I often speak to people who have progressed along their career path and eventually found that the challenge or goals that once excited them, have changed dramatically or disappeared entirely. So, what can you do if you have reached this crossroad? How do you successfully change direction before facing a mid-life career crisis? Below are insights from my own mid-career change and a few other tips I’ve heard over time.
You’re Not Alone
First, you should know that this happens a lot of people. In fact, it seems that there is an alarm clock that goes off in many of our bodies in our early forties. I’ve spoken to several people recently, who like me, hit their forties and totally changed career direction.
In my case, I was 42 and not only did I have a career change but I also had a relationship change (after 26 years) and moved to a new city. I knew I wasn’t reaching my full potential and made a conscious decision to step outside my comfort zone and take control of my destiny.
I have to admit that I fell into recruitment, rather than evaluating all the options out there and making a conscious choice. I had been operating at a more senior level in my previous roles, but as I was arriving in a new city, I decided to take a role as a receptionist so that it would allow me the time to also write a great New Zealand novel. I was lucky enough to be employed by a recruitment agency and this opened my eyes to the challenging and exciting world of recruitment. Seven and a half years later and I now lead a team of exceptional recruiters.
How to Turn a Career Crisis into an Opportunity
If you wake up each morning dreading going back to work or feel like your career and skills are stagnating in your current job, or if you’re unhappy with the direction your career is taking and feel like you might have lost control, then I implore you to take a step outside of your comfort zone.
Sitting down with a recruitment consultant that specialises in an area you are interested in is always a great start. We can evaluate what transferable skills you have and what you need to do to make your dream become a reality.
We will give you a healthy dose of realism as it is unusual to just step from one career to another without taking a backwards step in terms of salary and position. You may need to upskill yourself from an educational stand-point or gain particular skills that are imperative for the role type. It is best to have a full understanding of the pathway you need to take to change direction, before taking those first steps.
A career change is not for the faint-hearted, but I have never regretted stepping outside of my own comfort zone and taking control of my career and destiny. As for that New Zealand novel, it’s completed and waiting for the ever-elusive publisher, but that’s a story for another time. I’m loving the new life that I took control of and created for myself. If you’d like to find out how you can love your work life too, get in touch with me or my team today.