I often hear people talk about their desire to change jobs or careers. They believe that it’s “too late” for them to change. As a result, they continue to trudge along in the job or career they hate, feeling sad and regretful.
Four years ago, I changed careers at the age of 60, so I don’t buy into the whole, “It’s too late to change now,” mindset. I retooled myself and reinvented my career. And I have never been happier.
I encourage others to change their jobs and careers, too, when they are unhappy. I hear a lot of doubt in response, though. Imagine my delight when I ran across Liz Ryan’s post from Forbes.com this morning. The article, “When Is It Too Late to Change Careers?” takes on the question of “Is it ever too late?” Take a look at her answer. She is right on target.
If you are thinking of changing your career, approach the change carefully. Ryan recommends that you take some time to reflect on what you want to do next, and I agree with that advice. I don’t advise you to change jobs or careers without a lot of forethought. Take your time. Reflect on your work experience. Take into account what makes you happy. What are you deeply passionate about? Consider how you might use your experience up to this point in a way that you haven’t yet considered. How can you contribute in a different way that might make you feel more fulfilled?
Life is too short to spend one day of it doing something you no longer love to do. Whether you want to leave teaching or some other career path, if you feel the need to leave, don’t ignore the feeling. You will only become regretful and bitter the longer you delay making the change you want.
If making the change on your own feels too risky or scary, get help! There are plenty of career coaches available to help guide you. Take advantage of your college or university alumni career center. Look for free and low-cost advice. If you want to make a change, go for it, but be smart about it. I got help when I made my career change, and I have never looked back.
So consider. If you were to change careers, what would you want to do?
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