Do’s And Don’ts Of A Mid-Career Change.
The age of 35 can be a turning point where permanent fixtures like children, mortgages, and romantic partners and aspects of your life start to be set in stone.
It marks a turning point in our careers too, from “early” to “mid” career when questions swirl:
Is it too late? Do I have what it takes to career change at 35? Is the risk worth the reward?
The average worker will over 12 jobs in the span of their career and yet despite how common, there remains a huge gap between desire and execution of a career change, especially when confronted with switching careers or industries past the age of 35.
This article will examine the common fears that plague people looking to make a career change (it’s not just you!), examine the potential risks and rewards, how to know if this transition is the right choice for you, get clear on your goals and a step-by-step strategy for making the transition if not a smooth one, than a brave one.
Facing the Fear: The Realities of a Career Transition
Do you really want change?
If I know anything to be true after coaching over 5,000 corporate women to more fulfilling careers, it’s this:
If you feel called to something else in your career, it’s because that something else is calling you too.
Don’t believe me? Oprah said it best when Trevor Noah asked, “What’s the most important question people can ask themselves to get them to where they want to go in life?”.
She said, “The most important question you can ask yourself is ‘What do I truly want?’”
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- Facing the Fear: The Realities of a Mid-Life Career Transition
- How to make Your Career Change: Strategies for the Ascent
- How To Career Change At 35 In A Nutshell:
Woah. She continues, “People get to where they want to go because they know where they want to go. Most people don’t know where they want to go… Once you know the answer to that, the forces of life rise up to meet you.”
So let me ask you…
What do you TRULY want?
Take a deep breath and let that one in.
Let comparison be a map:
The accomplishments of others become a mirror, reflecting back your aspirations, accomplishments, and questions that linger in the back of your mind. Let your envy or jealousy of the person who started the business or landed your dream job or has a lot of career joy point you to your desires.
It’s never too late, but here’s what can derail you:
Fear killed more dreams than failure ever did. The only thing that can derail you is your fear. But here’s the thing:
“All it takes is your desire being 1% greater than your fear”- Brooke Taylor
If your desire for change outweighs your fear, even by that slightest margin, it might be the universe nudging you to take that leap. This isn’t about reckless abandon; it’s about calculated risks. Consider the best and worst scenarios, then ask yourself if that additional one percent of desire to shift gears is the push you need to step out of your comfort zone?
To Start, Let Your Curiosity Carry You
After listening to your desire and your envy, you can feel an initial excitement, followed by a pull back to your comfort zone. This is normal, this is to be expected.
This natural retreat and fear to explore your truths further can be met with an important reminder, having clarity, whether it be on your career, your goals, or anything in your life, does not require immediate action.
Clarity can create momentum if you start to align even small actions around where you want to go.
For example, if you are in corporate finance and desire to pivot into marketing, you can start by reading about how others have done it, or about inspiring marketing campaigns and what made them great. Allow your curiosity to germinate and create momentum.
Eventually, your brain will be so familiar with marketing that it won’t feel like a large leap, but a small step towards the thing that it loves and is familiar with.
How to make Your Career Change at 35: Strategies for the Ascent
You can compare career change at 35 to preparing to climb a new mountain.
Offering you the opportunity to challenge who you are and step into the potential of who you could be.
“Don’t overthink it, more is lost by indecision than the wrong decision” – Amber Lyon
It requires not just courage but also the right set of tools and a strategy to move upwards, step by step, towards the summit of your career goals and aspirations.
Step 1: Weighing Risk vs. Reward
The decision to remain where you are or to step forward into the unknown is a delicate balance of risk versus reward. It’s essential to take stock of the potential benefits that a career change could bring: personal growth, new opportunities, increased satisfaction, and possibly even greater financial rewards. As you stand at this crossroads, ask yourself: Is the potential of what lies ahead worth more than the comfort of the present?
