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Every day you stay in a job because it is not fulfilling your financial goals is another day you postpone your financial freedom.
If you’re over 40 you probably already know that making a career change when you’re young is a lot easier than making a career change when you’re older. Typically, the older you are the more you’ve invested in your current career and the more you potentially have to lose. Many mid-life career professionals remained in careers that were not fulfilling because they felt that their job was “satisfactory.”
If this sounds like you, don’t let your fears cause you to stay in a job that isn’t satisfying your long term financial objectives. The risks of staying in a career that is not meeting your financial goals are often greater than the financial risks of making a strategic move to a career that you enjoy more and that has the long-term potential you desire.
Do not believe that if you love what you’re doing you’re bound to make money.
While there is some wisdom in the saying “Do What You Love”, there is not a direct correlation between loving your job and meeting your financial goals. If money is an important consideration in your career change then ensure that you thoroughly research your new career to make sure that if you become the best at what you do so that the money will follow.
Focus on money issues – not work issues.
When making a mid-life career change it is important to explore fully your new career to ensure that it’s going to be professional and that you’re qualified for the job. However, no matter how much you feel you’re going to enjoy a career change and no matter how qualified you feel for a new position don’t hand in your resignation at your current job until you’ve thought through and made plans for your financial future. No matter how much planning you do you can’t anticipate everything that is going to occur down the road. If you’re taking a large financial risk by making a career change you may just find yourself in the exact same position in the future – just 10 years older without the financial resources to make another career change.
Ensure that you understand that the reason for dissatisfaction with a career usually lies from within you.
A lot of people point to a bad boss, bad company, bad economy or bad work environment as their reason for job dissatisfaction when in reality they’re just ready for a change. Many people simply feel the need to pursue a mid-life career change in order to experience new things and to grow. There’s nothing wrong with this. Just make sure that you know why you’re seeking a career change. If you blame a career change on factors not truly responsible for your desire to change careers you may find yourself in a career with a great boss, with a good company that is growing in a sound business sector that still doesn’t satisfy you.
Do not be hasty.
Have you heard the saying “haste makes waste”? Well it applies to making a career change as well. Make sure you thoroughly explore your feelings of dissatisfaction with your current career before you start looking for solutions. One of the biggest mistakes that career changers make is that they rush into a career changing expecting their frustrations to be miraculously resolved. Many times these individuals find themselves in a new career experiencing the same frustrations as they experienced in their previous career.
Recognize that you need both a sound career plan and financial plan to have a successful mid-life career change experience.
Career planning alone is not enough to ensure a successful career change. Most people pursuing a career change cannot control all of the factors affecting future job satisfaction. In reality there are likely going to be aspects of a new career that are not satisfying.
Financial planning by itself is not enough to ensure a successful career change. While many of us proclaim to be motivate by money, very few of us actually feel inspired by money to work at a job that is not fulfilling.