Be open minded about new experiences and experiment alongside what you are currently doing – try just saying yes when you might normally hesitate. Chance and planned happenstance play a huge part in career change.
Pivotal periods in our lives are also the times we grow the most. They can be uncomfortable and uncertain as we experience new and different things, but the outcome is life changing for all of the right reasons.
Even if the time isn’t right for a change, take the opportunity to keep learning new skills. Some claim the shelf life for skills today is only 5 years – so your current skills won’t sustain you to the end of your working life.
It is a well-kept secret that most people feel lost at some point during their mid-life – myself included. Admitting you don’t know what you want to do is tough. We are so used to problem solving, planning and deciding that not knowing can make us feel lost, vulnerable, or inadequate (or all of the above!). Yes, it is scary – but it’s also exciting!
The best support comes from someone who is an unbiased, challenging supporter. Some people find that in a coach or a skilled friend. There are also resources available online – the Department of Work and Pensions created a mid-life career review website in 2019. Be wary of self-help books that pedal the ‘believe in yourself and go for it’ message – it simply doesn’t work that way.
In my research, I found that reinventing your late career is a dance with fear and confidence. A dance that is dynamic and changing, but ultimately better than marching in the wrong direction.