Career Change Dynamics for the Mature and Restless

Multiple careers are increasingly the norm in the working world, from necessity or from finding that you have multiple talents to share. I am saying this to say that you don’t have to be one-tracked about your choice of which career to follow, if you have the talents, time, energy and relevant context. I salute you if you already have the intuition and drive to change careers. If you have experience neither, but have the notion that you should do something soon about your present and your future, you may turn to a Coach for help. You may also get technical and ask about MBTI, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Enneagram tests and other Personality Inventories to help you choose wisely through some self-discovery exercises. There are several free test/reports and Career Interest Inventories on the Web, which help you identify your strengths and motivation. Yet, ultimately, you are the one who should conclude what is right for you, with or without these tests. I want to share a mini-model of how to create your own script or how to know if you are on the right path in deciding on a new career.
STEP 1 – Questioning Your Purpose. Which questions apply to you?
Are you at the point in your life when you need personal renewal?
( you might be relocating, be grieving, be unhappy, failed in a relationship etc.)
Are you at the point in your life where you want to give back in some way?
Are you at the point in your life where you want to share more of all you have learned and experienced?
Are you at the point in your life where you are completely stuck or almost at burnout?
Are you at the point in your life where you now want to pursue a real purpose, in a spiritual sense?
Are you at the point in your life where you see ‘retirement’ coming at you fast and you now want to finally express your value, creativity and unique voice?
Here you are seeking the authentic motivation to make a change that will turn your future around or propel you forward with ease.
STEP 2 – Questioning Your Feelings.
Acknowledge how overwhelming or underwhelming this idea of changing careers is to you. Express how you feel.
This is so that you are not shocked about your feelings and emotions as they build up during your transition .
STEP 3 – Questioning Your Strengths
Move on to identifying your weaknesses and believing in your strengths.
List your 5 major strengths (what you are great at): _______________
List 3 weaknesses you would like to do something about: __________________
List some talents that you have used successfully in your career?_____________
Are any of those the ones you want to use (would enjoy using) in your new career?
You are identifying the ‘Tranferrable Skills’ that you need to match to the new career of choice.
Which strengths and which talents would you like be happy using in your new career?
STEP 4 – Questioning Your Vision
Do not vet your vision through any friend, colleague or boss?
Write your strong reasons why you should be what you envision yourself to be. You do not want anyone putting a damper on your enthusiasm.
Notice – not ‘do’ but ‘be’. Career counselors and advisors give you advice about ‘doing’ things in a certain way, e.g. to find a job or snag an interview. However, only you with the support of a personal coach can develop and focus on how you are ‘being’.
STEP 5 – Questioning your information base
Research (in non-academic terms) what is happening globally and locally in the area in which you are interested . Do not gather too much information or you could become very confused. Why globally? Because that is the world we now live in. Things are always changing and you want to be prepared. See it coming before it hits you. Don’t be like the banks. You can also gather new ideas that way by broadening your outlook.
Does that scare you?
Sort out what excites you about your new field
Sort out where excites you most
Sort out what you feel comfortable with - in that field
Sort out what scares you about any particular part of that field
Sort out how far you want to go with your choice.
STEP 6 –Questioning When
Decide on the timing:
No rush?
Will you go for it immediately?
Will you go for it gradually and start planning now?
Will you go back to school or take a few relevant courses along the way?
Will you start part-time and then go fully into it after a few months or years?
STEP 7 – Questions for Others
Talk to Experts as if you are an Expert. Join Groups affiliated with your target career, and network or attend network events and look at the websites, job descriptions and other paraphernalia in your newly chosen field.
You are doing this to build your confidence as well as expertise.
Of course, under each of these steps are other mini-steps to be made and that is where you need to prepare your own Personal Script. There are hundreds of careers with their own idiosyncracies and you have your own personality and its variants. You have accumulated know-how as well as a field of contacts which will determine the details of each action that you will take to get from point A to point B and so on.
If you have worked along with me and done everything above, now let’s talk. What have you decided?
You do not want to make a mistake. At your mature age you can ill-afford to have to start over again a second or a third time, unless you are adding careers to your list of slashes. You have presumably enough SELF-KNOWLEDGE at this point and that is an important factor. You know what you don’t like and what you love doing.
What probably motivated you up to this point to make a change are among the following:
+disenchantment on the job
+impatience with how your work is adding up with your life
+feeling unrecognized and unappreciated
+sensing you are outright neglected and undervalued
+just not earning enough for all that you have contributed
+lost track of who you really are and what you are capable of
Your career change strategy therefore in planning your next steps and your new path is deeply seeped in:
a) reflections
b) weighing and balancing
c) giving up one thing for another
d) examining your own skills and abilities
e) and looking ahead at what is possible in the future
At midlife and later there has to be a clear sense of direction for any action to make sense and for any choices in career or work-life to be meaningful.
What do you want your final decision to look like? Get out the brush and paint a picture.
1. favorable income-generation ( if you want to get rich, that is o.k. too)
2.personal satisfaction on a daily basis, or at least most of the time
3. full expression of your talents
4. maximum outlet for your contribution to the world or your community
It’s never too late for all of this.
Why do we want to gain so much clarity and go through all of the above? It is because your time and energy are at a premium, including your health, finances, relationships etc. In addition, you will need to keep motivated in order to turn your vision into reality. You do not want to be a dropout at this point.
What matters most to you? Design your plan accordingly. Your plan should be aligned with your deepest values and beliefs and influence the goals which you will set yourself. Write your personal mission statement, in which you will state how you want to express your wonderful gifts and talents and what kind of contribution you want to make and to whom. Step after step equals action.
There. You have done it. You are expressing you.
 (c) Copyright 2009. Hyacinth E. Gooden-Bailey.

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