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5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30

5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30

It really doesn’t matter what you do. The sad reality is that many people are really unhappy with the career they find themselves in.

From the outside, it may look like you’ve got it all, but on the inside, you wake up each morning knowing that you’re doing something that you no longer feel any passion for. The worst thing you can do in this case is to grin and bear it. This may seem like the safest and least disruptive course of action to follow, but what are you waiting for? Life gives you no second act.

If you want to make a change, you have to be brave and go for it. Below are five career changes that can be actioned relatively quickly, and without the need for you to go back to school for three or four years.

1. Teaching

In many ways, going into teaching later on in life has many benefits as this is a career that can grind you down over the years. Many teachers start out as fresh-faced graduates and after ten or fifteen years, they have lost most of the passion which drove them to become teachers in the first place.

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If, however, you go into teaching later in life, you may well find that the excitement that comes with making a career change and the opportunity to pass on not only your knowledge of your specialist subject but also your accumulated years of life knowledge, will put a definite spring in your step.

If you have a degree already, teaching is a relatively simple career change to make. You will need to do some specialist training but this can often be done on the job. In less than a couple of years, you will be a fully-fledged teacher ready to take on the world and really make a difference in young people’s lives.

2. Go Freelance

One of the big bugbears many people have at work is that they simply don’t like being told what to do. If you work for any kind of organisation, there will almost certainly be superiors to report to, training weekends to attend, Christmas parties to suffer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep doing what you are doing, but be your own boss?

Freelancing is the perfect solution for those people who enjoy what they are currently doing but want to do it on their own terms. The big drawback is that you lose the guaranteed paycheck each month and any benefits that come from working within a bigger organisation, but the sense of freedom you will get in return is certainly worth the pay-off.

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A freelancing career move suits some professions better than others, but in almost all fields, it is a possible solution if you go about it in the right way. You need to fully prepare yourself for the uncertainties that will come your way when you take this kind of brave career change decision, but if you approach this move with a lot of planning and with your eyes wide open, you can definitely make it work.

3. Start A Social Media Career

Almost all of us spend way too much time than we would care to admit on social media. If you’re one of these people, a great career change might be for you to take all of your social media skills and convert them into a brand new career.

This is by no means the easiest switch to make, but businesses everywhere are turning to social media more and more every day. If you can exhibit how skilled you are at running your own accounts, the chances are that a lot of people will be interested in you doing the same for them.

Getting a foothold in this kind of field may be one that takes you a little while, but this is something that you could actually start to look into before handing in your notice at your current job. So why not test the waters and see what you can pick up when you first try your luck?

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As with all new career ventures, it’s only once you begin to take the plunge that you’ll see exactly how quickly these decisive career changes can quickly snowball into a whole new life for you.

4. Maximising Under-Appreciated Skill Sets

For many of us, the world pretty much takes place mostly online these days. Without even realising it, we possess skill sets that surpass those of previous generations when it comes to being tech savvy and computer literate. The great thing about this is that a lot of our basic skills can very easily be developed into ones that can make you a specialist in your field.

There are probably many things that you dislike about your current role if you’re thinking about making a career change, but there are also likely to be some things that you do actually enjoy. For those who have a lot of daily contact with the web, there are a plethora of options open to you.

Enjoy taking part in the development of your company’s website and online profile? Awesome, so take this to the next level and learn how to become a web designer in your own right. Like the aspect of your job that means having to keep up on relevant articles and blogs in your field? Brilliant, use that in-depth knowledge of your industry in such a way so that you can start to be one of the people who actually writes the content that people want to read. Already write the content and understand the power of SEO? You’ve hit the jackpot. Turn this skill set into one that you can outsource yourself to the thousands of companies out there who are dying to see their online profile grow and hit the first page on a Google search.

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Many people’s day-to-day tasks have become so multi-faceted that we take them for granted. Have a good think about what you actually do like doing at work and you’ll be amazed at how easily that could be turned into a whole new career.

5. Start Your Own Small Business

If you don’t enjoy your job, one of the biggest reasons that you’re still doing it is probably because of the lifestyle the salary brings you. Having money is a true blessing, but it’s not really all that great if you are genuinely unhappy with the way you’re spending the majority of your week.

Why not tighten your belt a little bit and start to save up some money to start your own business? This is clearly quite a risky strategy to take. If things don’t work out, you could see all of your savings burnt up and be left without a job. That’s the worst case scenario, though. If you plan out a move into a field that really makes you happy and which you understand how to make work, there is no reason for you not to give it a go.

The rewards that will come with success will more than make up for the stress that will also inevitably come along on the ride. Most importantly, you’ll feel happy and invigorated about getting out of bed each morning and trying to make things work on your own terms.

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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