Sure there are always financial risks, perhaps a lower or no salary for a period of time, but think of these an investment into your future. If you have a rainy day fund, or extra cushion, remember you can’t take it with you. Of course, it’s essential to be financially prudent, but too often it’s our fear playing out the worst case scenario rather than the most likely scenario. Frame this as a financial investment in your future happiness and livelihood, and take the leap.
Step 2: Crafting Actionable Turtle Steps
Where to even begin… It can feel overwhelming to say the least but making a career change at 35 doesn’t have to be. The key is breaking this down into smaller, achievable objectives, or ‘turtle steps’, that pave a more accessible path forward.
For example, dedicating just 20 minutes a week to updating your resume can be the first step. It’s not about overhauling your entire career in one swoop; it’s about incremental progress. Or perhaps, it’s reaching out for a single coffee chat with an individual whose career trajectory inspires you.
I call these turtle steps– the smallest, next right action that doesn’t overwhelm your nervous system– and taking them every single week overtime leads to big change.
Each turtle step completed is a milestone achieved and a step closer to your goal. They keep the journey manageable, measurable, and, most importantly, moving forward.
Ready to answer the call? Sign up now to receive the free downloadable template to break down your goals into tangible steps.
Step 3: Harnessing Intrinsic Drive
As you navigate the pathway of a career change at 35, tapping into your intrinsic drive is like finding your trailhead.
This internal motivation is the force that will keep you going when external rewards are not immediately visible. Do you find deep satisfaction in mastering a new skill? Does the thought of having greater autonomy in your career decisions light a fire within you?
Or perhaps it’s the desire to contribute to something larger than yourself that propels you.
Identifying and harnessing these core motivators will act as your north star, guiding you through the uncertain terrain of career transition. They will keep your journey aligned with not only what you’re good at but also with what brings you joy and fulfilment.
Each step taken with these strategies in mind is an act of courage and affirmation of your resolve.
The career change at 35, while challenging, is a testament to the belief that your professional life is not just a series of job titles but an opportunity for personal expression, potential and fulfilment.
With risk assessment, actionable steps, and intrinsic motivation as your toolkit, the ascent towards the career you aspire to at 35 is not just possible—it’s within reach.
Countless Brooke Taylor Coaching clients have successfully pivoted at this stage, and their stories serve as inspiration for what is possible. Read them here.
Step 4: Setting Achievable Goals
As you start to take the steps to change career paths, whether that’s re-skilling with a degree, networking, or starting to apply for jobs, consider the power of a clear and actionable plan. Understanding how to take your career aspirations and turn them into tangible, achievable goals can be exactly the support you need when navigating uncertainty.
To aid you in this process, I’ve created a resource designed to translate your vision into action. By signing up, you’ll receive an exclusive freebie—a detailed Goal Setting PDF template that guides you in breaking down your big career objectives into manageable steps.
This template isn’t just a document; it’s a roadmap to personal accountability and success, helping you to chart a course toward your career goals with clarity and precision.
Integrating this tool can turn the daunting concept of a ‘career change at 35’ into a series of strategic, manageable actions. It’s about building a bridge between today’s dreams and tomorrow’s achievements, ensuring that you are never lost in this journey.
By embracing this approach, each small step you take is moving you towards the aligned life you have envisioned. So, take the first step now: sign up to receive your guide and begin the fulfilling work of creating your future, one goal at a time. Your career goals are not just within reach—they’re awaiting your action.
How To Career Change at 35 In a Nutshell:
Considering a career change at 35 is a significant step that combines self-reflection, risk assessment, and goal setting. Remember, it’s about small, manageable turtle steps towards aligning your career with your true aspirations.
If you’re feeling nervous, know that it’s normal. This process is not just a job shift; it’s a courageous and bold move towards a life that resonates more deeply with your values and goals. Take another deep breath and remind yourself of how powerful and amazing you already are. You have what it takes, you can do this.