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Career transitions you can make in your 40s and 50s

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People like to say “age is just a number”, but when you’re the one with an established career and a life full of responsibilities, the prospect of dropping everything to pursue a drastic change in your job can sound crazy. . However, you would do well not to let your doubts hold you back. Many professionals who have made successful career transitions have found they can apply skills from their previous jobs to their new roles.

Here are some examples of viable career transitions for people in their 40s and 50s – perhaps one of them will inspire you to embark on your own journey.

From business to education

We often think of teachers as young and straight out of college, but the best people to inspire younger generations are often those with the life experience that comes with age. It’s a popular choice among those who feel ready to step off the “hamster wheel” of corporate America and pursue a more fulfilling path in helping today’s youth achieve their dreams.

In fact, even Teach for America actively encourages experienced professionals to apply to its programs, saying “25.7% of 2018 corps members were in the workforce before joining,” and some for many decades before that.

As a benefit, the fixed career path of entering teaching can be less daunting for those unsure of how to navigate a new career ladder for the first time.

From public sector to business

It is not so uncommon to hear of people moving from the corporate world into public sector professions, but it is much rarer to see things going the other way. Yet it is certainly possible, especially for those who have reached leadership positions in the public sector.

For example, why not apply the lessons you learned as a nursing director or in a leadership role in a school to the private sector?

However, those who have worked solely in the public sector for their entire career may benefit from working with a career coach to guide them through the process. Also, an advantage of being in a minority position is that you can more easily connect with people who have made a change similar to the one you hope to make – this offers great networking potential if you are willing to do some to research.

The idea of ​​quitting your job to start your own business is often glorified in the media, but how about doing the opposite? We may not talk about it so much, but it can also be a success.

Some people choose to go down the road of outsourcing or owning a business for more flexibility when raising a family or to maximize their income, but ultimately decide that they would rather find a good candidate in a company to advance their career. next level.

It can seem daunting to go through the job search process when your resume and background are so atypical, especially in your 40s, but the skills needed to be successful in self-employment are often in high demand by companies.

If you want a change of scenery and follow a career path that you can really tackle and reap big rewards for your success, consider becoming a real estate agent. It’s a career that involves interacting with others to sell and understanding the local market you’re selling in, both of which are very appealing to many people considering a career transition.

Real estate is often a popular choice among those who may not have the right qualifications for other roles, as the only requirement for most states is getting your license.

IT to cybersecurity

The cybersecurity industry is growing rapidly, with jobs for information security analysts the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow 33% between 2020 and 2030, significantly higher than the national average. for all jobs.

It’s not a career that everyone can transition into in their 40s and 50s – you’ll need some technical knowledge to be successful. However, for those who have worked in other areas of IT before, cybersecurity is the perfect field to consider if you want to try something a little different with great potential for gain and progression.

What’s holding you back?

The longer you stay in your comfort zone, the harder it becomes to escape. You may not see your career as a “comfort zone” if you’re currently struggling with your job, but it’s definitely the option you’re most familiar with.

No matter what industry you’re from or what your background is like, it’s never too late to make a fulfilling and successful career change in your 40s and 50s. Also, the door will most likely be opened to your old life if you ever wish to go back.

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