your advantage

It’s not true that companies don’t hire people over the age of 50. There are many advantages to hiring older staff, from a wealth of experience, to industry contacts, to a strong work ethic. Use your work and life experience to your advantage, by calling up contacts in the companies for which you want to work, and being confident in the way you pitch yourself. You’ve done your fair share of interviews in your time, and you know how to communicate – so use all of these tricks to your advantage.

5. Get on top of tech

There are few industries that have not been affected by advances in tech. If you’re thinking of a career change, it makes sense to know your way around the digital landscape, as it will probably apply to your new role or industry. Play around with social media, connect with thought leaders in your space and learn, learn, learn.

Whether you want to give back to society, turn a hobby into a job, or simply change your pace – switching careers later in life is a hugely exciting prospect that is said to improve your happiness and wellbeing. Good luck!

Provided by Fedhealth.

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