Making a career change later in life can be both exciting and daunting. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to pursue a new passion or build on existing skills in a way that wasn’t possible earlier in your working life. On the other hand, you also have more responsibilities than you might have had earlier, which can make taking risks feel scarier.
According to a survey, more than 55% of American workers are looking for a new job next year. This includes people from different generations. If you’re considering making a change, there are a few things you need to take into account before taking the plunge. Here are four of the most crucial factors to keep in mind.
1. Your Finances
Making a career change later in life is often harder than doing so when you’re younger because you likely have more financial responsibilities. If you have a mortgage, children in college, and other debts, you’ll need to make sure that changing careers won’t put too much of a strain on your finances.
One way to do this is to ensure that you have a solid financial plan. This means knowing how much money you need to live comfortably and planning how you’ll make up any shortfall if your new career doesn’t pay as well as your old one. It can also be helpful to build up an emergency fund that will cover at least six months of living expenses in case things don’t go as planned.
If you have a house on mortgage, you can consider applying for a reverse mortgage loan. This type of mortgage for homeowners 62 years and older is a loan that enables you to access a portion of the equity in your home as cash. You can use the money for any purpose and don’t have to make monthly payments. One downside is that you need to repay the loan when the last borrower leaves the house or dies.
If you do decide to apply for a reverse mortgage, make sure to find a reputable lender. Find one that can approve your loan application while considering your unique situation. By leveraging your equity, you can have more financial flexibility to pursue a new career without worrying about making mortgage payments. You can also use the extra funds as your safety net in case you need them during your career transition.
2. Your Health
As you get older, your health becomes more of a factor to ponder when making major decisions, including changing careers. This is because your ability to do some jobs physically may decrease, and you may be more susceptible to developing health problems.
To be sure, consult your doctor and check if they will clear you for the physically demanding tasks of your desired job. They can give you a better idea if your body can still handle it or if there are some health risks involved that you need to think about. This will give you better peace of mind that you can still safely make the transition without worrying about your health.
It also helps to stay as healthy as possible by eating well, exercising, and getting regular check-ups. This will give you a better chance of physically doing the job you want and help you stay healthy during periods of high stress, which can often come with a major career change. You will also be more resilient to potential health problems that may come up.
3. Your Skills
As you age, keeping your skills updated and relevant to the current job market is critical. This can be a challenge if you’ve been in the same career for many years, but it’s essential if you want to make a successful transition to a new field.
One way to do this is by taking courses or getting certifications to help you in your new career. Suppose you’re looking to change careers from being a teacher to an administrator. In that case, you might want to get a degree in education administration or take some classes on the topic. This will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in your new career.
Don’t forget about staying up-to-date on the latest technology and trends in your target landscape. You can do this by reading industry news, attending conferences, and networking with people already working in that industry. By staying current, you’ll be more likely to land a job and succeed.
4. Your Network
Your network can be valuable when changing careers, especially if you want to move into a new industry. This is because your connections can provide information about job openings, help you get your foot in the door at a company, or advise you about making a successful transition.
To build your network, start by attending industry events and reaching out to people you know who work in the industry and have an interest in joining. You can also join professional organizations, giving you access to more people in your desired field. Additionally, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for networking with professionals and connecting with potential employers.
Making a career change after 60 is possible, but it’s essential to consider all the factors involved before making the decision. By taking into account your finances, health, skills, and network, you’ll be in a better position to make a successful transition to a new career.