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People are living longer, so taking the time to consider how you will spend those days is more crucial than ever before. With low unemployment rates, it is an excellent time to make a career change. More and more employers are willing to “take a chance” by upskilling the right candidates, even if they don’t have direct experience. As a former professional athlete, you might be on your second or third career. Let’s look at some factors you should consider before you make that leap. How you weigh the factors develops as the years go by.
Tips for Career Changers in Their 30s
Explore and research everything from job duties, educational requirements, job satisfaction to job outlook (growth or decline projections). Spend some time in informational interviews with people who work in your desired field or industry. Since you are planning for a change, you should arm yourself with as much “data” as possible. It is important to make an informed decision. This is the case for career changers of any age, but when you consider you could be working for another 30-40 years, it’s even more crucial.
You have some financial advantages. People generally need less money to live in their 30s than they will in future decades. Expenses like caring for children, mortgage payments, saving for retirement and your children’s educational needs will increase as time goes by. Having less financial overhead affords you the ability to take on more risk, like returning to school full-time or taking an entry-level job to get your foot in the door.
Tips for Career Changers in Their 40s
This time is often referred to as “mid-career." You are about halfway between college and retirement. It’s a great time to use the improved confidence many have at age 40 to improve your career outlook for the next 20-30 years. You have years of experience and transferable skills to market.
Take time to explore the current job market and yourself. Complete career and values assessments to help put the pieces together. Finding a role that better fits your values and lifestyle are common reasons for a mid-career change. It’s not too late to make this change. If you decide to further your formal education, consider how many hours a week you really have to commit to your studies. Working and family responsibilities can be challenging for adult learners. Educational offerings are almost endless and you can find something that truly fits your needs.
Tips for Career Changers in Their 50s
“Career satisfaction will have a positive effect on your health, relationships, and life in general,” states the Balance Careers blog. If you feel like you are counting the days until retirement because you are unhappy at work, that is no way to live. Career change is still possible.
Realize making a career change is more difficult in your 50s because you may be competing against younger and cheaper employees. Your ability to stay relevant is crucial. Don’t let terminology and technology pass you by. Research the field and study skills gaps to build competencies. You may have to deal with ageism, but the treasure trove of transferable skills you possess might be the factor that leads to an offer.
Career change is possible at any stage in your life. Your AthLife advisor is available to help you navigate each step of the career transition process no matter your age.