Have you always wondered what life would be like if you followed a different path? Do you have a passion for something but find yourself working at a job that doesn’t fulfill you? Midlife doesn’t mean it’s too late to start over. How do you know it’s time for a career overhaul? Consider these signs:
You want more flexibility
Tired of the 9 to 5 and wishing you had more freedom to better balance work and life, especially when taking care of kids and aging parents? Finding a job that offers more flexibility is becoming increasingly common for women during midlife. Over 16 percent of U.S. workers now do flexible contract work—a 56 percent increase over the last decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs that allow you to work remotely, freelance or under contract, including designers, marketers and writers, may offer that ability while utilizing skills you already have.
You have reached the pinnacle
What do you do when you have climbed the company ladder to the top in your position? Where do you go next? While some aspire to become vice presidents, CEOs and more, others who love their field may notice they have hit their ceiling after 20 years. If there is no further growth within the company or mentally to provide a challenge it could be time for a new version of your career that may involve taking more classes and jumping to a different but similar role that still has more growth ahead.
You need more retirement options
As we hit our midlife, we begin to think more of retirement. BLS reported 40 percent of people over the age of 55 were still working in 2014. Gone are the days of early retirement, especially with long life expectancy, the high cost of higher education and lower retirement benefits. A career change to a position that offers better retirement options could not only be the boost you’ve dreamed about but provide a boost to your life when you are ready to step back. For example, teachers receive pension benefits, allowing you to work with kids, share your passion, and build more retirement cushion.
You have an unrealized dream
Julia Child, Vera Wang, Martha Stewart. What do these women have in common? They all switched careers during their midlife to become the successful women we know and love today. Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 36 years old. It took another 14 years before “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published. Wang was a trained competitive figure skater who went on to work in magazines. At the age of 40, she began designing bridal gowns. Stewart worked as a stockbroker but loved cooking and entertaining so much she switched gears and went into catering. Her first of what include over a dozen books, “Entertaining,” was published when she was 41. It’s never too late to do what you love.
Lissa Poirot is an award-winning lifestyle writer who covers health, wellness and travel. Her work has appeared on websites such as WebMD, FamilyVacationCritic and the New York Times, as well as print in magazines including Vegetarian Times and Arthritis Today.