July 24, 2007
Career Change: Is That a Bend or a Crossroads Up Ahead?
What does pursuing a second career mean? For me, it means more than just changing jobs. I've had a number of different jobs over the years, working for various companies and handling a wide variety of tasks, but I still think I'm pursing more or less the same career path. It hasn't been straight, and it certainly hasn't been smooth, but it still feels like I'm going in the same direction. I'm very lucky.
Other Baby Boomers face more drastic career change issues. Changing technologies, downsizing, offshoring, "wage management initiatives" and even plain old boredom can all force someone to make significant career changes.
I see a lot of questions about midlife career changes on Monster's Age Issues message board and in our email feedback. Some questioners want to know how to pursue a specific kind of career change; other inquiries are more open-ended. Some are upbeat and positive; more than a few sound discouraged and disappointed by the frustrating and seemingly endless search for a second career. Some even say they feel stuck.
But there are others for whom a career change is an invitation to "head out on the highway" (audio link) and try something new. In fact, some Boomer couples have gone out on the highway in a big way -- driving an 18-wheeler together as a second career.
Piloting long-haul trucks may not be your career change choice. But knowing the road you've traveled thus far is a big help. One benefit that age confers is self-knowledge. If you are at a crossroads, forced by circumstances to take a new career direction, pay attention to what you know about yourself and look for guidance and advice from your circle of contacts and resources like Monster. If you are lucky enough to have the freedom to choose a new career path, use that self-knowledge to select your new direction wisely, and remember what you learned along the way.
Here are some additional resources for your consideration:
- "Jump-Start Your Career Change"
- "The After-50 Career Change"
- "One Person's Career Change from Advertising to Counseling"
- "Resume Dilemma: Career Change"
- "Career Change Cover Letter Sample"
- Evolution Shift: "Midlife Career Change"
- Brazen Careerist: "Career change Is Inevitable, So Plan for It"
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A great post. The difficult thing is to keep the old skill set while sailing in new directions. Moving sideways is important to move forward. For example, if one is sick and tired of driving a truck for a living, perhaps driving an ambulance, a public transportation bus, or even an excavator would be a welcomed change without losing a valuable skill set (driving heavy vehicles). A little flexible goes a long way to create new career change alternatives.
Posted by: Ugur | May 23, 2008 12:48:32 AM
The opportunities provided by the market economy led to the emergence of a new category of professionals: those bold enough to make major career changes. They moved to a completely different field from their previous activity, taking their chances. Some succeeded and now they benefit from acknowledgement in the business community.
Posted by: Tom jobseeker | Jul 25, 2008 5:21:54 AM
A career change can start way before retiring. Many have what is commonly being called a "portfolio career." For example, if you like photography start building your business career earlier. Don't wait.
For many keeping up with technology is a key weakness. This is so important. Take classes to make sure you have the skills for the career change.
Posted by: Brad Remillard | Feb 27, 2009 9:08:25 PM
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