Midlife Career Change: An Opportunity For Self Discovery

Do you want a midlife career change that is meaningful and rewarding? Do you wish you could feel excited and passionate about the work you’re doing?

A midlife career change can be your path to finding work that inspires you and makes full use of your unique strengths and natural talents. Work that you enjoy doing and that you can’t wait to share with others.

But before you begin thinking about what your next career will be, take some time to become an expert on you.

The only way to learn what sort of work and work environment would suit you best is to discover (or re-discover) those aspects of yourself you may have ignored or “put aside”. Self-knowledge is important when changing careers at midlife.

“Those who know others are intelligent;
Those who know themselves are truly wise.”
~ Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

Once you decide to change careers, it’s natural to want to rush into something else quickly, especially if you’re feeling burned out or disenchanted with your old career. You want the answers now! The discomfort and impatience you’re feeling are sure signs that parts of you are feeling ignored and are now clamoring for your attention.

The thing is… you may not even know what you want at this time in your life. You may have lost track of who you are.

Do you really know…

Midlife is the time to dust off those neglected parts of yourself. It’s an opportunity to explore what you want to do, with a focus on personal growth and purpose, fulfillment and enjoyment. The process of self discovery does take some time and a bit of courage, but it can be fun and the results will ultimately be much more rewarding.

Find Your Dream Career

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off
the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor….
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Think of self discovery as an adventure, an important journey to take before moving forward with your midlife career change. Allow yourself to explore, to learn, to be a beginner again.

Some part of you does know what you want to do, the path that’s right for you. Here are some ideas to get you started with re-discovering who you are:

  • read- look for books about self development and career exploration, and do the exercises in the books
  • write- keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas and capture your thoughts as they occur; set aside a time each day to write in your journal and get to know yourself better
  • sign up for some classes and workshops – you can find courses in personal growth and career change strategies that are offered online or as a teleconference call
  • take some time alone for reflection – learn to listen to yourself again, get in touch with your thoughts and dreams
  • take a career self assessment – there are many personality and career assessments available online, and many of those are free

Making midlife career changes or finding a retirement career that’s a good match with your interests and personality may not be easy. But if you want a career that’s satisfying, take the time to think things through and be clear about your preferences before you make any decisions.

Consider more than income this time around. Think about…

~ your personal satisfaction,
~ how you want to express your talents, and
~ what you want to contribute to others.

It’s never too late to find your dream career.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Angela J. Shirley

    No matter what your age is, a career change can take place. I am in my 50′s and due to being laid off for the past 4 years have been forced into doing just that. Yes, there have been times when I was so over the process – but now look back with gratitude. Being forced into looking at options has indeed helped me to also being able to help others who are just starting their journey after being laid off. Great article and I hope to see more.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Angela. Career change used to be something we chose to do, but now it’s so often forced upon us. You’re right – being laid off can be an opportunity, but it sure doesn’t feel like it at the time. I’m glad your midlife career change has ended up being a positive one. It’s wonderful that you’re using your experience to help others.

  • Sylvia Smith

    I’ve just come across your site and feel very encouraged by most of what I’ve found here. I’m about to turn 52 and have for some time felt the need for change. I’ve been exploring the world of radio broadcasting on a voluntary basis and enjoy it immensely. I hope that as time progresses I will carve out a new direction, but I’m also very interested in travel and working overseas which I did in my 30′s, and feel certain that I will again embark on a new life adventure before the decade is out! Hopefully my current good health will continue and my goals can be achieved. My biggest concern is health challenges!!!!

    • Sylvia, it’s wonderful that you’re listening to your need for change. Paying attention to your interests and seeing where they lead is usually the best way to find your next chapter. Here’s to your new life adventure and continued good health!

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