Midlife career changes are uncomfortable. After following a habitual practice for years, you find it completely uneasy to follow through on them because of this situation.
According to NYTimes, the midlife crisis, a time of self-doubt and turmoil familiar to many in their 40s and 50s, is often viewed as a phenomenon of Western culture. But new research suggests that people all over the world are miserable in middle age.
If you’re approaching your 40s, younger than that or in your 40s, you will find value in this content that will help you manage this stage of your life better.
What is Midlife?
Midlife is the time in a person’s life when they are between the ages of 40 and 65.
It can be a stressful moment, as many people experience deep despair, remorse, and high levels of anxiety, as well as the urge to regain their youth or make significant lifestyle changes, or the want to undo past decisions and occurrences.
This stage of life is characterized by the individual’s steady physical, cognitive, and social changes as they get older.
How Do Different Cultures View Midlife?
Many cultures, such as those in Asia and Africa, hold this age group in high regard. Furthermore, other scholars believe that the so-called crisis is a popular Western construct based on little data.
Symptoms of Midlife Crisis
According to Jacques, this crisis prompts feelings of depression, anguish, and loss related to the approaching end of life. He also noted that it often involved a loss of creativity and confidence.
Along with the first signs of death, the shift to middle age is often associated with significant emotional upheaval, such as depression.
Furthermore, Midlife crisis symptoms can range from mild to severe, and include:
- Exhaustion, boredom, or discontentment with life or with a lifestyle (including other people and things) that previously provided fulfillment.
- Frantic energy; feeling restless and wanting to do something completely different.
- Self-questioning; questioning decisions made years earlier and the meaning of life.
- Confusion about who you are or where your life is going.
- Excessive daydreaming.
- Irritability, unexpected anger.
- Persistent sadness.
- Increase in alcohol and drug use, food intake, and other compulsions.
- Significant decrease or increase in sexual desire.
- Sexual affairs, often with someone much younger.
What Are The Things I Should Know Before Making a Midlife Career Change?
Transitioning to a new career can be challenging at any age, but making a midlife career change adds to the difficulty.
Changing careers in your 40s and 50s is much more difficult than it is in your 20s and 30s for a variety of reasons.
When you’re in your forties, you have extra responsibilities to consider, such as a mortgage and your children’s college tuition. You might be scared to put your solid job on the line for something unknown.
Get all the facts about any job you’re contemplating before you make a decision. Consider pursuing an adult internship to gain experience in a new field before committing.
Here are some things you should think about before you make a midlife career change.
#1. What level of education and training will you require?
It’s possible that you’ve picked new employment that requires little or no retraining.
All you’ll have to worry about is your job hunt if you can simply transfer your current talents to your new work without having to learn any new ones.
However, if you want to pursue a career that demands a whole other set of talents, you’ll almost certainly need to return to school or undergo some other form of training.
Are you willing to put forth the effort? When will you be able to work full-time?
When you’re in your twenties or even your thirties, you may not be concerned about this because you have many years ahead of you to work.
If you’re in your forties or fifties, consider how long you want to work.
Will you have to devote a significant amount of time to training for a job that you will only hold for a short period? Is the return on your investment going to be enough?
#2. Can You Afford the Financial Costs of Career Change?
Changing careers can be pricey. Tuition is highly pricey if you need to continue your education. Even if you have the financial means, juggling employment and education can be challenging.
You may need to reduce your work hours in order to finish school on time. Are you willing to take a wage cut? Beginning a new job typically entails starting from the bottom.
It’s possible that you’ll have to accept a lot lower wage than you do now.
#3. Do You Have the Support of Your Family?
A major adjustment, such as a midlife career change, causes a lot of help from those around you. It will be tough to succeed in this attempt if your family is not on board.
Consult your spouse and children before making such a significant shift. To make this transition happen, everyone will have to pitch in.
There may be less money available for things like holidays and purchasing new items. Your free time will be devoted to preparing for your new job.
Household activities may require help from family members.
#4. What Is the Average Age of People in the Industry You’re Considering?
Some industries have a lot of young people working in them. Those in management may be the only ones nearing middle age.
Will they hire you for an entry-level position if you’re in your forties or fifties? Age discrimination is against the law, as it should be, but it doesn’t stop people in control of hiring from doing so.
Before you go any further, make sure you’ve done your homework on the job you’re interested in and the business or industries that might hire you.
