The desire to change career paths can come at any age, no matter if you’re fresh out of college or have worked for decades. It can be motivated by many factors – money, ambition, or a sense that you’re not as fulfilled as you could be. Now that LSBF has reported that the UK economy is on the road to recovery, many people may be considering taking the risk.
However, deciding to change your career path in your 40s, 50s or even 60s is likely to have a much bigger impact on your life than those who change careers in their 20s or 30s, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you do make the decision to alter your profession, there are some important questions you should answer before taking the plunge.
How competitive is the industry?
It’s a good idea before changing careers to find out as much as you can about the industry, and who you will be up against when applying for potential jobs. While your extra years of experience will stand you in good stead, some companies will prefer to hire fresh young talent via their graduate schemes. There might be specific skill requirements which could make retraining a necessity. A recent development in the UK, reported by LSBF, has seen apprenticeship schemes launched for over-50s, who have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. Find out if there are any similar schemes within your desired industry. If you’re launching your own business, it’s also a good idea to check out the competition and how well they’re performing.
Will I have to take a pay cut?
Before you make your final decision and waltz into your manager’s office, resignation in hand, it’s worth doing some research into the field you’ve chosen to pursue. It may not pay as well as the career you’ve established, or you might be required to take a step down, and a pay cut, in order to work your way into the industry. If this is something you’re willing to do, you might need to reassess your current expenditure to ensure your salary will stretch far enough.
How will I cover my financial responsibilities?
By the time you reach your 40s, chances are you will have amassed certain financial responsibilities in life, whether that takes the form of a family, a mortgage, a university debt or all of the above. If you do decide to make a career change, your responsibilities of financing these will not go away. Perhaps you’ve set money aside for a rainy day that can cover the costs while you find your feet in your new venture, or maybe you have a partner whose income will have to stretch that bit further. You could take out a loan if you’re not fortunate to have either of the above, but whichever way you look at it your change in career path will most likely have financial implications.
Ensure that you’ve made a plan to cover them before you do make that change – it will mean there is less to worry about once you start on your new path, so you can focus your attentions elsewhere.