Should An Older Worker Make A Career Change?
(Excerpt from "An Over 40 Career Plunge: Arctic Freeze or Tropic Breeze"?)
Many people don’t like their jobs – it is part of being in the working world. Even people who claim to love their jobs still have days when the thought of going to work can be just too much to bear. However, the truth is that you just may be on the wrong career path if your level of job satisfaction is less than what it should be.
The best way to really see and accept that it might be time for a career change is to honestly look at how you feel about what you do. This is really a very easy process. All you need to do is keep a daily work journal.
First, record how you feel about going into the office or workplace every day. Be honest with yourself and write your true feelings. Are you dreading walking through the doors and the thought of it makes you nauseous? Maybe you’re looking forward to it but once you get there, you find that you are bored and unable to concentrate.
When a specific job situation comes up, write down your reactions to having to complete that task. Your boss has given you the assignment of researching past profit margins for one of the products your company produces.
He wants a comprehensive report done and on his desk within two days. Are you angry and dreading the job or does it make you happy to be trusted with an important job? Write it down!
In your work journal, jot down your feelings about your co-workers. Do you generally get along with everyone, or do you find yourself constantly at odds with people or a specific person?
The key to a work journal is to write down exactly how you feel about various aspects of your job and then look for recurring themes. Are you unhappy because of the people you are around or because of what you are doing? Perhaps you just disagree with specific company policies. After you have identified the reason that you are unhappy with your job, you can start to take steps to look for something else.
Still not sure if you should make a career change? OK, then it’s time for a little quiz. Ask yourself the following 11 questions and answer true or false: (Click Here )
Still not sure if you should make a career change? OK, then it’s time for a little quiz. Ask yourself the following 11 Career Change questions and answer true or false:
- There are few opportunities for growth within your company.
- You find the work you are doing boring.
- Few jobs exist in your field.
- You want to earn more money than you ever will in your current field.
- You will need to upgrade your skills to stay in your current field, but you aren’t satisfied enough to even make the effort.
- You want to do something more with your life.
- You want to pursue a lifelong passion.
- There’s a new career you want to pursue. After doing your research, it seems to be a good fit for you.
- You want to work in a field that will utilize your talents, skills, and education and your current occupation doesn’t do this.
- Your life has changed since you first got into this career and now the requirements of your job don’t mix well with your current situation (extensive travel when you now have children at home)
- Your occupation is too stressful.
Look at your answers to the above questions. Are you finding that you have more “True” answers? If so, then a career change is probably in order. But let’s look at why according to your answer to each question.
If you want the opportunity to grow your career, it’s important to be in a company that will allow you to do that. Perhaps you want greater responsibilities or a position higher up on the corporate ladder — things you won't have if you stick with your current occupation.
People can get bored with their work. Before you change careers, you may want to make sure it's your occupation in general that is boring you and not just your current job. If it is your occupation, you should consider a career change.
When there are few jobs available in your field, a career change truly might be in order. Since opportunities are limited you may want to start exploring other occupations that have a better outlook.
A lot of people want to earn more money. Keep in mind happiness does not come with higher earnings. However, if your career is fulfilling for other reasons, you might want to change careers.
Upgrading your skills in order to stay in your current occupation will take some effort. If you aren't satisfied with your career anyway, you may want to start exploring other options rather than stress about what you need to do but don’t have the desire or motivation to do.
In general, if you find your career fulfilling, that’s the number one reason to find a new career. Being happy with your job can contribute greatly to personal fulfillment which is something we all need, so definitely make a career change if you say “True” to this question.
If you want to pursue your lifelong passion, by all means, go for it or at least consider it as an option. Make sure you do your homework first, though, to ascertain this career is the right choice.
As long as you’ve researched a possible new career choice, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t go for it if it seems like something that will make you happy. In fact, this is a no-brainer – of course you should change your career here!
There’s a reason why you got an education in the first place. Because you wanted to do a specific type of work. Maybe you just have a specific flair to perform certain tasks but your current job doesn’t use those talents. Why would you stick around?
There's enough stress in life without your work contributing to it. Before you decide to change careers, you should figure out whether it's your occupation that's stressful or just your particular place of employment. If it is your occupation, change careers.
Of course, making a job change is never easy. Having a regular paycheck and job security is important – there’s no doubt about that. But if you’re unhappy in your job and feeling unfulfilled, are you doing yourself a favor by staying there? We spend a lot of our time working, so it really is important that you do something with that time that is meaningful for you and will enhance your life rather than inhibit it.
Before you make the leap to change your career path, you will want to avoid some common mistakes that many people make. By knowing what those mistakes are, you’ll know what NOT to do when undertaking such a life-changing event such as exploring a new career.
2011 Interns Over 40 Ebook. "An Over 40 Career Plunge:Arctic Freeze or Tropical Breeze"? Click Here to Learn or Read more.