4 Keys to Changing Career in Midlife

KeyThere are many things to consider before making a career change midlife. The first step you need to take is to construct a timetable that outlines immediate (the next couple years) and long-term (retirement) goals. It’s important to bear in mind personal financial goals as well as market conditions hospitable to those goals. Additionally, those interested in making a midlife career change should consider retaking career assessments to discover talents, aptitudes and latent abilities. Here’s what else you need to know:

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is disseminated by the United States’ Department of Labor. Every year the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics creates a useful compendium of working conditions, potential earnings, educational requirements, and job outlooks for various careers. The list includes regional and state employment breakdowns. Specific state employment outlooks are important because, although the national unemployment rate hovers around 8%, areas of the American South were especially hard-hit by the latest double-dip recession.

Career Inventories
Before embarking on any sudden midlife career changes, it may prove beneficial to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory or another career inventory. The Myers-Briggs, for example, helps to assess one’s temperament whereas the Strong Interest Inventory aids clients unearth their strongest interests. Both types of assessment are beneficial for middle-aged people looking to reignite their career options. The Myers-Briggs helps people discern how they take in information (i.e., sensing or intuition), and the Strong Interest Inventory will steer a client’s passions in the right direction.

Be Realistic. Be Fearless.
Career specialists say that fear and unrealistic expectations can keep even the comfortably employed in a rut. So, even if you dislike your job, you may be tempted to retain it for awhile because of an irrational fear of change. It is crucial to align your career goals with both the Occupation Outlook Handbook, your short and long-term goals and your passions. More particularly, by staying connected to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reports, you can be assured of finding any boom industries or job prospects in flux.

Dollars and Cents
Ideally you will locate a job in midlife that provides both financial support and emotional gratification. Resources like US News and World Report and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are best coupled with an honest assessment of your immediate and retirement goals.


Justin Sandoval writes about all things related to jobs. His recent work highlights the Top 10 Healthcare Careers for the Future.

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