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Changing careers later in life

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minimammy Tue 10-Dec-19 08:12:25

I am lucky to have a job which works around my children. I have done it for a long time. I'm really good at it if I do say myself. My daughter is still relatively young so working around the children is a good thing.
I am however feeling a bit trapped as I can't move up or even sideways. I would need to change totally. I can't afford to not work.
If I wait for my daughter to finish primary school I will be 47. Is it even possible to start a new career then? Can I do some general at home, training in IT to boost my skills for example?
I can't imagine any employer wants someone who has done the same job for 24 years?
Any advice or experience is welcome. 🙏🏻

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Theresa17 Thu 12-Dec-19 20:27:03

Hi @ Minimammy

It is definitely possible to change career a bit later in life! If you start at 47 you will most likely still work for another 20 years, at least as things stand now, so I would say it is worth a shot. It is likely that it might take a bit more time convincing people, as they might be a bit more surprised or simply prejudiced, but it’s not impossible. And there is always the option to work for yourself; if that is something you would be open to.
If you feel uncomfortable starting a change right now, for whatever reason, you could still start to plan your “escape”. It will mean you have lots of time to prepare, research and reflect and it will probably make you feel a bit less trapped as you are starting to do something about it.
I would start with really thinking about what you want and don’t want in a new role. A good exercise is keeping a list for a few days and writing down all the elements you like in your work at the moment (or outside work) and all the elements that you really hate and want to avoid as much as possible in the future. You can also add things you have experience in the past of course, not just in your current role. Then really think about what your ideal work would look like (in general terms). What would be your ideal hours, pay, commute, things like contact with people etc? Then work out your non-negotiables like minimum pay you need to make even a dream job work, maximum hours, travel etc. All this takes a little time but it gives you a good framework to evaluate ideas and opportunities further down the line.
Also, I love this free personality test as a starting point for self-reflection. There are a couple of sections that link to work, so could also be a nice starting point. www.16personalities.com/
The experiences you have so far will have given you lots of transferable skills, even if they were with one employer. Never mind all the skills you will have developed outside work in hobbies or bringing up your kids. With some preparation you can match this to many new opportunities. You have already mentioned learning some new skills, which is a great idea. But before you start, think carefully about what things really interest you and you want to develop. Do you already have some industries / careers in mind you want to explore? In this case you can explore relevant books, podcasts and even courses to start developing some new skills. If you can start exploring and trying things without the pressure of having to decide on a new direction straight away, you are likely to enjoy the process more anyway. But if you decide you want to move quicker the same things still apply.

Good luck!
Theresa

minimammy Sun 15-Dec-19 15:39:11

Thank you Theresa. Such a good answer. X

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