Career change advice you can put to use right now.
The best career change advice I've had came from Thomas Szasz: "The self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates."
Career change: a constant in life
Recent research in career development shows that people change jobs and even careers as much as 7 to 10 times during their working life. I myself am a case in point. Much of my career has been devoted to teaching and writing in many different contexts, but I’ve also worked in business and done freelance educational consulting at the corporate level.
I’ve taught English at high school, college and university. I’ve trained teachers both in the classroom and through distance education. I’ve written over a half dozen textbooks for language learning, several of which were best sellers.
I've had other career changes as well. I’ve worked for an e-learning company and different educational publishers in management positions. I’ve even dabbled in the area of business acquisitions and mergers. It was a short lived but amazing learning experience! This adventure introduced me to BNI, a remarkable business networking organization. I eventually became president of one of its
I’m not alone in my quest for new and meaningful work. Experiencing midlife career change and seeking career change advice is a growing trend for many people in the 45 to 75 age bracket. Dr. Fred knows this well since he works with accomplished executives who are 45 and older, who are often looking for career change advice. Not one of them is in retiring in the traditional sense. Some are looking to start new businesses.
For some baby boomers there is what Marc Freedman calls an “encore career”. In his book, Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, he describes the growing trend among baby boomers to develop a new career that is both fulfilling and financially rewarding. The book will satisfy boomers seeking career change advice related to non-traditional work.
Having a supportive network
Sure, I’ve taken risks. I’ve had many worthwhile experiences, but it hasn’t always been a garden of roses. I’ve had successes as well as failures. I’ve had to readjust my bearings on many occasions.
What has helped me keep on track in finding new enriching and fulfilling professional experiences? It helps to have a caring business coach, a network of friends and colleagues in similar situations, and a loving, patient, supportive wife.
Asking the right questions
Taking a reflective stance is essential in moving in the right direction, in developing yourself, in transforming your thinking. You must ask yourself challenging questions. Take the necessary time to answer these questions. Be honest!
• Who are you? • What’s important to you? • What are your dreams, hopes and aspirations?
• What do you want - really? • Where do see yourself going? • Where do you see yourself in one year, three years and 10 years?
• What options do you have? • What possibilities do you see for yourself? • Are you ready to reinvent your life?
Become a Career Coach
We highly recommend the advice and materials offered by Valerie Young, founder of Changing Course.com.
• Over 23,000 people subscribe to her Changing Course Newsletter. • Over 10,000 unique visitors a month stop by her website. • Since 2003, hundreds of enthusiastic career changers have attended her annual workshop with special guest Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job. • Over 150 people have completed her "Profiting From Your Passions" Career Coach Program that provides valuable
career change advice.
If you’re contemplating a career change, I recommend investing the time to do Richard Bolles’
There is no better way for understanding who you are at the present moment. Dr. Fred plunges into this exercise every few years as a way of reconnecting with himself. It’s not good enough to start it. You have to complete it.
Or you might want to take an unconventional approach to career change by working less and enjoying yourself more. One of my favorite authors, Ernie Zelinski, has his own unique formula in The Joy of Not Working.