Would a career change make you happier? Maybe you’ve been daydreaming about that old project you put in the back burner, you’re tired of your current job, or you’re just ready for a change in the professional department.

Whatever the reason, you should know it’s never too late to leap into something you’re feeling passionate about. And you may be happy to know that the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) found that most of the people who decided to change careers after the age of 47 were not only successful, but happier and less stressed.

Career change can feel good
A career change can be exactly what you need to feel happy. Photo Credit: Clay Banks-Unsplash

Still, there are things to consider when asking yourself if a career change is what you need to make life better. What kind of work would you like to get into? What additional training is necessary? How much would you like to make? Do you want to work from home or just to be able to spend more time there? It’s an important decision and it’s best to think honestly about what you want from this change and try not to rush it.

How aligned are your aspirations with your career?

What Does a Career Change Entail?

A career change is about more than just wanting something different than your current job. If you are happy and fulfilled with what you do but not where you do it, you probably just need a chance of scenery. But if you’ve lost your taste for what you do and want to do something completely different, something that may even require training for you to learn new skills, then a career change could make you happier.

So don’t let the idea of starting something new scare you. First, you have many transferable skills that you’ve been perfecting for as long as you’ve been working, so your experience can be a huge asset if you are willing to learn a few new tricks. And second, you may find it comforting that the American Institute for Economic Research reported there are between one and two million older career changers in any given year.

Intersection- Photo Credit- Brendan Church-Unsplash
If you find yourself at a crossroads, it maybe time to explore a career change- Photo Credit- Brendan Church-Unsplash

Would A Career Change Make You Happy?

You’ll have to answer that question yourself. Only you know what will make you happy and what exactly you are looking for. We can, however, tell you that the AIER found that professionals who successfully switch careers ARE happier, with many of them seeing a bump in pay as well as the mental and physical health benefits that come with feeling fulfilled.  And if age is your main concern, consider that 55% of U.S. workers plan to continue to work in retirement age.

But whether you decide that it’s time to chase that dream you weren’t ready for when you were younger, to learn a whole new set of skills and take on a brand-new challenge, or to stick around with what you know and love, you should make sure you’re leaving enough room for a healthy balance between your personal and professional life. If you’re feeling unhappy, it’s time to explore that and figure out what will make you feel excited and fulfilled with work again.

Finding a mentor to propel your career
Photo Credit: Dan Dimmock-Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dan Dimmock-Unsplash

5 Ideas on How to Get Started with Your New Career Path

1Consider your current job: What do you like about your job? Are there any characteristics about it that you would want to find in the next one? What about it has made you consider a career change? What are some of the perks you are used to?

2Identify your skills: You should know what your strengths are and learn to spot the skills that will help you shine regardless of the work you’re doing. Things like creativity, leadership, adaptability, analytical skills, and public speaking will help you in most fields. This will also help you spot gaps you need to address with classes, workshops, or even doing a little volunteer work.

3Explore your options: Knowing what your strengths are will also help you identify your options. The further away you wander from your areas of expertise, the more you will have to catch up with. Your passions can even lead you to something you never considered before, so keep an open mind. If you can, find volunteer programs and get a little taste. Make sure you thoroughly research any potential careers.

4Be clear with what you want: You may not get everything in your wish list, but knowing what you want will help you identify the jobs that work best with what you’re looking for. Have you figured out your salary goals? Are you looking for specific benefits? Does the company align with your personal values and philosophies? What are you willing to negotiate and what is non-negotiable?

5Develop skills: Figure out what training, professional certificates, degrees, or online programs you need for your dream job. Not only will you be learning new things, but they will help you update your resume for recruiters to see your initiative and willingness to grow and learn.

 A career change is a big step when you’re used to knowing everything about your job and the routines that go with it. Stay the course through any discomfort and you’ll soon be building a new career path.

Aline Cerdan Verástegui

Aline Cerdan Verástegui

Mexico City-born freelance writer, translator, ghostwriter, editor and Red Shoe Movement contributor with a love of live music and graphic novels. Has collaborated with Yahoo!, Blouin Artinfo, Yahoo! en Español, Savvy Heels, Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) among others.

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