Guest Blog: Mid-Life Crisis Or Change In Career Direction?

If you’re lacking in the passion you once had for your career, it might be time for a change. But you must prepare before you make the leap.

We’ve all been there…the alarm blares as you struggle to blink open your eyes for another routine morning. You’ll head into the same job you’ve worked at in the same old industry for the last 20 or more years (okay, maybe not 20 in today’s market, but you get the idea). It used to be your passion, but now it’s just boring. You often feel empty and spend your day dreaming of something more than just a paycheck. Sound familiar? If so, it might be time for a career change.

Know this: you have the opportunity to change direction. The stress of your life does not have to signal a mid-life crisis or breakdown. It can simply be a signal that it is time for a change in direction.

Founder and CEO of Person 2 Person, LLC, Luba Sydor

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Mid-life career switches are common, of course, but it’s important to avoid doing anything in haste. Before jumping ship, consider the financial implications, training requirements and how a potential failure would impact your future. Even after careful thinking, it’s best to test the waters to ensure blazing a fresh path is indeed your destiny. You’d hate to go full force in a new direction only to discover you despise the new route.

You have probably heard the saying, “it’s easier to find a job, when you have a job” right? Well, here are some ideas that allow you to explore a new career without letting go of your current one, allowing you to have a safety net while discovering your true passion.

1. Find a mentor. A professional in the industry is a great resource for learning more about a new career path. Try to meet regularly for coffee, lunch or phone conversations.

2. Join industry groups. Surround yourself with the people in your intended field and you’ll learn a ton. The easiest way to do this is to join industry groups and attend events.

3. Network. Good old-fashioned networking introduces you to people who work in your intended field, which in turn helps you learn more about what you like and what you don’t. Start on LinkedIn and go from there.

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4. Take a class. Learn more and build your skill set by taking a class. You could choose a college course, professional training, or a community education class.

5. Embrace the Internet. Tutorial websites, both free and subscription-based, exist for virtually every industry. These help you learn skills and understand different careers in a short time.

6. Start with part-time, temp work, or consulting. Try keeping your full-time job and working part-time in the field you’d like to pursue. For example, start an internship or apprenticeship and make a few bucks while learning more.

7. Volunteer. No part-time jobs available? Volunteering is a great alternative. You’ll get experience and expand your resume.

8. Read industry publications. Stay up to date on industry happenings by reading journals and blogs. Do you have an insatiable thirst for this new info or do you get bored? The answer will help direct your future decisions.

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9. Job shadow. Reach out to a professional in your intended field and see if you could job-shadow for a day, allowing you to learn what that person does day in and day out.

10. Work with a career coach. By working with a career coach, you not only get expert guidance and insight into a new career, you’ll build confidence knowing you’re making the right choice.

Luba Sydor is Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Person 2 Person, LLC in White Plains

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