Find out if you have a good chance of getting recruited by talking to people who work there.
#5. How Long Will It Take You to Establish Yourself in Your Dream Job?
Your first employment after starting a new career will most likely be an entry-level position. After a year or two of this, you should be able to apply for a higher-level post.
It’s possible that your previous work experience will help you develop more quickly than your much younger colleagues who are just starting out, but it’s also possible that it won’t.
Moreso, it’s possible that your new job experience is all that matters. It may take some time before you can do the type of work that you desired when you decided to change careers.
Consider whether you’ll be content with that. Your response may be contingent on how far away you are from your desired retirement age.
15 Best Midlife Career Changes In 2022
While you should choose a new career that you enjoy and that utilizes some of your past knowledge and talents, some fields are more suited to older workers than others.
Here are the 15 best careers for a Midlife Career Changers
Average salary: $120,113
A new career as an actuary may be appropriate for you if you have a mind with numbers. A bachelor’s degree is normally required, but a master’s degree isn’t always required for this position.
People come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, including computer science, finance, economics, and actuarial science, which use arithmetic and statistical ideas to help clients comprehend the financial risk and consequences of certain decisions and occurrences.
This is also an excellent role for folks who enjoy interacting with others. Individuals and corporations hire actuaries to help them make important decisions.
Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to expand in the next years (BLS). This is one of the best midlife career changes.
#2. Administrative assistant
Average salary: $43,042
Today, many administrative assistants, known as virtual assistants, can work from home. This frequently gives you a lot of flexibility, which you may have yearned for in previous jobs.
Although the pay isn’t high, the nature of the work can bring several advantages, including a low level of stress (this, of course, will vary by the role and employer).
This is an excellent career for persons who are organized and efficient. You might work part-time in some instances.
You may also have the potential to advance swiftly in your career by interacting with a variety of departments and individuals. In addition, this is one of the best career changes you can take as midlife.
Average salary: $112,405
Consultants’ work necessitates experience and expertise in fields such as finance and healthcare, making it an ideal new role for career changers for midlife.
You can use your business, management, and other concepts of knowledge to assist businesses and organizations in solving problems.
You’ll also come up with ideas for improving operations and other concerns, as well as give recommendations for the next steps.
This employment is often project-based, so you’ll have a lot of freedom to choose which projects and firms to work with.
Many consultants operate independently, however, businesses hire some, giving you even more flexibility to adapt your profession into your life rather than the other way around.
#4. Event planner
Average salary: $50,387 (Glassdoor)
Do you love holding events? If you have experience doing it in your personal life, why not bring that knowledge to your professional life? People can come from practically any career to event planning. It helps if you have strong organizational and people skills and contacts in different niches.
In your role as an event planner, you’ll coordinate practically every aspect of events, like business meetings, conferences, and conventions, weddings, parties, and more.
You’ll hire vendors — caterers, entertainment, speakers, and so on — to make travel arrangements, organize the calendar, and even select locations, often working with clients to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Many event planners choose specific niches, such as weddings, which help them build contacts and gain specialized experience.
Furthermore, many event planners specialize in certain areas, such as weddings, which allows them to network and obtain specialized knowledge. This is one of the best careers for a midlife career change.
#5. Financial planner
Average salary: $66,902
A solid foundation for a second (or third, or fourth) profession as a financial advisor will come from life experience.
In fact, many people who work in the industry have previously worked in other fields or industries. There are numerous abilities that can be applied to financial planning.
You’ll assist folks in managing their money and achieving their financial objectives in this position.
Your knowledge, however, should not be restricted to finance. Backgrounds in sales, technology, and other fields will also be beneficial.
Some financial planners work for themselves, while others work for businesses.
If you decide to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), you’ll be able to boost your earning potential and gain access to new opportunities.
Average salary: $52,723 (Glassdoor)
The public donates to nonprofits such as schools, hospitals, and charitable organizations. It isn’t easy or quick to raise that money.
In order to motivate them to support their mission, one needs someone with the experience and skills to “sell” their mission.
Fundraisers typically have a background in many fields, such as sales, marketing, and publicity. The following is only a partial list of reasons why a career change is a natural fit for many midlife’s.
In order to build relationships with potential donors and others, seasoned professionals generally have strong people skills.
Furthermore, this career can provide them with a sense that their work is meaningful.
