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5 Tips to Make a Late Career Change

5 Tips to Make a Late Career Change

A late career change isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t make it any easier to embrace the next chapter. Switching up your role, workplace or industry as an established professional brings with it a unique set of challenges to overcome.

Before taking a leap of faith, it’s crucial to consider your quality of life and the financial impact. Chances are if you’re looking to transition to a completely different industry, an entry level position and reduced salary are waiting for you.

So, feeling a little restless? Read on to find out the five key points to keep in mind for an easy change.

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1. What’s Really Wrong?

Most professionals don’t wake up one day and decide, completely out of the blue, that it’s time for a total career change. The signs are always there, but can be hard to recognise and voice early on. So, how can you tell the difference between a bad week and a bad job? The first step is to understand whether your stress stems from a personal or professional problem.

Take a step back, write down the source of your anxiety each day and at the end of the week, review your notes. Often, there is a clear pattern emerging which will give you a great roadmap for what needs to change and how to go about it. In order to find the right solution, you need to identify the problem.

2. Is a Gradual Change Better?

Change doesn’t always need to be all or nothing. Starting with a smaller shake up can actually leave you better in the long run. Reinventing your career is a radical approach that requires a firm time commitment and investment. For some mature professionals, it works. But for most? It’s more realistic to work towards a new job at a pace that reflects your living situation and needs.

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If you’d rather take the plunge, be prepared to give up some of the things you’re used to. Learning a fresh set of skills for a different industry often means you’ll re-enter the workforce at an entry level position. Job hopping can boost your career if you do it right, it is all about compromise and balance.

If your income is intrinsic to your daily life, then consider applying to a different role at your current workplace. This gives you a stepping stone to launch the next phase of your career and can minimise the negative disruption to your personal life.

3. Get Educated for the Next Step.

Set on that new career pathway? Give yourself the best chance to thrive in your new role. Adult learning isn’t exactly groundbreaking, yet remains so intimidating to many established professionals. There’s no doubt about it; testing your knowledge in an unfamiliar environment can be stressful. But it’s important to recognise that the education sector is diverse; filled with people of all ages, backgrounds and various levels of experience.

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Look into an opportunity that fits around your life. This could see you enrol in an internal media workshop, learn project management online, or join a social group to gain insight from those already in the industry. Refresh your knowledge with current trends and practices to not only bring your skill set up to scratch but your networking as well. Meeting new people will give you the confidence to take on a different position.

4. Network with the People in Your Sector.

A fall in job satisfaction can often be attributed to your workplace, rather than your profession. If you’re thinking about moving across to a different company, facilitate this by talking to other professionals and get a feel for where the best opportunities lie.

Building your understanding of the workplace culture for compatible businesses will help to offer direction when it comes to narrowing your choice. During the recruitment process, promises and claims are often made. Present employees are more likely to offer you a realistic expectation of the working environment and structure. By utilising your professional network, you could also come across those prized closed-door opportunities that aren’t advertised to the public.

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5. Believe That it Can Really Happen.

Get rid of the misconception that career changes should be few and long apart from each other or that we can only have one singular dream job. The mounting pressure on professionals to select just one profession for the rest of their life is misplaced and can only serve to limit your career growth.

Remember, you’re free to change your mind as often as you like. Career shake-ups happen at every stage of life, for a multitude of reasons. If you move to a different business and aren’t enjoying your time there, don’t give up. Learn from the experience and try again! That elusive dream job can take on many different forms and titles, and in the process, you might find something great.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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