There is no shortage of sentimental movies with plots about midlife changes. But, in reality, it’s more common than pop culture leads us to believe. Career choices we make in our early 20s may leave us feeling stuck or dissatisfied a couple of decades later. Therefore, it is essential that we not let ourselves believe a midlife career change is impossible. Obstacles will arise, but what else is new? We face challenges whether we change or not!
The challenges presented to women are unique — especially when children are involved. Even so, women over 40 regularly make successful career changes and so can you.
The Rewards Are Often Worth the Risks
Change can be daunting. For women, considering the societal pressures they endure, it can feel downright frightening. But just as they regularly juggle all that’s on their overflowing plates, women learn to trust themselves. They take effective action without being 100 percent certain about everything involved. Research shows that, most often, the outcomes are quite positive:
- A woman’s pay growth is still rising when they are in the mid-40s
- 50 percent of those who change careers see their salaries increase
- 9 out of 10 women who’ve made midlife career changes report positive emotional results, e.g. feeling recharged, less stressed, fulfilled, and happier
What can you do to garner results like this for yourself?
How Women Can Transition Successfully to a New Career
Patience and Preparation
It’s tempting to feel rushed because you think “time is running out.” On the contrary, this is the time to engage in diligent research and homework to increase your confidence in this step. Talk to the people in your life who will be impacted by your change. Seek the counsel of those who trust. Look inward to discern where your passions lie so you are making a choice that reflects your interests, values, and integrity.
It is Not a Solo Act
Following up on part of the above, do not feel you have to go it alone. Connect with women who have made such a transition. Find support groups in which you can brainstorm with and learn from others in a similar position. Working with an experienced therapist is a proven method for easing this major life shift.
Get Technical Advice
It may be a while since you were job-hunting. Well, in this digital age, things change quickly. Get professional input on steps like creating a resume. Typically, it’s the first thing potential employers will see so allot a fair amount of time to this critical effort. Also, set aside time to deep dive online for useful suggestions from human resources professionals about presenting yourself in the best possible way.
Speak Success Into Existence
Far too many folks settle into their skillset by the time they hit mid-life. They feel self-conscious about their age and don’t challenge themselves to stretch and grow. Left unchecked, this mindset can cause negative self-talk. Hence, a crucial step is to begin focusing on your strengths and how you can improve. Society has some pretty skewed perceptions about life after 40 but you are not obligated to buy into such viewpoints. Be your own biggest fan and let that positive energy buoy you on this exciting new journey.
Again, Therapy is a Game Changer
As touched on above, women amid a mid-life career change can benefit greatly from connecting with a therapist. Those private sessions can serve as a workshop of sorts. Under the watchful eye of a skilled guide, you can hash out motivations, obstacles, hopes, doubts, and dreams. We would love to support you on this amazing life transition. Let’s connect and talk soon about life transitions counseling.