Midlife Career Change Without the Stress

by Unre Visagie

Midlife Career Change

We have coached many people from all walks of life through midlife career changes in different companies and in our personal career coaching practice. Eventually we came to a standard template that works for most people thinking of changing careers.

The key issue we found is that many people think they are their jobs. When asked them who they are and most people answered I am a “Doctor”, I am an “IT Professional”, or “I am a Teacher” they in some way link their person to their job or their last qualification.

The specific work you feel you can do the best or want to do the best defines who you are. For example, a project manager answered I am an accountant 20 years ago.

During a midlife career change, it is critical that you know what kind of work you want to do more of and what kind of work you want to do less of.

Exploring what you want to do less of and more of in your new career

If you are clear on exactly what you want, it becomes easy to communicate your “Career Change Message” to the right place and the right people. With a clear message, you can make smooth transition in a midlife career change. You have years of work experience and abilities and these skills are worth much to companies. Even though your current work experience might not overlap 100% with your new direction, your skills and workplace experience is still worth gold.

If you are planning a midlife career change, it is very important to get the exact job you want in the precise industry of your choice and in the geographical area, you want to work. The chances that you will make a major career change again later in your life are small, which makes the career change choices you make now incredibly important.

Remember you are the only steward of your work life, what you do and what you earn. No one else really cares.

Let us begin to get clarity on your mid life career change

First, let me ask you a very important question.

Do you believe you have a choice? It is extremely important you absolutely believe you have choices, be confident in yourself and your life experience. To make a midlife career change is a major move; you need to get your mind in the right place. Your confidence will shine though in everything you do from here on forward.

We truly live in the best time ever in access to knowledge, communication and travel resources.

Now let us follow a process to gain that critical clarity in your communication on the industry and the work you want. Clarity is vital in middle-life career changes.

  1. Which industry do you enjoy working in? Identify the products, services, development, people and the contribution you will make. Be sufficiently clear and be ready to adapt your message with input from others in friends, family and colleagues. Once you are clear on where you want to go, you must clearly communicate how the company, division, team, suppliers and clients you want to join and serve will benefit.
  2. Communicate your message to people you know and ask them to send it to people they know. Identify and engage key people in the company, team of division you want to join. Be clear how the company, division, suppliers and clients will benefit.
  3. Be visible and get involved, engage in the places and work you want to do.

About career change and resumes

Too many people hope their resumes will find work for them. Your resume is important, but it is much more important to be clear on what you want. Before you start writing your resume, get your story straight, know what kind of work you want and be 100% sure in which industry you want to work.

Notes for midlife career changers:

  • Be flexible on starting salary and expectations of compensation for work done.
  • Communicate the work you did before, during and after the tasks above.

Useful tools for career changes:

  • Do a sweep of what you know and who you know.
  • Do a sweep of what is in your diary that does not belong there and say no to the things that does not move you forward.
  • Search for what should be in your diary and schedule it.

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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