Making a Career Transition in Mid-Life

Making a Career Transition in Mid-Life

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Choosing a lifelong career can be difficult, especially since situations can change and people can make wrong choices. However, people can change careers, even in mid-life. If they manage the transition well, a career change in mid-life can be an exciting and fulfilling time.

People often choose a career when they are still quite young. Sometimes, they can find good jobs in that career and to stay in it for years, but not everyone is able to find work in their chosen field, or even any field at all. Precarious employment or losing a job can prompt people to look for work in something new. They might think of the new career as temporary while they wait for a better job market in their chosen field, or they might decide to make a complete break with their first career to concentrate on the new one.

Even without a job loss, people might decide to make a career change because of circumstances in their lives. They might be injured and unable to continue in a physically demanding job. They might switch to a less time-consuming job to care for elderly parents or for grandchildren. As people age, they might want more leisure to take care of their own health or to finish projects that they started when they were younger.

Often, a career change in mid-life happens because people have dreams of something they want to do before they are too old to enjoy it. They might want to travel, write a book, or do something else that they have always dreamed of accomplishing. Making money might not be as important to them as it once was, causing them to choose a lower-paid but more fulfilling career.

Whatever their reasons, people making major career changes in mid-life need to be aware of both the benefits and challenges. At that stage in life, most people have already raised their children and have more freedom to travel or to take jobs with uncertain incomes. People can follow their dreams, even if these dreams do not lead to earning much money.

Making a transition to a new career can be difficult. Often, it requires learning new skills, which can become harder as people age. Often, employers prefer to hire young people who can expect to stay in the job for many years rather than middle-aged people who might have only ten or fifteen years left before retirement.

However, people making this kind of transition can help to make the process easier. Experience and knowledge are some of the strengths of people at this stage of their careers. Even if employers prefer the stamina of younger employees, people in mid-life can help convince others of the value of the skills that often come with age.

The pandemic increased joblessness and made the process of finding work more difficult, but people can still make a transition to a new career, even in mid-life. With persistence and an understanding of the value of their skills, people can find careers that are fulfilling and rewarding, whether the transition comes from a long-held dream or from a change in circumstances. Making a mid-life career transition is a good choice for many people.



ALIS. “Over 45 and Looking for Work: Making Midlife Career Moves.” https://alis.alberta.ca/tools-and-resources/resources-for-mature-students/look-for-work/over-45-and-looking-for-work-making-midlife-career-moves/.

Northup, Genevieve. “How To Make a Midlife Career Change (Plus Jobs to Consider).” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/midlife-career-change

Weikle, Brandie. “Why Mid-Life Could Be the Best Time to Change Careers.” https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/mid-life-career-change-1.5164941.

Wharton Online. “How to Successfully Navigate a Midlife Career Change and Avoid a Crisis.” https://online.wharton.upenn.edu/blog/midlife-career-change/.

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