Changing Careers Midlife: What You Need To Consider

It’s never too late to start over—in fact, changing careers midlife can be incredibly rewarding. But it also requires careful consideration and planning. If you’re feeling stuck in a job that no longer meets your needs, read on to learn more about the process of switching careers at any age.

woman looking at cryptocurrency charts on her laptop. she is thinking about switching careers.
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

Should I Change  Careers?

The first question to ask yourself is why you want to switch careers. Are you feeling unfulfilled or bored in your current job? Or do you just want a fresh start with something new? It’s important to take an honest look at your motivations before making any decisions. If you find that you simply aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, then it may be worth exploring other options. However, if you’re jumping ship because of dissatisfaction with your boss or coworkers, then it might be best to try and work out those issues before spending time and money on a career change.

Assess Your Skillset

Before jumping into a new career, take the time to assess your existing skillset. Think back to what drew you to your current career path. Ask yourself if those same interests align with potential new jobs. Brainstorm ideas for different industries or roles that might fit with your skillset. Research whether there is an opportunity for growth in each field. If not, it might be worth broadening your search even further.

What Are Your Goals?

It’s also important to consider your long term goal.  Do you have a specific job or industry that you would like to pursue? Or do you just want more balance between work and life? Knowing what drives you can help narrow down the options and make the entire process easier.  Additionally, think about where you want to be in five years. A more concrete goal will help inform which path is best for you now.

Making the Switch.

If after careful consideration, you decide that switching careers is right for you, then the next step is deciding how to make the transition. Do some research into jobs that interest you. Then, find out what qualifications or experience are required for entry into those fields.  You can request “informational interviews” with people in the field.  This means meeting with someone in the field and asking them what they look for in potential candidates. They may also have ideas on pursuing the best qualifications.  If additional schooling or certifications in order to make the switch, so make sure that it works within your budget and timeline before taking action.  Additionally, networking is always useful when looking for new opportunities. Reach out to contacts in related fields who can offer advice and insight into what kind of positions are available and how competitive they are.

The Pros & Cons of Career Switching Midlife

Switching careers midlife can be both exciting and intimidating, so it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision. On one hand, switching careers gives you an opportunity to start fresh with something new; plus, having more experience than younger candidates could give you an edge over them when applying for certain jobs or promotions. On the other hand, there are no guarantees when it comes to finding success in a new field—you could end up spending time and money only to find that getting established isn’t as easy as expected. Ultimately, only by taking an honest look at your goals and motivations will help determine if switching careers midlife is right for you or not.

woman smiling and holding teal book. she switch careers and is happy now.
Photo by Christina Morillo on

Switching careers midlife can provide newfound satisfaction in life after years spent feeling stuck in an unfulfilling role. However, it does require some effort and thoughtfulness along the way. There are several factors involved which must be carefully considered before taking action. Doing research on potential jobs can help narrow down which fields would best fit your skillset. It will also give an idea about qualifications needed prior to applying for positions in those fields. Additionally, networking can open doors into areas of interest which might otherwise remain closed. Ultimately though, only after looking deep within yourself will you know whether to pursue a career change midlife.

Sharon P. Fisher, MS, PMHNP  started adult life as a fisheries biologist and then, after years doing all sorts of nursing, founded Nurtured Well, LLC – a boutique women’s mental health practice in Towson, MD.  She belives strongly in following your heart to do work you love. 

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