Although base salaries for fundraisers tend to be midrange, they can increase their earnings potential when they prove themselves to be successful and valuable to the organizations where they work.
7. Market researcher
Average salary: $56,235
Market research is a rapidly increasing and in-demand subject that will appeal to people in a variety of fields, including sales, marketing, statistics, data analytics, and product development.
This is because many market researchers are self-employed, they have the freedom to choose their own clients and work hours.
You’ll be researching market demand and circumstances for various products and services in this profession.
You will discover competitors, decide on the target consumer niche, pinpoint acceptable price points, and maximize the value of items while working on behalf of businesses.
They do their research using a variety of methods, including focus groups and facilitating interviews.
Despite a modest average annual pay, if you’ve established yourself in the area, your earning potential might be very substantial.
8. Patient advocate
Average salary: $63,621
A second profession as a patient advocate will provide plenty of happiness to those in midlife who wish to help others.
Patient advocates, as you might expect, work on behalf of patients in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare facilities, dealing with issues such as insurance claims and rejections.
Also, assisting them in following their healthcare and medication plans, assisting them in understanding their options, working with family members, providing resources and information, and much more.
Although patient advocates are not medical professionals, those with experience in the field, such as former nurses, will be well-prepared to work in this critical field.
This is because they serve as a liaison between patients and healthcare practitioners, understanding of the field will aid them in translating terminology and improving communication.
9. Project coordinator
Average salary: $51,888
In almost any business you can think of, project management plays a critical role. Most likely, you’ve already had some project management experience.
While it may be tough to get a job as a project manager right away unless you have a lot of experience facilitating products and managing work and people, many people start out as project coordinators and work their way up to managing a team and earning more money.
Salaries are frequently high in sectors such as software development and information technology, where project management is vital to operations.
That isn’t to say you can’t start as a project manager at a smaller firm, especially if you have a lot of the required abilities from your previous job.
You’ll need to be incredibly well-organized, have outstanding communication skills, and be able to quickly adjust to changing conditions and unanticipated problems in either case.
In addition, this is one of the Career Changes for midlife.
Average salary: $55,351
Publicists, who work on behalf of individuals and/or businesses, are vital to the development, presentation, and maintenance of their client’s public image.
They’ll develop and distribute press releases regarding products, services, and events, as well as scheduled appearances, pitch media outlets, and generate favorable publicity while also managing negative exposure.
Previous professions in related sectors such as marketing, communications, and sales will particularly apply to second careers in the field for publicists.
People who have worked in the media or journalism are likely to do well in public relations–for one thing, the contacts they’ve built will be highly beneficial in generating attention for clients.
Communication skills are essential, as well as people skills.
11. Real estate broker
Average salary: $68,256
Real estate is a very common alternative for a second profession. To market and sell properties, people come from a variety of businesses, ranging from sales (a natural step) to insurance.
Working in real estate does not require a college diploma, though you must be licensed to own your own firm if you want to be a broker rather than an agent.
Real estate agents must be licensed in order to sell homes, however, they cannot sell on their own and must work under the supervision of a certified broker.
This is also a career that allows you a lot of flexibility. You’ll be able to choose your own hours and even work part-time as a broker. You should be friendly and have excellent communication abilities.
Average salary: $51,707
This is a field that is necessary for almost every industry. Because finding and hiring talent is difficult and time-consuming, firms frequently delegate the task to internal or external recruiters.
Recruiters might work for themselves, for companies, or for recruiting firms. They frequently make relationships and gain experiences in a particular sector, such as technology or publishing.
If you want to break into recruiting, you might discover that your past knowledge in a different sector will help you if you make that field your niche.
If you’ve previously worked in management, you’ll be able to effortlessly transfer your interviewing abilities to a new profession as a recruiter.
Even if you haven’t, many skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, will be transferable to a new profession in the industry.
13. Sales representative
Average salary: $65,269
Working in sales can be quite profitable if you have an excellent reputation. Many salespeople get bonuses on top of their normal pay if they meet certain goals.
It’s also an excellent profession for midlife career changers because you can use a lot of the abilities you’ve learned in past positions.
Most sales reps are allotted specific territory, so you’ll often have a lot of flexibility and be able to work from home, though you’ll still have to travel.
Focusing on a specialized area or niche, such as education, technology, or media, is a fantastic way to make contacts and build relationships, which are essential for sales success.
