Making a Smooth Transition to a Mid-Life Career Change

John Krautzel
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A mid-life career change might sound intimidating, but the thought of working 20 or more years in a profession you don't enjoy may be even more unfathomable. If you decide to venture off your current career path and into a career that leaves you feeling more fulfilled, consider these six tips for a smooth transition.

1. Evaluate Your Current Situation

If a career change is on your mind, try to determine why you feel so strongly about it. If you're weighed down by your workload, bothered by a bullying boss or unimpressed by your organization's mission, you may just need to seek out a new position. If you're truly disenchanted by the industry or lack passion for the work, then a career change is likely the best course for you.

2. List Your Skills and Interests

Make a list of your interests. What job can you see yourself doing? What do you feel passionate about? Jot down your skills. Are you great with numbers or highly creative? If you're struggling to determine your skills and interests, take a career test that helps to identify the best career path for your personality.

3. Identify Job Options

After you identify the direction in which your career change is leading you, find out what jobs are out there. Read various job descriptions in your field of interest to determine the duties involved and qualifications required. Decide which skills or qualifications you have that transfer.

4. Keep Your Competitive Edge

If you need to fulfill some additional requirements to meet job requirements, find out about courses at local colleges. It can also be helpful to brush up on other skills to enhance your resume and compete in the job market. Consider professional development workshops or seminars in your area.

5. Build Your Network

As you navigate your career change, be sure to grow your professional network along the way. Attend job fairs, or reach out to others in the industry through social media sites such as LinkedIn. Ask for resume advice, and find out when there are job openings that may be of interest.

6. Learn From Younger Workers

Don't discount the lessons you can learn from younger co-workers. You may end up in a career field that's packed with new college graduates, or you may even end up working for a boss who's younger than you. Be humble and respectful, and realize that you may have to start out in entry-level positions to break into a new industry.

A career change at any age may seem overwhelming, but making the switch in your 40s or 50s can really be unnerving. To make sure you experience a smooth transition throughout your career change, consider these six tips as you navigate the process.

Photo courtesy of jscreationzs at


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  • Brenda P.
    Brenda P.

    Great and helpful advice!

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