You can also check this: 8 Ways How A Personal Retreat Can Help Your Career Fast
14. Software developer
Average salary: $106,013
Software development is a natural step for people who have worked in engineering or math/statistics.
However, those with backgrounds in other fields, like the humanities, can succeed in the post.
Unless you already have programming expertise, you’ll need to attend a course or finish a Bootcamp to get up to speed, but once you do, the field is full of opportunities.
You’re looking at a three-figure wage (on average) right out of the gate, and as you gain experience in software development, your professional value will skyrocket.
There’s also the reality that software development is a field that’s rapidly expanding and in high demand.
In some circumstances, such as at several tech behemoths, you won’t even need a college diploma to succeed.
Average salary: $65,930
Being an expert in a certain discipline will prepare you for a job as a teacher.
Many people pursue second jobs in education because it is a natural fit for them. You’ll need a lot of patience as well as good organizational, communication, and cooperation abilities.
If you want to teach in a public school, the requirements vary by state, but you’ll almost always need a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification or training.
Private schools have their own set of standards, although you won’t usually need a teaching certificate.
You might also take a less traditional route, such as teaching English to individuals in other countries via the internet or tutoring kids.
How to Make a Career Change Midlife
Making a career change is more difficult for people in their midlife because it’s difficult to picture sitting in a classroom learning a new skill or leaving a place you’ve called home for 10+ years.
However, if you follow these seven steps, you’ll find that changing careers in your forties isn’t as scary—or as difficult—as you might think.
#1. Change Your Mindset
Your mind is quite powerful. It has the ability to persuade you that a lie is true and talk you out of doing things your heart desires.
That is why, before you do anything else, you must first change your thinking and overcome the fear that is preventing you from moving forward.
Furthermore, the biggest misconception I hear from people who want career change midlife is that it’s not worth it to start a new profession later in life, no matter how badly they want to.
They believe they don’t have enough years left, or that they don’t have the time to make a significant life shift because of family obligations or other obligations.
However, if you want to make any great changes in your life, you must change your thinking right now.
#2. Figure out what you want to do.
Listen, the last thing you want when considering a midlife career change is to end yourself in a new job that you despise just as much.
To avoid this nightmarish scenario, make sure you do your homework and are well-versed in the business and role you wish to pursue.
Finding a job that allows you to work in your sweet spot—the intersection of what you do best, what you enjoy doing most, and the outcomes that matter to you—should be your objective.
#3. Determine the skills you need to acquire.
Now that you’ve decided on a job path, find out what, if any, education or experience you’ll need to be successful in it.
At any age (unless if you’re 95 and want to play professional hockey), you can learn any skill.
#4. Make a budget to fund your career change
It’s easy to become discouraged when you consider how much money a career shift will require—more education, more training, or a new location are all conceivable costs—but don’t let that stop you.
You don’t need a lot of money to make a job transition. You don’t even need to be debt-free to get started—just enough to get going.
Prepare to save, make sacrifices, and even sell some of your possessions in order to fund your dream as you go. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worthwhile!
#5. Learn those new skills
If you need to master a new talent, returning to school is not the best option. Instead, use your imagination! There are a plethora of options for obtaining the education and experience that a career demands. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you need to keep working full-time, check for night programs or online courses at your local community college.
- Use free resources like as podcasts, library books, online articles, YouTube videos, and so on.
- Seek mentorship from professionals in your network.
#6. Make meaningful connections in the industry
People are trapped in jobs they despise far too often because they believe they lack contacts in the industry in which they would prefer to work. That, my friends, is not a valid cause to be unhappy!
The truth is that you know far more individuals than you believe.
Even if you don’t know many people right now, simply being around the right people and in the right places can help you build meaningful relationships.
As you begin to gain new talents (step five), you’ll naturally encounter people who can serve as valuable industry connections (professors, professionals, peers, etc.).
#7. Win the interview process
The final step to changing careers midlife is to apply to jobs and winning the interview. First, you need to:
- Upgrade your resume
- Prepare for the interview
- Follow up after the interview
Right now, this may seem like a lot to handle. That’s fine; I understand there’s a lot of information here. But, guess what? You’ve got this. It will take time, perseverance, and patience, but I know you have those qualities.
So, wherever you are in your journey, remember that it’s not too late, you’re not too old, and you do have what it takes to change careers in midlife.